That One Time I Didn’t Leave China: Daily Experiences in the Midst of Coronavirus

Hi Everyone!

I’m Christina and I work with Bri in China. This was the first holiday that I’ve decided to stay in the country I work in for a long holiday and lo and behold: Coronavirus.

Officially I can now say that staying at home for about 23 hours a day for the third week in a row is not that bad. I’m grateful that I’m healthy, have wonderful support and company, have a super comfy apartment, am able to read and speak Mandarin, and have plenty of food.

Some truths from someone who is here now (everyday there’s change, so this could be different by the time you’re reading this):

  • Everything (minus some restaurants and grocery stores) is closed.
  • They check your temps and you must sign in with government id when you enter any establishment.
  • Most, if not all, housing complexes are closed to visitors. You must have a card before you exit in order to enter again. I don’t know what happens otherwise. Of course, no visitors are allowed.
  • Our city is spraying streets with disinfectant more than once a day.
  • There’s barely anyone or any cars/motorbikes on the streets minus delivery people and security guards.
  • Medical masks are sold out in person and online. However all establishments that are open have masks, otherwise they cannot operate.
  • Nobody is allowed in any establishment without a mask on and you’re definitely frowned upon and avoided if you don’t have a mask on walking around outside.

Everything happened very quickly. When it was announced that Wuhan was quarantined I would have to say that the numbers they announced were staggering so I understood why they quarantined the city.

Literally within a week, everything became quiet. I remember one day heading out and people were everywhere, out and about, then the next day there were just birds. There was nobody out. That was even before everyone wore masks.

Day by day malls and stores started to close.

Lunar new year holiday, a time when people get together with their families and celebrate, became a lonely and silent one. At that point the city had already shut down all entertainment establishments and prohibited any public gatherings, including family dinners.

The numbers continued to go up, more and more of the population got the virus, and so more and more places started to close. Less people went out.

And now we’re here. It’s been like this for about two weeks now.

As for my day to day, I’m looking after a super cute and sweet dog for a colleague so I walk him in the morning for about an hour. This is my only hour outside each day. It’s is very quiet on the street, which is great for us because this means I can let him off leash in places normally filled with people.

The only four stores that I’ve stepped into for the past three weeks are the Family Mart downstairs, Starbucks Coffee (who now no longer allows people inside), Manner Coffee (now closed), and Matrix Coffee. My groceries are delivered whenever I decide to order them, so I don’t have to step into a grocery store (my fridge has NEVER been this full).

What I’ve noticed is the amazing cooperation of the people living here. Everyone has masks on, the security guards are actually strict and follow the protocols, and most people are staying at home to keep themselves and other safe.

Of course, doctors and nurses in China are all working around the clock. The whole nation is rooting for their safety and proud of their dedication and hard work.

Everyone is hoping that this will get better soon. For now, we have our homes, waimai for some things, Taobao for everything else, and I have the best company a girl can ask for.

Send me a message on insta if you’d like to know more! Like I said, I’m home 23 hours a day.

Now if only the VPN will stay working so I can see this post.

-Christina (@miss.c.lin)

Published by brianalennet

Visual anthropologist and digital storyteller

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