TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Popular English singer and songwriter Mary-Jess Leaverland recently shared stories from her trip to Taiwan for an end-of-year concert and praised the country's pandemic response.
After winning the Chinese equivalent of the X Factor, "I Want to Sing to the Stars," at the age of 19, the soprano star expanded her popularity with her rendition of the theme song for the hit drama series "Downton Abbey." In December last year, she appeared at four end-of-year concerts in Tainan City, including one that was attended by more than 100,000 people.
Besides sharing her quarantine experience in Taiwan on social media, Leaverland recently spoke to Reach PLC, one of the United Kingdom's largest newspaper companies, about what it felt like performing for huge crowds in the subtropical nation. She described the experience as "surreal" and said it felt as if she was "living in a parallel universe" where COVID-19 did not seem like an issue.
Leaverland also recognized the Taiwanese government's decision to shut its borders to coronavirus-stricken countries, as well as its "reassuringly strict" public health regulations. She added that she had to take several COVID tests before flying to the country.
While undergoing the 14-day quarantine requirement, she would receive texts and calls every day from Taiwan's health authorities to check on her health, the singer explained. She said she was also asked to report her temperature three times a day.
Leaverland expressed gratitude for the care she received in Taiwan. She added that she did not mind all the anti-epidemic procedures she had to go through as they made her and everyone feel safer.