Hello everyone. This is Jason, the boss at Salt Lick in Hualien. As some of you may or may not know, I recently took a trip to Malaysia and Indonesia for a working holiday. When I left, there were fewer cases in Malaysia than in Taiwan and there were no cases in Indonesia, so I made the decision (which in hindsight was the wrong decision) to go and try to earn money, as business hasn’t been very good recently. After I left Malaysia they had a huge religious gathering where 500 people contracted CV. I was supposed to go to Singapore for work, but I decided to skip it and headed to Indonesia where I spent most of my time on the tiny Island of Pramuka. When I realized the CV was escalating so fast, I canceled the rest of my trip and bought a new ticket back to Taiwan leaving the same day. I left Jakarta on March 16th at night and arrived in Taipei around noon on March 17th. I went through the airport screening procedure and they told me I was under Self-Health Management until March 31st. This means I CAN leave my house but I need to wear a mask, and I am supposed to take my temperature twice a day.
Since I arrived in Taiwan I have not set one foot inside my restaurant and only get take-out or delivery from other restaurants. I haven’t seen my daughter. And I spend about 23 hours per day in my house. I have also been keeping a diary of any places I go and my temperature readings.
The reason I’m writing this is to inform people of my situation and let everyone know what I am doing to be safe. But in the last week I have had people call the police on me claiming I broke quarantine rules and that I was outside without a mask. Both of these statements are false. I am not under quarantine and I always wear a mask when I go outside. I have also had people claim they saw me walking around Meilun near my house without a mask. Also, not true. It was probably some Russian guy that looks like me or something. Another person contacted the City Chief, DongYao (張東耀) with pictures of me in the water surfing with my daughter. Wrong again. First of all the pictures were of a friend of mine who is 14cm taller than me, 100kg and has a white wife and 2 year old baby. I’m not married, my daughter is 5 and I don’t surf. Although I was at Jici on the same day, I parked my car 50 meters from the nearest person and sat next to my car to get some fresh air. I wore a mask and didn’t approach anyone. But not even that was enough to keep ignorant people from gossiping about me, and spreading lies and rumors, without knowing a thing about my situation.
Now, everyday, we get messages and phone calls asking if the Salt Lick boss is sick or under quarantine and if it’s still safe to eat there. This relentless, unfounded, spreading of gossip, misinformation and all out lies is not only hurting my personal life, but also affecting my business. Other foreigners have also had the same problem recently. These xenophobic acts need to stop. Do people realize that many of the new cases brought into Taiwan are Taiwanese people coming back from group tours to Europe where there are 60 people on a tour bus for a week, all breathing the same recirculated A/C air, and all sharing the same karaoke microphone.
Anyway, I just wanted to clear the air about what is fact and what is fiction regarding my situation. I feel fine. I’ve had no symptoms of CV whatsoever. And, while I’m only under Self-Health Management, and allowed to leave my house, I have been inside for the last few days, not out of any requirement, but for fear of being ostracized by the community I thought I was a part of. If you have any questions, please send us a private message.