John B. Turner- 'A Month of Sundays - Responses to the Covid-19 Lockdown' online exhibition at PhotospaceGallery.nz, April 2020 -
Below - Hong Kong to Beijing flight, 16 March 2020. Photographs by John B. Turner.
"With our original flight from Auckland to Beijing via Hong Kong cancelled by the airline, Jianguang and I nervously headed for Hong Kong where we hoped to get a flight onward to Beijing and home. Our first booking of a HK to Beijing flight had just been cancelled so, as it was near midnight we stayed overnight at the airport hotel and took our chance in a nearly empty airport on getting a flight to the capital even though the price was four times what it had been.
"These photographs show the masked passengers queuing to get on the only available flight (3pm-ish) to Beijing, then moving to their seats onboard (shown as a separate series of 12 images here); then our arrival in Beijing at 6pm and going through various security checks at the airport. This was the first day of the new government rule that everybody had to be bused to the Beijing Exhibition Centre, about 30 minutes away, for more checks and vetting and their decision as to where one would be holed up for the following weeks.
"Most arrivals had to be quarantined in a hotel, for two weeks at their own expense, but with me being over 70 and therefore a higher risk, we had the option of doing our two weeks of strict isolation in our own home. As for every other aspect, the Chinese authorities were cautious and thorough, so it wasn't until after 4am, when much to our relief, the fully kitted up Covid-19 security team informed us that they had verified our address and got the welcoming committee of our gated community to arrange for an ambulance to pick us up and take us home - after more paperwork was completed. From then on we continued to wear face masks inside and were not allowed out of our apartment for 14 days. We reported our temperatures daily and could open our door only once a day to receive a delivery of food, or any other goods. With no signs of contracting the deadly virus, we are among the luckily ones, and only just squeaked home in time to get out of Hong Kong - and avoid New Zealand's four week lockdown."
- John B. Turner, April 2020
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