Chinese Surgeon Enjoys Her Experiences in Bedford While Trapped in the US

February 2, 2023
Although not quite like the trains in China, Dr. Guan Li enjoyed her visit to Depot Park. Train travel in China is a much different experience. Staff photo by Wayne Braverman

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
U.S. First Lady, diplomat, human rights activist

In January 2020, Dr. Guan Li, a surgeon from Shenzhen, China, came to the Boston area to visit her son, who at the time was a Ph.D. candidate at MIT. Her visit was to last three weeks. However, Covid-19 surged worldwide and China shut down its airports, as did many other countries. And in March, Massachusetts went into lockdown. 

Her hospital does not have paid vacations nor is the salary for doctors in China anywhere close to what they make in the U.S. She made the best of her time in this country and visited many places in the region, including Bedford – a town she came to enjoy very much. She sent back videos to China showing interesting places to visit in New England, including Bedford.

During her time in the US, she brought to life the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, living life to the utmost. Although she was stuck here, she made the best of it, seeking out and finding many new and richer experiences. 

Dr. Guan Li was not able to return home until October 2020 – nine months and at least five canceled flights after she was originally scheduled to return to China. Even then, when she got back to China, she had to spend a month in quarantine in two airport hotels – totally at her expense. Even with all of that, she recently did come back to the US. 

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Wayne Braverman is the Managing Editor of The Bedford Citizen. He can be reached at [email protected], or 781-430-8837.

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