Post-COVID 2023

I stopped writing in late 2022 because I didn’t want to turn this blog into a big whine-fest about COVID, and as a result, in a time when COVID in China was impacting every single aspect of my life, I found myself with nothing to write about.

I’d get an idea to write about “little signs of hope” and all the ways that people in Shanghai were subverting rules and letting normalcy seep into our lives here, but then there would be some COVID resurgence and everything would go the other way, and the whole “I don’t see how we are ever going to break out of this endless cycle” mentality of despair would set in again.

Well, in mid-December soon after China reversed its “COVID zero” policy, my whole family got COVID. It was rough (way worse than “a cold”), but we got through it. The same is true for most people I know in Beijing and Shanghai. We’re finally moving on past COVID in China.

That means I can travel again in 2023. It means I can write about other things in 2023. It means my businesses can start to recover in 2023.

I have high hopes for 2023.

high hopes

Anyway, Happy New Year, everyone!


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Emilio Soto Estevez Says: January 2, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Very glad for you and your family, John. But it’s not a cold I would compare it with, it’s a flu. I had it twice, both times milder than a flu, and than a cold, for that matter, although definitely different…but that totally depends on your immune situation pre-infection. Anyway, happy to hear you’re “back in business”, hope you will soon be offering (old) HSK 5 and 6 courses.

  2. We’re a good few weeks behind the big cities, but as soon as things got dropped, CvD spread like wildfire. Our family, neighbors, everyone within days got it. This made things all the more miserable. We’re only ending the first wave and people are panicked about what’s next. It seems like 2023 will still be a slog. Yah, not chipper in our part of China right now.

  3. This blog post ends with a song?!? High Hopes?!?! You think that your readers are as cool as you, John?


  5. I live in GD. Finally go it this year. Took horse paste, and felt fine after 3 days, 100% fine after two weeks. The 3 days fever was a mf though.

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