I have some things to say, I hope you can listen. They are not nice words to hear, they are not the things you want to hear, they are not the things you expect to hear. You may also disagree with what I say and that’s fine please maintain your own opinion.
I have lived in China for 4 years now. China is not a country I expect you to love expect you to hate or anything. I however love the people, the culture, the food, the traveling, and spirit of China. Look at Libai one of the most profound poets of ancient Chinese literature, renowned for being a drunk who loved to travel (The dream job, yes? No? Ok… Fine..).
However there has been some behavior that has truly gotten on my nerves. Many will say I have been brainwashed, and maybe so, but I also have seen the changes made with my own eyes.
I believe in social isolation and quarantining.
I spent 40+days without leaving my complex.
Yet I feel a need to provide a little back story as to how I was convinced social quarantining was necessary.
On DEC 31 a classmate of mine and I sat on my couch and discussed the trending topic on weibo (Chinese twitter) that said “new respiratory disease” and we wondered about the consequences it would have. We had no idea things would turn out like this.
A month later I sent an email to my family letting them know I was ok. I took appropriate measures. I started to SOCIALLY ISOLATE. Then social isolation got the best of me after 4 days and I saw an ex because he still had my sweater and I wanted coffee. He returned my favorite sweater but I did not get my coffee, so it was still a win of sorts. But then my brain was like where is my coffee, and he was said ‘I still love you’ a lot. It was more stress then necessary, and I learned my lesson.
After that mess it was easy to convince myself to stay home, not only because I might do another stupid thing, but also because I knew I had taken an unnecessary risk. It was great to have time to self reflect and do things I have been meaning to do. I bonded with my kitty, I read Harry Potter in Chinese, I cleaned my house, I started reading the wheel of time, I started doing some research for school, and I got to work through ways for self improvements that have needed to happen.
But I have gone a little off topic. Back to socially isolating.
Living in China most cities have a high population. In Wuhan alone there are 11.9 million people. The fact that Wuhan was put on a total lockdown was super important to keeping numbers down in China, and it was affective, the methods were drastic but affective. However there were people that did not believe that they needed or were not willing to cooperate with the lockdown. This alone increased numbers in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. There was a lady who suppressed her symptoms who went to France and infected other people. There was a case of someone in my province who left Wuhan, and infected people in my province.
Its so important to limit your interactions outside when you don’t know who might be infected, and you don’t know if you will get infected either. If you can just do what the health leaders say for a few months things WILL get better.
In China we are still encouraged to self isolate. Malls are starting to open again, there are very few places that allow indoor dining, and still going into grocery stores, and malls and the few indoor dining places open al require you to have your temperature taken, and you are supposed to register so that if anyone that gets sick its easier to contact more potentially sick people. It has also been legally required that people wear masks when leaving the house, so when I got a haircut both me and the stylist wore masks. And all these efforts to make things better show (the masks being a touchy topic I know, but it is law in China at the moment). China has had no new local instances for 2 days (which is amazing). Are there issues, and things to be worked on and things that can be better? Yes! There are things that I was not happy about. I had to get an entry exit pass for complex that allowed me to leave every other day (I wasn’t leaving my house anyways but it did make me uncomfortable).
HOWEVER!!! I understand that its hard to come to term with the sacrifices that need to be made to self quarantine and social isolate. I am happy to make the sacrifice not only for my own health and safety and for everyone else’s health and safety. When the choice is to sacrifice my daily vices and comforts for two months, rather than worry about the health and safety of everyone for months on months on months I will gladly go with the sacrificing those vices so that things get better faster.
I hurt so much for the pain that is happening in the world right now. It really digs into my heart to think that so many people are struggling. But I also believe that the world will recover, but lets do what we can to make that happen faster than it is right now.
Please socially isolate, and stop buying all the toilet paper.