Sunday, September 26, 2021

COVID-19: Reassurances from Beijing and Kelly Ryner (Thinkwell)

PHOTO: Paul Redding (Vice President, Thinkwell Asia) and Kelly Ryner (President, Thinkwell Asia) pose outside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China after nearly eight weeks of quarantine due to COVID-19.

Kelly Ryner (President, Thinkwell Asia) recently posted on social media as businesses in China began to emerge from their 8-week isolation in response to the COVID-19 virus. Ryner has been living and working in Beijing since 2014. InPark visited Kelly and the Thinkwell Beijing offices in 2016.

As Europe is in the middle of their response to the pandemic and the US begins to take measures to halt the spread of the virus, we asked Kelly for her take on the business outlook in China during their recovery phase.

“As for business here in China, there is a lot of positive chatter with our clients about a wide variety of location-based entertainment projects planning to get started in the coming months, as real estate regulations relax and tourism stimulus packages are put in place to stimulate growth again.  I have every reason to believe the work we expected to start right after Chinese New Year will commence in May and June this year,” said Ryner.

She also encouraged people to visit thebeijinger.com for more insight from people inside China’s capital city.

Here is the majority of Kelly Ryner’s original post from this weekend, which has already clocked over 3,000 shares on Facebook.

“Greetings from Beijing….I couldn’t help but want to jump in and let all of our friends know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been on “government lockdown” since the last week of January now and the spread of COVID-19 is barely a trickle – proving it does work.

In the last week of January we were in denial, couldn’t believe this was happening as all of the theme parks and movie theatres and schools closed until further notice by government mandate overnight. Lots of talk about overreactions because this sounded like it was just another strain of the flu.

The first week of February was Fear and Depression about what this meant for the economy compounded by all of the flights getting canceled and wondering if we had done the right thing staying here. Tracking down our employees, making sure they were safe and self quarantining as instructed by the government and getting their computers delivered so that we could all start working from home.

Somewhere in the second week of February came Acceptance. Everyone was following the rules, and I was doing my research to understand the facts as being delivered by the medical community rather than journalists. A tremendous help to my peace of mind.

We were assured that grocery stores would operate as normal, so nobody panicked hoarding goods and it gave us an excuse to get out of the apartment every 3 days to do a little food shopping.

For those that don’t love to cook, restaurants kept cooking and kept the delivery guys busy. Delivery happens a lot faster with no traffic! Everyone’s temperature is taken looking for fevers as they come in and out of their communities, any shops, cafes or eateries. Starbucks closed a huge percentage of their shops for a few weeks, but they’ve started opening back up again for take-out.

In these last few weeks, traffic is starting to pick up as businesses start reopening. It was eerie the many weeks of silence. Peaceful at the same time.

Spring has sprung so we grabbed a little sunshine yesterday near the Forbidden City at a place that would normally be packed shoulder to shoulder with local tourists and practically had the place to ourselves. We took the opportunity to drop our masks for a bit and snagged a photo.

All I can say is, listen to the scientists, don’t panic, follow the rules, and try to enjoy a quieter life for just a bit. It’s a wonderful time to do all those little things around the house you never have time to do. It will be a few weeks. We are starting week eight now and on our way back into the office . . . .

Wishing you all love and good health!”

Kelly’s original post can be found here.

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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