You Want Us to Do What Now?

It was shared in our teacher group last night that there was an announcement from the Chief Executive. There were a few things that were announced.

The first thing had to do with the mandatory testing. It looks like they want every person in Hong Kong to get tested three times in three weeks starting in March. That’s 7.8 million people. They are saying that it will be required to have an appointment for the tests.

When we met earlier this week with the parent-teacher organization, there was talk of this happening. The head of the school talked about how there would be a disruption to the students and teachers as this progressed through the process.

I don’t know if I can even begin to process what we are going to have to do. They are saying they are going to go by birth year, so that means we will all be testing at different times. They want to have one million tests done in one day. We weren’t even doing a million a day, and it was not a great situation. They are talking about using the schools as testing facilities.

Which brings me to the part that is really causing all of the stress. The first rumor was that they were going to end school at the end of March at the Easter holiday, but that has since changed. They are now talking about moving summer holiday to March-April and then going to school until August and starting the 2022-2023 school year on the scheduled day.

This is a problem for a few reasons.

  1. International schools have different exam schedules. The year 13 students should be taking their IB exams at that time.
  2. They are saying that they need to use the schools as testing sites. Well, we’re already online. Why do you need to cancel school to use the school buildings when we are not even using them.
  3. Summer holidays were a hope to travel. To finally getting home. It’s been 2 years since we have all been home at this point. My sister is getting married this summer. My mom is planning a trip to Disney World. If that changes the summer holiday to March-April, there is no way to go home because flights are still banned to the US. I know my situation is just an example of so many people. So many of the teachers I work with have similar stories.

My biggest fear is that they are going to tell us we can’t travel again. They have made it impossible to travel during Christmas by shortening it. They told us we shouldn’t travel for last summer. We were told we couldn’t travel last Christmas. The quarantines and the requirements and the changing flights also didn’t help with any travel plans. Flights are still banned to and from the US right now and will continue until almost the end of April.

I think this would do so much damage to international schools. Some teachers will choose just to go home and resign to avoid the situation. I have thought about it, but I would really like Bub to make it through high school before we go anywhere.

I thought about shipping my kids home if they do what they are saying they are going to do. I wouldn’t be able to leave because of my job, but at this point, my kids can’t leave either because there are no flights to the US.

We did receive an email from our head of school last night after the press conference that he was going to meet with the EDB today. He told us not to panic, and he would do his best to advocate for the school. I believe him. He’s an incredible leader.

We are anxiously awaiting to hear from the powers to be to see what is going to happen for us. I don’t know that I can handle the idea that we will have no way to get back to my sister’s wedding. I don’t really care about Disney. I want to be there for my sister though, and I want to meet her little girl. Seeing her through the phone is not a substitute for snuggles and cuddles.

I guess we will see what happens. I have to hope that logic wins out.

And to make matters worse, it’s freezing. I don’t think it’s been this cold here since we’ve been here. I don’t remember it ever getting below 10 C.

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