What I experienced during this COVID-19 epidemic

A Chinese woman wears a protective mask in Beijing, Feb. 3.
Original article of this pic and I did not feel offended

Although there is a lot to write about the coronavirus, I just talk about what I have experienced and thought about during this COVID-19 epidemic.

1. News Sources

Do not get news from Chinese Internet.

China has always been very strict with information control, and it has become stricter in recent days. The latest speech censorship laws came into effect on March 1.
Several of my friends' WeChat or SNS accounts have been banned.
For a long time, I am almost silent on Chinese Internet.

Fortunately, I have always been freedom to access the Internet.

In mid-December 2019, I heard that patients were infected with unknown pneumonia. Several of my relatives who are doctors have confirmed this. I reminded my friends in Wuhan, the center city of the epidemic, and did not make it public. Because at the same time, eight doctors who published this information were cautioned by the police as rumors. State media also warned people not to talk about it.

Until December 31, 2019, the official announcement of the discovery of unknown new pneumonia, but it has not been widely publicized. The news said it is non-contagious and don't panic. More people known real situation until January 20. Three days later, on the 23rd, Wuhan City announced closure. --China state media generally cover up negative reports, even for such an important epidemic. And this is not the first time.

During the SARS epidemic in 2003, I was in Wuhan and the company asked us to work at home to avoid infection. In those days, I heard ambulances and my neighbors talking every day, but newspapers and the media seem to be another world. Someone died nearby, but not even a number. Since then I no longer trust the state media.

All these years I do not read Chinese media, my news sources are generally NYT, WSJ, secondly I will look at the BBC and some media with a clear tendency.

I look at this data every day.
I started learning English back then for play NES games and understand the world,
later it was gradually used to understand China.

2. My current living situation

Life inconvenience under formalism and further deprivation of privacy.

A few days after Wuhan announced the closure, cities in China also announced the closure, including the city in which I live.

Masks, disinfectants, and hand sanitizers have been out of stock, and even instant noodles are no longer available, either online or in stores, and most of the stores have been closed. We can't go in and out of the apartment at will, and no one delivering anymore.
The air quality in this city is bad, so I am used to purchasing some masks. Coupled with knowing the information earlier, I bought more of these essentials, at least there is no problem to live, just to be trapped at home.

Guards have been added to the entrance of the apartment, and access to the apartment requires a community-issued certificate. I was rigorously questioned for 5 minutes before the certificate was issued, which was not so pleasant.
Everyone is assigned a QR code, and you must be scanned to in and out any building to track you. Yes, no one cares about privacy. They also think that everyone has a smartphone and uses a specific app. But this is also a formalism, and I find that all staff do not take it seriously, so this is a meaningless work.

Everyone is assigned a QR code, from threat to safe

At the same time, check the temperature at each entrance, as well as wearing a mask. It is said that in some cities people were beaten by guards without wearing masks, but people can't found any mask for purchasing. Just like the government ask everyone self-isolation at home, but they are not told what to do with lack of food and what to do with gas, water, rents... They just ask you to follow the order.

They told me not to go anywhere, especially out of city. In fact, there is no place to go--no one is on the road and all shops are closed. Later, the supermarket was limited to open with limited supply, the price rise slightly. If people leave or return to the city, they will face 14 days of forced self-isolation.

My relatives who are doctors are in the local first-line, and one support the Wuhan epidemic area. Their protective supplies are said to be sufficient.

If my living just became a lot of inconveniences, Wuhan and even Hubei Province--the province where Wuhan City is located-- people be treated inhumanely. Some people in Wuhan left before the city was closed, said to be 5 million people, they were scattered everywhere and became the targets of arrests.
Their information and ID number were published online. They were not allowed to get off the highway and were even taken away by police cars at the exit--they seemed to have become Jews in Germany during WWII. The Nazi clouds on this land always exists.

3. Situation of the epidemic area

The disaster situation cannot be generalized as "20,000 people died", but "One person died" 20,000 incidents occurred. ----Kitano Takeshi

Wuhan is one of the most populous cities in China, with more than 10 million. I think I have enough experience-Nothing new under the sun, but the news I see every day is still beyond my imagination. There are so many ridiculous things and tragedies that I can't write them all here.
I was shocked but not surprised, because they always did. Government and Red Cross malfeasance, corruption, and inefficiency. I had a contact with the Red Cross during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and I will never forget it.

And those unnecessary sacrifices, praised by the media as heroes. Seeing such news, I was not touched but angry. What I want to ask is how to avoid sacrifices, especially unreasonable and unnecessary sacrifices! If we praise sacrifice, people will make it artificially. I want to live in a country without heroes and savior, but with common people who are well protected and treated with respect.

The epidemic made many people see the goodwill that has been obscured by official media. Regarding assistance from the world especially Japan has impressed the people. Whether it is the extension of visas for travellers, or the poems on materials sent to the epidemic areas, this epidemic will make many people change their views on Japan.

The ancient Chinese poem "岂曰无衣,与子同裳"
means "Don't say no tabard, share mine"

I can write a separate article about my feelings to Japan in the future. I donated to Japan during the 3.11 Japan earthquake in 2011, which was strongly criticized by some "patriotic" netizens. I have no intention to spend time arguing with them, today I hope they can clearly understand which friends have been helping China.

The world and humanity need cooperation, not confrontation. This is not about borders and beliefs. Jewish at the Wailing Wall in Israel are praying. Monks at Ryuhonji Temple in Japan are praying. Muslims at the Devadagaha Mosque in Colombo are praying, as well as Christians... The whole world is praying except the communists, they are all required to be atheists.

4. Expectations for the future

China must improve transparency.

This year's already sluggish economy is dead. Unemployment will rise, and SMEs have already begun to fail. As for large enterprises, the mature industrial chains in China such as automobiles and consumer electronics, have a big impact on the world economy.
At present, the government is forcing the enterprises to resume work, but people and raw materials are lacking because they cannot move freely, the recovery is highly limited. The government has done so at the risk of the epidemic spreading, fearing that the unemployment wave and economic crisis will undermine its governance.

China launched a 25 trillion yuan infrastructure project on March 2 to save the economy. This further increases the risk of local debt.
I'm afraid it's also difficult for China to fulfill the promise of the 40 billion-a-year-agricultural-purchase agreement just accomplished with the United States.

This epidemic was the worst disaster since the famine in China in the 1960s, and was the Chinese version of the Chernobyl incident. The cruel facts will awaken some people and awaken their desire for free speech. Only free speech is the best vaccine.

However, I am still pessimistic and do not hope for the future, and the next disaster will definitely come again. The history of SARS 17 years ago is still in sight. Today, 17 years later, there is nothing improvement except censorship. No rectification measures.
As mentioned in the movie "The Interview": Killing Kim won't change anything. If we kill him, won't they just get another chubby dude with a goofy hairdo to come in and replace him?

China must change.
Countries have put pressure on China to be open and transparent. China must be more transparent and truthful in reporting data, not just epidemics. Otherwise it will undermine all human beings.


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