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Life During Wartime

‘Tis a long way from Greystones to Dongguan – 6,063 miles, to be exact – but Karl Long made that leap to China 18 years ago.

So, we reckon by this stage, the guy likes the place. Despite all the big brother shenanigans.

In fact, when it came to the current Covid-19 outbreak, those big brother shenanigans helped China ensure that the self-isolation and quarantine measures they were enforcing were well and truly enforced. Everyone in China has QR code, – including Hillside homie Karl – which, when scanned, will reveal where you’ve been, and for how long. Without it, you’re not going anywhere.

When the country went into lockdown, that QR code meant that, outside of your own home, there really was nowhere to hide. A win-win when you’re trying to get millions upon millions of people to self-isolate.

Now, after 6 weeks of strict Covid-19-battling restrictions, Dongguan is returning to normality, with no new cases of the coronavirus being reported now for a full 10 days.

Something Karl has just posted and proudly boasted about on social media, to give his fellow Greystonians a little light at the end of the tunnel…

As a Greystonian who has lived in China for past 18 years, just wanted to share that the city I live in Dongguan, with a population of 10 million, is now getting back to normal after about 6 weeks of full lockdown – during which the whole city followed social distancing/isolation instructions, all schools shut down (with online learning taking over), bars and restaurants, and most factories & businesses, shut with limited delivery services.

Supermarkets got over the initial panic and kept shelves stocked, with one person per household being allowed to the shops every 3 days, with temperatures being checked and hand sanitizer provided before entering any premises.

Now anyone who travels from any country to China must go into self quarantine for 14 days regardless of having symptoms or not, and it all seems to be working

Long story short, there has been zero new cases in about 10 days now, life is getting back to normal, apart from schools & universities – which are still off for another couple of weeks, I think.

If they can do it here with about 1,000 people living in some apartment blocks, I’d say Ireland will be able to manage it, no bother.

Well worth the lockdown, I’d – and it flew by. Just sit tight and you’ll all be grand.

How long more Karl will have to wait before the likes of pop Billy can swing by without spending the first two weeks of his visit living in a box remains to be seen, but, as Greystones sets out on a similar journey to Dongguan, it’s good to know that all this enforced me time seems to work.

In the meantime, we’ll be putting together a list of groovy things to do around Greystones as we all come together by staying apart. Stay safe. And stay sunny.


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  1. Shannon says:

    Now, where did I put my tinfoil hat…

  2. Shannon says:

    I’d rather not have the forced tracking and forced self-isolation by a repressive government just to reduce a few cases of Covid19, Thanks for the offer.

    For all we know, maybe they’ve just stopped reporting cases, heard the CCP have a bit of a reputation problem there in Wuhan. For all those wanting the government to do something similar here tread carefully and remember “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.