Wuhan Diary #6: Tenth Day of the Wuhan City Closure — February 1, 2020

Graphic by 巴丢草 Badiucao

Tenth Day of the Wuhan City Closure – February 1, 2020

I been feelling very perturbed these last two days. I need to take some time to calm down so that I can continue writing this diary.

I rehearsed in my mind countless times what I would do if my parents or I became sick. After a lot of thinking, my conclusion is: I will do no better than those people in the videos circulating online.

I do not have any confidence in myself.

It seems I am waiting for a trial, wondering when the sword will fall on my head.

This morning, I got a call from my cousin (female) after waking up. My aunt received the confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus infection. It is not a suspected case or a highly-suspected case anymore. It is confirmed. No more room for luck. In addition, her son, my cousin (male), also has a fever and shows some symptoms.

My mom cried many times today. I cannot find any comforting words. I only have selfish thoughts that my mom is okay at least.

Since I brought up my aunt, another story came to my mind. During the first days of the Wuhan lockdown, my mom, my cousin (female) in Wuhan and I called my aunts and uncles repetitively to beg them to pay attention to this outbreak. We told them not to have a party and wear masks to go outside. But they did not take the situation seriously and thought the outbreak was far away from their life. They continued to play Mahjong and visit relatives and even had a huge party with all four generations of the family. Now that my aunt has been confirmed to be infected, the whole family started to panic, isolated from each other and sanitized our home. I do not know if there is still a chance for a rescue. We have elders over 90 years old and little kids under 10 years old in our family.

I am writing this down not to rant about the consequences of them not heeding to our advice. What I want to do it to reiterate that concealing the truth from the public from the beginning and the media’s narrative that the epidemic is “preventable and controllable” is responsible for all of this. Changing people’s habits is very difficult. This makes it especially important to inform them clearly about the dangers they face and to educate them in preventative measures.

But it is too late to say anything that can make a difference. I can only hope my aunt and the whole family can survive this difficult time.

My mom keeps doing household chores today, many of them unnecessary just now. moment. But she needs to keep herself busy to keep control of herself. So I didn’t interrupt her.

Have been continually following news about the Wuhan Red Cross. Surprised to find out that I couldn’t get worked up about the news.I can not tell if its because I have become numb to it. After all, this kind of corruption has been going on at the Wuhan Red Cross for years. Or maybe it is that I have just too much to worry about and I simply don’t have time to process it.

If I were to be asked about the reasons for the problems with the Wuhan Red Cross – whether it is they are intentionally stealing donations or just aren’t capable of efficiently allocation resources, I’d say it is the latter for the time being. What leads me to this is not any faith in the ethics or integrity of the Wuhan Red Cross, but just the fact that supplies are swarming from both China and abroad. Given their limited brain power, I’m afraid Wuhan Red Cross can’t even fish in these troubled waters. You heard me right – lining one’s pockets by fishing in troubled waters would require some minimal degree of competence.

Twitter link

This doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t have been corruption. At the beginning of Wuhan Lockdown, I saw someone selling masks with Red Cross logos on Xianyu ( an online tplatform for buying and selling used items ). The seller’s certified address was in Wuhan too. It was ust then that the Wuhan Red Cross started receiving large quantities of donated supplies. Going through seller pages I found it very suspicious. Then they were capabable of selling donated masks to make money for themselves. That page was soon deleted of course.

I saw on the news today that many donated supplies are arriving the Xiehe Hospital directly, bypassing the Wuhan Red Cross. However, I think the most urgent problem is the rapid and efficient allocation of the supplies they have in stock to ease the the shortages in the hospitals. Many discussions online call for the most direct of solutions – May there rise (metaphorically speaking) a wise and responsible “Lord Bright-Sky”, who beheads all the courtiers before the battle. Being forced to wait for the arrival of a noble lord on the scene leave people hopeless. My last comment on this issue is a quote from Weibo — the censored Chinese censored version of Twitter — user Fangfang: “Hubei (Wuhan is Hubei’s capital) officials’ level may not necessarily be China’s worst. Moreover, the performance of the Wuhan Red Cross may be just about the average for a Wuhan government department.

On January 28th, I saw Ma Yiyan’s Weibo story about a single father from Hong’an, Hubei, who was forcibly isolated for suspected infection. His eldest son, who had cerebral palsy was left unattended at home. Ma Yiyan called for help. However, I heard last night that the child had died on the 29th. During the week when his father was forced to be quarantined, he had only eaten two meals. That hit me like a bucket of ice water being poured on my head. There is no essential difference between that child and I. While writing today’s diary, I saw a foreign actor I like posted on ins: Love For Wuhan, Love For Human. Suddenly I couldn’t help myself. Iwept. This world is so fucked up. How is it that we manage to find the strength to keep on living? We can only manage that because of those soft bonds of love that tie us together.

Twitter link

Chinese text:

2月1日 武汉封城第10天






















在写今天的日记时,看到我很喜欢的一位外国演员发了一条ins:Love For Wuhan, Love For Human。



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.
This entry was posted in Health 健康, Literature 文学, Media 媒体, Society 社会 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.