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Kai’s Diary: A Canadian's COVID-19 Days in Chongqing, China 2020

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Author: Jorah Kai;
Language: English
Page: 336
Publication Date: 05/2020
ISBN: 9787510470110
Publisher: China Intercontinental Press
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"A fantastic piece of writing. As a virus fanatic, (it's) a fascinating and horrifying breakdown... as gripping as the best mystery novel, or apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. My curious hunger fueled by burning interest and chilling horror cannot stop reading every word, turning every page." – Rhett Morita

"A fantastic piece of writing. As a virus fanatic, (it's) a fascinating and horrifying breakdown... as gripping as the best mystery novel, or apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. My curious hunger fueled by burning interest and chilling horror cannot stop reading every word, turning every page." – Rhett Morita

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Preface

Foreword

I’ve known Jorah for a long, long time. He is a wonderful, thoughtful, kind, and – sometimes, unfortunately for everyone around him – vocal and intelligent font of information.

As I sit here on March 20, 2020, watching the Western world collec- tively take a deep, nervous breath, I feel like we are all on a precipice that my friend fell from two months ago. His blogging from a self-quarantined apartment in Chongqing, west of Wuhan in China, is like a series of notes from our own future selves, a psychological map of a dark corridor into which we all seem to be heading.

I reached back out to him early in his quarantine. As I write this, he is coming out of the first wave of infection in China just as I head into our first here in Canada, slipping into his shoes in this psychological test.

In the last few years, he and I have drifted in and out of contact, but I’ve stayed mesmerized by his reinvention of himself, a trait we share. It is good in life, especially in a life of “chapters,” to have friends who also morph careers, goals, and hobbies. It’s a testament to a high A.Q. – a term I learned about a few years ago.

A.Q., or Adaptability Quotient, has been viewed in recent years as one of the most important traits someone can be blessed with. Loosely, it means your mental capacity to problem-solve in a rapidly changing envi- ronment. It means to be prepared to fail, pivot, see a new angle, and try again. It means you are ok with one day life heading in one direction and to wake up the next day, discover that it has changed and to be ok with that. Actually not just ok, but to thrive in it.

I feel like A.Q. is at least partly tied to a sort of “positive” form of attention deficit disorder, not to start deploying diagnoses haphazardly. People with high A.Q. tend to have a sort of inability to sit still – they bash at the bars of their cage, they look at downtime as a chance to tackle new projects, develop new skills, to create, question, revise, and experi- ment. Those who are adaptable, who can embrace or at least not resist the chaos of these times, those are the ones who will survive and prosper and hopefully reforge themselves.

We all must adapt. We all must learn new skills, shake off our preconceptions. The dream we had a month ago is different from our dreams of today.

Jorah Kai is the canary in the coal mine. His notes from beyond the start of this pandemic should serve as a roadmap for how to survive what it looks like we are all, sadly, going to go through.

Andrew ‘Myagi’ Mavor

March 20, 2020

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Kai’s Diary: A Canadian's COVID-19 Days in Chongqing, China 2020
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