The following is a letter submitted by John R. Acton to HERE! after his time in quarantine.
To whom it may concern:
Shortly before midnight on March 25, my friend and I arrived at China’s Guangzhou Airport. Full of worry and anxiety, I didn’t know what would await. Within hours we had cleared the health check and found ourselves on a coach to Dongguan’s West Lake Hotel for quarantine. At 5 am, March 25, 14 days of hotel quarantine began.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the people who manage and serve the quarantine facilities in Dongguan and throughout China. Thank you kindly for helping me. Like a good Manchester City football player, I wear my heart on my sleeve. My time in quarantine was tough, but you were tougher.
When you pass West Lake, whether the hotel in Dongguan, the famous lakes of Hangzhou or the city of Huizhou, you can proudly think of the difference you made. You answered the call.
You brought people back together. You gave loved ones, friends and families the chance to enjoy new moments together. You protected and looked after us. You gave up your time and gave us all your energy.
You cleaned up after me, checked my health and waited on hand and foot for me. You kept my belly full, and inspired exercises I didn’t know I was capable of. Every time I was thirsty, you were there.
I’m a guest in Dongguan, a guest of Guangdong and a guest to China. You made me feel welcome. Dongguan is a city of hope, imagination and ambition. Like my hometown of Manchester, it has industrial routes but here too has grown to be so much more.
We are the lucky ones. We are inconvenienced but we are here. Those who fell, those who died—it is because of them, we can live well. Let’s observe a moment of silence for them.