February 25 The 34th Day of the Wuhan City Closure
A friend outside Wuhan “commended me”, saying that out of all her friends, I was the only one whose family had escaped scot-free. Among the families of three other friends, one entire family had gotten infected and been sent to the big. new prefabricated hospital; in a second, both parents had been admitted to the hospital; and in the third, the father was seriously ill with new corona virus pneumonia.
I didn’t know what to say. I ordinarily should have been pleased that both our survival skills and our luck had been recognized. But I couldn’t even smile; it all seemed to be a kind of black humor.
Community network workers on community WeChat networks asked community members to make group purchases of face masks. On the Tengxun Health small order facility, every Wuhan person can make an advance subscription for face masks every 30 days and place an order, pay and arrange for home delivery from a nearby pharmacy all online. Fifty ordinary face masks costs 90 RMB or 1.8 RMB per mask. That is the definitely the lowest price I have seen since the closure of Wuhan but it is still twice the price I paid for face masks I bought in mid-January. I am pleased that I bought 200 face masks then.
The clearest lesson I’ve gotten from my personal experience since the start of the epidemic is that the more people have placed their trust in the words of the Communist Party and the government, the more they have suffered. For people. Like me who have assumed that things are one hundred times worse than what we have been told by now we are starting to breathe sighs of relief.
The official microblog Wuhan Announcements issued this microblog entry at about
midnight last night:
“#GoodEveningWuhan Only those who learn to relax will people once again become satisfied. There are always ups and downs in life. Things can’t always go our way. But we can learn to laugh at our worries and to put them aside. Let’s go Wuhan!”
Accompanying the message was a four word phrase i “Wuhan Will Certainly Win” written in big characters. Seeing that was certainly amusing reading. The Wuhan Epidemic Prevention and Control HQ couldn’t have gotten to the point when they start talking like the Falungong? With the mourning period for many of the newly dead not even over yet, how could they conceivably be saying to those who now have lost family members and shattered homes that they shouldn’t “expect everything to always go their way”? Certainly, it is true that we have to “move on” but that such a very impatient “chicken soup” like consolation message should come from the official mouth of the authorities that is really bad breach of “table manners”.
Perhaps it is just that I have seen so many fake stories being put out that I have finally reached the point that I can’t even manage to get angry anymore.
The Alipay online payments platform and other apps like it on WeChat have a special coronavirus information page where one can read current statistical information. The numbers are very easy to look up but as to whether they are reliable or not, that is another story. According to officially published information, the death rate has remained high for the past several days. This makes it clear that once this pneumonia becomes serious, it certainly is very hard to cure. Whether a patient lives or dies depends entirely upon whether their body can stand up to the punishment. People with mild cases recover fairly easily. However in cases where the virus is especially “sly”, even when the patient is finally cured and can be discharged from the hospital, they still need to be quarantined for fourteen days.
Some classmates who work at semi-public, semi-private “enterprise work units” , even some who Communist Party members, were sent down to work in grassroots communities. I have heard lately that communities are being run much better now and that infected people have all been admitted to the hospital. Their main task has been to ensure that grassroots community work is being handled in an orderly fashion and to help out with tasks such as buying food and medicine. This certainly is a sign for a change for the better. That expression “being sent down” however is one that I don’t like at all. Could it be that Communist Party members are better than the community? I don’t know who first applied that phrase to our present situation but it is I’m used with a baffling sense of superiority.
Recently many of the news reports of how Japan and South Korea have been handling the epidemic on the Chinese internet include commentaries that “they have been copying a lot from the Chinese experience” that is really hard to take. Especially when that phrase comes from the mouths of Wuhan people themselves. WHO officials have been saying “Wuhan is a hero city”, news that every Wuhan WeChat group seems at great pains to forward along. But do we really have anything to be proud of? I don’t know whether all this comes out of not having a brain, not having a conscience, having a low IQ or being especially lacking in humane feelings.
If I were to say who is doing the most beautiful “homework”, I’d have to say that it was North Korea. What they would do is just shoot all the suspected coronavirus cases. But who would want to copy that “homework”?
I don’t want to “dress up” a discussion of something that is serious. Serious matters should be taken seriously. I think it very likely that if someone’s way of speaking and their way of thinking were all “dressed up” then their expression and their logic would be concealed. I would doubt that they have the capacity for serious reflection. It would be as if the builders of the mountains of the Fire spirit and the Lightning spirit were banished from their hometowns, homeless and making a living as they can, where then would be people like those young fire-breathing for hire Chinese cyber-nationalists whose Chinese-language nickname was inspired by those take loads small distances for hire? They’d probably be ridiculing neighboring countries, happy they themselves were just “happily cultivating their own gardens”.
February 23, 2020 diary entry of Wuhan writer Fang Fang was especially worthy of our attention. She wrote:
I suggest that at the highest state central leadership level mobilize the three main communications operating companies (China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom) that they mandatorily create a system for transmitting messages and getting feedback during national emergencies that can send a message to every mobile phone subscriber in China. Every person would be responsible for filling in their personal health card everyday adopting the two-dimensional barcode system for health status reporting that Shenzhen, Hangzhou and some other localities are already using. In addition to the three telecommunications operating companies mentioned above, two other privately-operated internet companies (WeChat Payments and the Alipay) would also be brought into this system. This system would cover the great majority of China’s population of 1.4 billion people. Those people who do not have mobile phones and Alipay accounts in general do not live in regions where the epidemic outbreak is most serious. Most elderly people, with the help of family members will also be able to receive these notifications.
Moreover, the drones made by the Shenzhen-based Dajiang high tech company and many other excellent drone manufacturers (during a national emergency these can be requisitioned) can be used to make drone surveys of epidemic regions. Airborne broadcasts, notifications, and surveillance networks will make it possible to reduce human entry into epidemic-hit areas to a minimum and to maximize work efficiency. This will make it possible to quickly solve the problem of latent infected people who have not yet been identified. This should be our top priority.
Using telephones, WeChat messaging and Alipay to search for people will have another important significance. It will make possible precise and simultaneous tracking of everyone’s movements over a considerable period (from November 1st to the present). No-one will be able to escape it!”
Fang Fang writes that that was her classmate’s suggestion and that she is merely passing it along. Fang Fang’s Diary often has things that are being “passed along” including quite a bit of information about Traditional Chinese Medicine, apparently “just passed along” with a note that this information does not represent my personal views. This makes it all appear so very so very neutral and objective.
Some people on microblogs have been saying, “These writings by Fang Fang are just like a pig in a pig slaughterhouse calling for high voltage electrocuting pig-slaughtering equipment be imported from Germany so that pigs can be slaughtered more efficiently!” No more needs be said.
Today I saw online a video of Michael Jordan words at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service.
Michael Jordan was wonderful. He brought laughter and he brought tears. I really like that American style. Tears flowed freely on the speakers’ platform while down below people sometimes everybody joined in a big laugh. It was genuine and it was wonderful.
I hope that my memorial service will be like that with both tears and laughter with family and friends gathered in a circle telling funny stories about me. If someone will be able to say that I was an interesting character, that will be the greatest honor and commendation I have ever received in this life.
Living a life like this of people featured on Chinese Central Television (CCTV) obituary items who had “noble character who kept well apart from vulgar preoccupations” — how could a life be more boring than that!