Wuhan Diary #7: Eleventh Day of the Wuhan City Closure — February 2, 2020

Graphic by 巴丢草 Badiucao

February 2nd, the Eleventh Day of the Wuhan Lockdown

Before I started today’s diary entry, I just searched for “face mask” on Xian Yu (an online second-hand goods market platform) and set the location as “Wuhan”. I found that there were a few people selling face masks with newly-registered or never-used zombie accounts.

I can’t tell if they are selling fake products, if they were Red Cross employees reselling donations, or if they have special procurement channels. But I decided to revise the judgement I made yesterday about the Red Cross.

Considering the cost and high threshold for doing evil things, I thought they didn’t have the competence needed to line their pockets from the donations. Judging from what I have learned thus far, however, I may have overestimated them.

For example, a reporter filmed a video clip showing someone transporting a box of 3M face masks from a Red Cross temporary warehouse to a car belonging to the Wuhan government. “Government Use Only” was painted on the vehicle. They didn’t even bother to switch to a different car. Would you consider this a sign that they have “no principles” or that they are just “unbelievable stupidity”? I can’t say. I only know that it must come from the way they live their daily lives. The only difference this time is that it was exposed for all to see.

Afterwards, the video and its related news were removed from the “Hot Topics” section of that Weibo microblog and the original blog were deleted.

What does it mean when something is “removed from Hot Topics”? It means that “I don’t care whether you have seen it or not. I only care that you don’t see it when I don’t want you to see it.” Yes, this is like the old story about “to plug your own ears while stealing a bell”. They know that we know. They also know that we know that they know but they don’t care one bit. As long as you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. This is the basic logic of “maintaining social stability”. We see them stealing the bell; we can hear it ringing too but must pretend that is is not happening.

If you noticed what the expenditures were for maintaining social stability in the government’s annual budget, you would understand how blantantly unscrupulous they are and to what depths of stupidity they can plunge for the sake of protecting their inexhaustible privileges.

A few days ago there was an argument on a Wuhan local WeChat group that I participate in. Someone had mentioned that a family member, after a CT scan confirmed their coronavirus pneumonia diagnosis, was told by the physician to return home and put themselves into home quarantine. Another member of the chat group started abusing him, accused him of “spreading rumors” and added “I hope your entire family dies!” I haven’t written about this. There is just no way that I can explain it. I can’t even explain why “I can’t explain it”.

I don’t know why that person starting cursing someone out about something that is happening around us everyday. Moreover, this is a local Wuhan group on WeChat. This is the Weibo microblog. I feel that at best that person has some kind of mental problem. Recently, our group of friends has been discussing just how long this “closure” period will continue. At present, it looks like two conditions would have to be fulfilled in order to end the closure:

1) All of the infected people exhibit symptoms.

2) All the infected people get medical treatment and are all put into isolation and cured. The first condition is something that we are all working on. We must wait patiently for God to call out our name. But that second condition? At present the number of infected people far, far exceeds our original estimate. If we include asymptomatic virus carriers and people with mild symptoms, would we have enough hospital beds to accommodate everyone?

According to numbers given on the news broadcasts, the two new hospitals are expected to have a capacity of about 2500 beds. I am afraid that will not be enough even for the seriously ill patients. Recently we have already seen reports of infected people who deliberately spread the virus to other people. It is very important to treat all symptomatic patients the same way.

Today I saw some reports about temporarily appropriating some hotels to isolate people who have mild or moderate symptoms. However, the central air conditioning of the hotels I am familiar with are seem to be unsuitable for receiving and treating infected people. Be that as it may, under the current conditions of extremely constrained resources, would putting all those people together in one place really ensure that they get good medical care? Wouldn’t that just turn out to be the beginning of a new tragedy?

When will it end? I simply have no idea. Sometimes I get very pessimistic. Has Wuhan become a kind of smelter for tempering human material? The ones who make it through this tempering process survive, those who don’t die, until the process finally reaches its end.

There was a suicide yesterday. It is said that a “diagnosed” patient couldn’t be admitted to the hospital because the hospital was overloaded. He worried about infecting his wife and child if he were to return home. The lack of public transport meant he would have to walk a very long distance to and from the hospital in order to get treated. Therefore, he jumped off the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge. This is not the first suicide I’ve heard of these past few days. I know very well the place where it happened though. I may even have rubbed shoulders with this person in the street sometime. Photos and videos of this incident make me very sad.

Twitter link

I can’t verify that it all happened the way that I heard it. But I am convinced that there must be people going through this. While I could think of 100 reasons why they shouldn’t give up on life. I could also genuinely understand the fear and hopelessness they feel. Since I began writing this diary, I’ve tried to stay as objective and as accurate as I possibly can.

Every news item I mention here, I try to confirm by comparing different sources in order to convince myself that it is accurate. I try to stay as calm as I can while I describe these things. But I realize now that I was wrong. There’s just no way for me to be completely “objective”. I am no bystander for I am one of those who is suffering.

This helplessness surrounds me. It is my friends, my family and those close acquaintances I’ve called “uncle” and “aunt”. I can hear them gasping when they have trouble breathing. I can’t bear to reflect on my own attitude to all of this. Is my so-called “objectivity” and “calm” merely hypocrisy and cold-bloodedness? I can get angry! I can get so angry that I shake with anger! I have heard a lot more stories. I don’t have the proof to verify them, but I know! I know which ones must be true. I know! I know that many people are dying without making a sound. They have been people full of life, not numbers. But in death they will not be recorded even as numbers.

Even if every single person in Wuhan were to die, I want someone to remember for us just who the murderers were.

Chinese text:

2月2日 武汉封城第11天

在写今天的日记之前,我刚刚上闲鱼(内地线上二手交易平台),搜索“口罩”,定位“武汉”,可以发现有几个口罩卖家明显是新注册或明显没使用过的僵尸账号。

我现在还无法判断是售卖假货,还是红十字会的人在倒卖捐赠物资,或是确有某些特殊渠道。但是我决定收回昨天对于武汉红十字会的判断。

我之前认为他们现在没有能力中饱私囊,是考虑到作恶的成本和门槛。但是从现在接收到的一些信息来看,我可能太高估他们了。

比如昨天有记者拍到有人从红十字会的临时仓库搬出一箱3M口罩放上了武汉市政府的公务用车,车身上赫然还有“公务用车”的字样——他们甚至都没想要换一辆车。你说这是一种“肆无忌惮”还是一种匪夷所思的“愚蠢”?我不知道。我只知道,这一定是深植入他们日常的一种生活哲学,只是这次暴露了出来。

然后,这个视频及相关的新闻已经撤下了微博“热搜”,连原微博都被删掉了。

“撤下热搜”是什么意思?是【我不在乎你看过没,我只在乎我不想让你看到的时候你就看不到】。是的,这是一种“掩耳盗铃”,他们知道我们知道,他们也知道我们知道他们知道,但是他们根本不在乎,只要这一切看不到,就是不存在。这就是维稳的基础逻辑。我们看到了他们在偷铃铛,我们也听到了铃声,但是我们只能装作什么都没有发生。

如果有关注每年财政预算里的维稳开支就会明白,什么是他们“肆无忌惮”或“愚蠢”的底气,是什么保障了他们享之不竭的特权。

我所在的一个武汉本地群里,前几天发生了一次争吵。当有人提到家人经CT“确诊”医生要求回家自我隔离时,有一个人跳出来进行了非常激烈的辱骂,称对方“造谣”,诅咒其“死全家”。我一直没有下笔记录这件事,但始终在我心里无法释怀,我甚至自己都无法解释这种“无法释怀”的原因是什么。

我不知道这个跳出来咒骂的人为什么会质疑这件每天都在我们身边发生的事情,毕竟这是本地群,不是微博。我甚至觉得,最“好”的情况可能是这个人精神有问题吧。

最近我们朋友间常常在讨论,这个“禁足”阶段会持续到什么时候,按照现在的情况,可能需要满足两个要求:

1、所有感染者全部出现症状

2、所有的感染者全部就医,完成隔离治疗

第一条是我们每个人都在做的,耐心等待着上帝的点名。但是第二条呢?按照现在的情况,感染者的人数是远远超出我们预估的一个数量,如果算上病毒携带者、轻症患者,是否有足够的医院床位接收这些病人?

根据现在新闻里给出的数据,两座新建医院预计床位总共2500左右,恐怕甚至不够重症病人的收治。

最近已经看到一些确诊感染的病人故意传播病毒的消息了,将所有有症状的患者统一收治是很必要的事情。今天看到有报道,会临时征收一些酒店作为轻症、中度感染病人的隔离治疗场所,但是据我所知酒店的中央空调系统似乎不适合传染病人收治,何况我也会担心,在现在这样物资极度缺乏的情况下,将这些病人集中,真的能保障他们得到很好的治疗吗?会不会成为另一场悲剧的开始?

什么时候才是尽头?我不知道,有时候甚至会悲观的想,是不是在拿武汉炼蛊,直到每个人都感染上病毒,活下来的人留下,死去的人离开,才算是结束?

昨天发生了一起自杀事件,据说是一位“确诊”感染的患者,医院没有床位收治,回到家担心会传染给妻儿,看病没有公共交通,往返医院要走很远很远……于是,他从武汉长江大桥上跳了下去。这不是我这几天听闻的第一起自杀,但这个地点是我最熟悉的,甚至这个人都可能曾与我擦肩而过,照片和视频让我特别难过。我现在还不知道是不是确如传闻所说,但我相信现在一定有人经历着这些。我可以找出一百个理由告诉他不必放弃自己的生命,但我也能实实在在的理解他的恐惧与绝望。

从写这个日记开始,我要求自己尽量保持客观、真实。落笔的消息,我会进行多方证实,至少是能说服我的才会写下来。我尽可能去冷静的描述这一切,但是现在,我觉得我错了,我不可能做到完全的“客观”,因为我不是旁观者,而是亲历者。

当那些无能为力就发生在我的身边——我的朋友、我的亲人、我曾叫过“叔叔”“阿姨”的熟人——我甚至能感受到他们呼吸困难时的喘息声,我会忍不住反省,我的所谓“客观”“冷静”,是不是一种虚伪、一种冷血。

我是会愤怒的!我会气到颤抖!我还听到了很多,我没有证据去证实,但是我知道!知道那些是真的!我知道!

我知道有很多人正在悄无声息的死去!他们是活生生的人,他们并不是数字,但他们连数字都排不上。

就算武汉人都死完了,我也希望有人替我们记住,那些人就是杀人凶手!

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, 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.