Wuhan Diary #2 The Sixth Day — January 28, 2020

Graphic by 巴丢草 Badiucao

28/01/2020  The 6th day of Wuhan quarantine.

This is the sixth day I have stayed home and my body starts to feel “rusty”. I am coming up ways to exercise, hula hoops, jumping ropes, sit-ups, etc. I have been trying every possible indoor exercise at home.

Today is the fourth day since the Lunar New Year. I was planning to invite some friends over for a barbecue and hot pot party. Now instead, we can only have a group video chat, during which each of us holds a bowl of rice in our hands.

My company sent out an announcement to extend the vacation. The date to return working remains unknown. Though the company’s decision is well expected, I have no idea how long this “extended vacation” will last.

I discuss about last year’s sluggish economic situation with my colleagues. With the virus outbreak and the city-wide quarantine, what about our future? Where does life go? We have no clue.

I get a call from SF Express about a package delivery. I am asked not to meet with the delivery person so my package is placed in a self-serve package-retrieval cabinet. I am a bit surprised at first but realize the delivery person is protected this way as well.

As I prepare to go downstairs and retrieve the package, my parents halt me. They say we are during a “virus explosion period” and tells me to wait for a few days. It is kind of funny if you think about it. A while ago, I was the one stopping them from leaving home, now they stop me.

Since yesterday, almost all WeChat and QQ groups have updated their Group Notice: “you will be removed from this group if you post any information violating the regulations or unverified”. But I am full of doubt about these kind of vague rules. What is exactly considered “violating the regulations”? About “unverified”, who has the authorization to verify information now? Recently, many of the so-called “official media” reports conflict with each other. In this case, which “official media” is reliable?

Anyway, since the Group Notice is updated, the amount of messages in every group has experienced a free-fall drop. Quite effective, in a way.

A friend of mine says his community has started counting the so-called “inter-district commuting” situation, knocking door by door to record if residents have been to other districts (in the city) since January.

I’m not yet quite sure about what this implies. (May cases of outbreak differ significantly from district to district?) One can imagine this is going to require a huge amount of work though. Besides, data collected could be considerably incorrect. If this info gathering job were to be accurately delivered, it probably helps to clarify how the virus is transferred, with some data support.

Of course our community is silent and chilled as usual.

Speaking of community activities, this message of singing together at night went viral in every chat group yesterday  ↓

@everyone

Counting down on the “Yexiu Xingyunjin grand chorus with ten thousand”, we are organising national anthem singing at night. Starting at 20:00, everybody just open your windows and sing to the air. Please share this message to the chat groups of every build, and send a screenshot here telling you’ve shared. Eight tonight, won’t leave without singing!

19:55:00 kill the lights uniformly

19:59:50 ten seconds countdown. When count is on one, open the lights and sing March of the Volunteers at the same time. When finished, shout “Wuhan Jiayou”(Wuhan fight on) three times.

20:09:50 ten seconds countdown on the second song My People, My Country. When finished, shout “Wuhan Jiayou” three times!!!

Attentions: Act and sing according to the rules above and wear masks

This activity is voluntary. There is no compulsory requirements.

It’d help better if volunteers make video clips of this activity

Here it is I was dumbfounded when I saw it happening.  Wasn’t this really just like assembling a lot of people together just so that they could also shoot their spit outdoors?

Naturally,  I wouldn’t take part in this kind of thing even there was no state of emergency.  I just imagined that it was probably the propaganda departments wanted some material they could use to “work on people’s minds.”

Before eight o’clock I closed the windows of our home.  The noise started outside at precisely eight. I didn’t want any part of that kind of excitement.

Just after eight, this call from a physician was shared over and over on my social media friends circle and several other groups.

[Please stop immediately community open-window sing-alongs. These are very dangerous. They could spread pneumonia.]

Mr. Fan 2020-01-27 19:38:35:  I am a physician in Respiratory Medicine Department of )Wuhan Union Hospital.  Just after getting off work, I saw on social media groups video of communities singing together with their windows open.  That is very dangerous and frightening. Saliva from people on the upper and lower floors will fly all around. People singing will deeply inhale.  People downstairs will inhale some flying saliva drops. Particles of saliva from separate rooms will mix. This is very dangerous. I want to warn everyone right away to stop doing this immediately.  I hear that communities all over Wuhan are singing! Please contact the mayor and have him put a halt to this immediately.

You didn’t need any high IQ to realize that. It should be just common sense.

Although from another perspective, Wuhan people have been living under great tension for quite a while.  They need an outlet to blow off steam. The day before yesterday our community already had a few people calling back and forth from window to window.

Daddy says, “Just wait until the epidemic is over. The Hexagonal Pavilion (the old name for the Wuhan Mental Health Center, older Wuhan people still call it that) will be filled to overflowing.

A friend said, “These past two days, the number of fevers diagnosed at the front-line fever clinics has gone down.  There are more people panicking than there are infected. Late at night there are more medical personnel than there are patients.  That is a welcome change.

A e-friend’s dad works in funeral parlor and he says his dad has worked for extra shifts recently and probably will work extra hours for the next half month. My friend is worrying that his dad will only have the industrial standard PPE instead of the clinic standard ones during work.I do not know the regulations of this industry, but i think workers there shall have more attention from the society.

Last night,Fang Fang,a famous Wuhan writer posted a Weibo(Chinese twitter),this is one of the paragraphs,

The performance of Hubei province government is the average performance among all local governments in China. They are not worse than others but less lucky. ALL the government officials act according to the files from above. Once there is no files to follow,they just lose directions.If the same crisis happens another province,the officials there will not do any better than Hubei’s. The bitter fruit we are about to taste is the result good officials are eliminated in our government.it is also created by Utopia like impractical policies and the censorship on media free speech.This bitter fruit is in Wuhan’s mouth now and it is a huge one.

I can not agree more on it. Only this Weibo has been censored already.

Chinese text:

https://twitter.com/badiucao/status/1222508212886228992

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated,with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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1 Response to Wuhan Diary #2 The Sixth Day — January 28, 2020

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