How Is Wuhan Coping With COVID-19? Here’s a First-hand Account
Jade and I developed a close bond, and when I heard about coronavirus in Wuhan, I was concerned about her.
Last year, I lived and worked alongside Jade, a young Chinese student from Wuhan, while we were volunteering as English teachers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We developed a close bond, so when I heard about the outbreak of coronavirus in her hometown in late January, I emailed her asking if she was okay. I got in touch with her again in March, and she agreed to answer some questions so that people outside can get a comprehensive picture of the on-ground situation in Wuhan.
Here are excerpts from our conversation.
Can you introduce yourself? Do you live with family?
My name is Jade. I am 23 years old. I live in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province in China. I live with my parents and grandparents.
What do you think caused the coronavirus outbreak?
Well, scientists still have not figured it out. It is known that coronaviruses circulate in a range of animals. It was initially detected in a group of people who had been associated with a seafood and wild animal market.
When did you realise something was wrong? Were there any early signs?
It was around the two days before the Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year, which fell on 25 January 2020). At that time, there was a considerable increase in the number of people who contracted an unknown virus.
What was the immediate response? What did the authorities tell you to do?
First of all, everyone was required to wear a mask wherever they went. Then the government imposed a lockdown, and all major city transportation was stopped. Special hospitals such as Leishenshan Hospital and Huoshenshan Hospital were built in response to coronavirus. These were completed in around 10 days. Many stadiums and convention centres in Wuhan were also converted into temporary hospitals.
How have you been meeting your basic needs, like getting food, while confined to your home?
Online food delivery services are available to all residents.
Which places in the province are still open? Are the markets completely shut, or are some shops still open?
Hospitals, pharmacies, chain stores and other necessary industries are still open.
How is work being done? How are you passing your time at home?
Online work and e-classes. As for me, I am exercising, doing yoga, cooking, cleaning, chatting on social media, studying, watching videos and so on. But I am so bored!
Suppose you have to leave your house because of an emergency. What is the procedure to do so?
It will be very troublesome if case of some emergency. I know there are many procedures to be followed, and it is quite complicated.
Are there any other changes that you have seen around you, ever since the COVID-19 outbreak?
No, because I have stayed at home for more than 40 days. The only one change that I have observed is that the city has become empty.
Do you know anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19? How are they being treated?
I do not know much about this. But I saw some videos about temporary hospitals and it seems that people there are being treated very well.
Are the available medical facilities adequate?
Many mask factories are being encouraged to increase production. Several countries, as well as local cities and non-governmental organisations have also donated lots of medical supplies.
Are there mandatory check-ups or do people get themselves checked on their own?
First by ourselves, we observe ourselves. Then, if we have any COVID-19-related symptoms, we are supposed to call the hospital.
Do you have access to information about the spread of coronavirus in other provinces and other countries?
Sure, we are updated about everything through social media apps.
Do you think enough is being done to prevent the spread of coronavirus? For how much longer have you been told to stay at home?
Yes, I think so. I think our country has done a lot and has conducted the right measures. You know, just some words cannot give a comprehensive picture, and I understand people outside China cannot fully understand the situation. But I believe we are satisfied with our country.
I really do not know how much longer I’ll have to be indoors, but I really want to go outside!
(The author recently graduated with a BA (Hons) History degree from Lady Shri Ram College. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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