Visiting IKEA during the Pandemic

Life in China during the outbreak, day 79.

We went to IKEA today.

This is something I don’t care to do on normal days, but during a pandemic?

In my experience, on normal days, IKEA China is packed. Wall to wall people. An introvert’s worst nightmare. People sleeping on the pretend beds in the pretend bedrooms, old people taking their sweet time strolling down the aisles pushing the enormous empty IKEA shopping carts, it’s like half the city descends on Sweden at the same exact moment.

It is hell.

But Koolyash wanted to go, and things are opening up here, so okay.

Thankfully, IKEA was mercifully uncrowded. There were still more people then I would hope for, but not so many that you couldn’t walk the aisles freely. Everyone was bemasked, and there were disinfectant stations regularly located. Even in the cafeteria, which is normally packed, people were social distancing. It was something of a relief.

And then we got on the bus to go home.

When this thing was at its worst here in China, the buses were empty. It was almost a pleasure to ride, because so few people were on public transport. But bus 70 went from a reasonable number of passengers to packed to the gills much more quickly than I was comfortable with.

And then there was the guy in the back who was coughing up a lung.

I was spritzing with hand sanitizer like a madman, like that would somehow help form a protective shield around my entire body.

So this guy gets on the bus and ends up standing right over me. Then, when he realized I was a foreigner, he moved away.

Yeah, like I’m the problem. The majority of new cases in China have been from Chinese people coming home. I’m clean, dude. You should be sitting on my lap. But, whatever. Move away. It definitely makes me feel better.

We’re home now, and hopefully fine. And lesson learned. Go to IKEA, but take a taxi home. Don’t want to be surfing on a second wave.


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