An Account Told: Life inside a plastic bubble

Schoko” is the pseudonym for a 30-something Taiwanese woman who was quarantined in hospital with COVID-19.  In an interview she told her experience to Focus Taiwan, describing the conditions, how she was treated, and how the disease affected her.

The most surreal part is when she describes the lost of smell and taste, sounding reminiscent of people who lost their sense of smell to hydrogen sulphide.  I was also irked to read how landlords evicted people who had tested positive.  What does that accomplish other than to endanger people?

Recovered COVID-19 patient describes trip to ‘alien planet’ and back

Within an hour of being informed on March 21 that she had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, Schoko was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital, carrying some hastily packed clothes, a boxed lunch, and a cup of bubble tea.

It was her first trip in an ambulance and the first time she was being hospitalized, she told CNA in a phone interview.

“I felt like I was in a spaceship, being transported to an alien planet,” said Schoko, a Taiwanese in her 30s, who asked to withhold her proper name.

When she arrived at the hospital in New Taipei, she was allowed to walk on her own to a negative pressure isolation room, followed by two cleaners in full protective gear, disinfecting everything in her wake.

That walk was only the first step on a journey that would take 22 days before Schoko could emerge from her “alien planet.”

Americans will no doubt be shocked by the bill she had to pay for her treatment.


  1. says

    From the article: “After 22 days in isolation, Schoko was discharged from hospital April 11, and her bill was less than NT$2200 (US$72).”