Hope shared from Beijing as Thinkwell Asia president gives an update

by Attractions Magazine Staff

In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Kelly Ryner, president of Thinkwell Asia, shared an update of hope and optimism via her personal Facebook page.

thinkwell asia
Pictured from left to right are Paul Redding (Vice President of Thinkwell Asia) and Kelly Ryner (President of Thinkwell Asia).

Thinkwell Group is a global experience design and production agency that specializes in creating and planning theme parks, destination resorts, branded and intellectual property-based attractions, and more. It was founded in 2001, and continues to work on entertainment projects worldwide.

Originally reported by the industry publication, InPark Magazine, Ryner shared this positive outlook on the current worldwide situation from Beijing, where she has been living and working since 2014:

thinkwell asia

Greetings from Beijing! I know, I’m lousy about keeping up on facebook and I haven’t opened it since Christmas, but as I see all of the news breaking in the US, I couldn’t help but want to jump in and let all of our friends know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been on “government lockdown” since the last week of January now and the spread of COVID-19 is barely a trickle proving it does work.

In the last week of January we were in denial, couldn’t believe this was happening as all of the theme parks and movie theatres and schools closed until further notice by government mandate overnight. Lots of talk about overreactions because this sounded like it was just another strain of the flu.

The first week of February was Fear and Depression about what this meant for the economy compounded by all of the flights getting canceled and wondering if we had done the right thing staying here. Tracking down our employees, making sure they were safe and self quarantining as instructed by the government and getting their computers delivered so that we could all start working from home.

Somewhere in the second week of February came Acceptance. Everyone was following the rules, and I was doing my research to understand the facts as being delivered by the medical community rather than journalists. A tremendous help to my peace of mind.

We were assured that grocery stores would operate as normal, so nobody panicked hoarding goods and it gave us an excuse to get out of the apartment every 3 days to do a little food shopping.

For those that don’t love to cook, restaurants kept cooking and kept the delivery guys busy. Delivery happens a lot faster with no traffic! Everyone’s temperature is taken looking for fevers as they come in and out of their communities, any shops, cafes or eateries. Starbucks closed a huge percentage of their shops for a few weeks, but they’ve started opening back up again for take-out.

In these last few weeks, traffic is starting to pick up as businesses start reopening. It was eerie the many weeks of silence. Peaceful at the same time.

Spring has sprung so we grabbed a little sunshine yesterday near the Forbidden City at a place that would normally be packed shoulder to shoulder with local tourists and practically had the place to ourselves. We took the opportunity to drop our masks for a bit and snagged a photo.

All I can say is, listen to the scientists, don’t panic, follow the rules, and try to enjoy a quieter life for just a bit. It’s a wonderful time to do all those little things around the house you never have time to do. It will be a few weeks. We are starting week eight now and on our way back into the office . . . .

Wishing you all love and good health!

Kelly Ryner, president of Thinkwell Asia

In a time where nearly every major theme park in the world is closed to keep everyone safe, and many people are self-isolating in their homes to decrease the spread of illness, reading this update offers a spark of hope to all of us — and shows that by taking responsible action and keeping a positive outlook, we will get through this together.


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1 comment

Paul March 20, 2020 - 11:48 pm

Such a great post! I am not one to worry but you give a lot of people that worry, something positive to think about. Thank you!


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