The Survival of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The struggle of those who went back to China during the pandemic

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Don’t we want to live?

Why did we came back while everyone is packing their stuff to catch the first plane out of the reddest country on Earh (North Korea, I see you there, don’t worry). First of all, I’d like to say neither of us is suicidal (I hope he’s not). The reasons for our return are numerous. It’s our established life here. Our work. The apartment we share. I’d love to learn Chinese. Money. The stubborn sense of don’t-panic-it’s-just-media-blowing-everything-out-of-proportions. And a bunch of other stuff.

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Photo taken by the author

Where are we?

I got to disappoint you on this one. We’re not in Wuhan, or Hubei, or anywhere near the virus outbreak. I’m sitting behind the desk in Yanta District, located in southern Xi’an. It’s the capital of Shaanxi province — more than six hundred miles away from the novel virus epicenter.

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Photo from the local social media groups

What can I do right now?

Well, I can go grocery shopping in a couple of days, if I get a special permission from the community office. It’s the only thing that’s open. Grocery shops. Supermarkets. And brave food deliveries for the bravest of people featuring lion-hearthed delivery boys. Everything else — lockdown.

The Hospital building Live Show

The hospital in Wuhan with 2300 new beds is already built. The strangest reality show took place last week. The whole country tuned in on the live feed of construction professionals building the facility in just under ten days. Here is a cool link where you can watch the whole thing built from grounds in sixty seconds. The place is constructed with one purpose in mind — to fight the novel virus. Impressive.

Wash your hands

How to fight the pandemic? The doctors say; “wash your hands.” It’s great when they give such advice. I mean, seriously, the thing put a billion people in quarantine. Canceled numerous flights. Global panic. WHO declared a Global Health Emergency. I’m under observation without any symptoms and without previous history of getting in contact with anyone infected with the virus and the best you could muster is ‘wash your hands’. Great. That’s exactly the assurance I needed. Ok, quirkinesses aside. Wash your hands and don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes. Sounds simple. Follow it. Always. Wash. Your. Hands.

Basic Freedoms

Freedom of movement is _______? I have no idea anymore. Is it even that important? Most people cheer the government’s overreaction to the outbreak. Part of me does to, I’m glad they’re taking this stuff seriously. But for the love of God, if I don’t have any symptoms, and I wear the mask and latex gloves, please let me visit the nearest convenient market. It’s not like I’m super crazy to be outside in the cold fending off a viral outbreak. On the other hand, GO China! You’re doing a good job.

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Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

Silencing whistleblowers

China did what China does best. Censorship. Red tape. Psst!

Inner conflits and more questions

I’m conflicted. As a westerner, you might ask yourself about the ideas of freedom. Is it justified to put the whole country under quarantine? Does the end justify the means? The city of Wuhan and it’s 11 million inhabitants are totally isolated from the rest of the world and put under the microscope. The rest of the country is on the highest alert.

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What the future holds?

No one really knows what the future truly holds. The official holiday won’t be extended, but we’re all under quarantine. Conflicting information is getting out each day.

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