I was supposed to move and start a job as a nurse in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in April. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the job was put on hold indefinitely. I have written about all flights into and out of Saudi Arabia being canceled. Then the hospital has delayed my visa application due to health issues. But now I am thinking that remaining stuck in the USA might not be so bad.
First, COVID cases have increased I Saudi Arabia over the past month because the lyrics lifted restrictions in April. I am in New Jersey where our governor and people have done a good job of enforcing restrictions, social distancing, and wearing masks. There are a few bad apples, but for the most part, our cases have decreased thanks to the cooperation of most people.
Second, I was expecting to be two weeks quarantined when I arrive and before I can work, but now wondering if two weeks is enough. Or maybe they will only allow me to go to work and my apartment until the virus is almost gone. It might be a more strict lockdown than what I currently experience. At least here, I can go for a bike ride or a hike (and maintain 6 feet away from others!) I have weights at home (if I can find the motivation) to work out. Will the gym and pool at the housing compound be closed in Jeddah?
Third, one of the big reasons I want to move to Jeddah was for scuba diving. I am not sure when that will be allowed. Will beaches be closed? Will my dive gear go to waste?
Fourth, one of the big reasons I want to move to the Middle East is to travel! And I am unsure if that will be possible. Even if they allow healthcare workers to arrive, when will I be allowed to leave? I was hoping to visit UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain for 3 day breaks. I was hoping to explore the kingdom and learn more about Saudi culture. Will I be confined to my district or the area around Jeddah? For how long?
So basically, I do not feel like I am in a hurry to get to Jeddah now just to be locked away between the hospital and my apartment. I feel more comfortable locked away in my current home, where I live alone and have some familiar comforts. And I have more time to work on learning French, Arabic, and photography before moving abroad.
I feel a little less stressed now that I feel less in a rush.