What was it like inside the quarantine zone in Wuhan City?

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As one of the people living in Wuhan, I feel the need to share the real image around here.

Yes, Wuhan has been quarantined since 10 am this morning, roughly 12 hours ago. Trains, highways, and airlines that originate here have all been cut and trains that pass by will not stop at the station. Ways to leave Wuhan are limited. But inside, the city itself is still alive, people still get around to do everyday stuff as well as Chinese new year stuff.

Quarantined does not necessarily mean passively staying at home and doing nothing. It means doing more than usual. I have helped to have the whole house cleaned and disinfected. I have also helped to have the food bought. Yes, people are storming to stock food and medical supplies. Yes, medical masks and vegetables are running short. And YES the whole Chinese gov is mobilizing the resources to ensure the city of Wuhan does not run out of supplies and that the people of Wuhan can still live our lives.

But the danger is real. Family get-togethers are cancelled and instead we wish each other a healthy 2020 via calls or using Wechat. Friends gatherings are cancelled and instead we help one another to buy medical supplies and play games online. Company annual meetings are cancelled and instead we collect red envelopes from the boss. In short we avoid going out and take all precautions to try to stay healthy. Though some of my neighbors are already coughing and some are having problems breathing, they are yet to catch a fever and they are taking medicine to ease the symptoms.

Out in the streets are countless brave medical workers who work day and night to contain the virus. Their actions manifested a complete disregard for personal safety as they care for the infected even without thorough protection and some already fall victim to the virus. The shortage of medical supply is real and they are asking the factories to manufacture more masks and stuff.

The universities with state-level biochemical labs HUST and Wuhan University are taking a close look at the internal details of the virus itself. As for those who are infected, what to worry other than his own life as the gov already covers it for everyone infected by this new virus. Yes, it is hard to get treated as there are a lot of people in line but it is getting better. The hospitals are already full of patients and this is an issue waiting to be solved.

The pictures below show that the hospitals within the city are in great need of medical supplies and they as well as the Red Cross are open to donations. A big problem is that the transport is nearly all cut, thus making it hard to deliver supplies to said facilities. Normally the delivery should arrive in a 3 days time but as it is Spring Festival these days the delivery system is running short of hands and it takes more than 1 week to deliver. Now, as the central government is stepping in to help Wuhan with the situation, I believe more workers will be helping.

The link below shows that Wuhan gov just had a meeting to have a temporary emergency hospital built in Caidian—a small region far away from central Wuhan to treat all patients with this new virus, just like how Beijing gov did with SARS years ago. It says that the planned new hospital that is required to hold at least 1k more patients will be built within 6 days. The Wuhan gov is looking for designers to help with the planning from all universities in the city. I have little doubt that this would be done rather soon.

In short, life in quarantined Wuhan is not that hard as many people tend to believe. We still try to go on with our lives as our gov is already doing a good job in dealing with this issue. Those who are not infected and are not ill need not worry so much. Just do basic house disinfection and wear masks wherever we go. Wash hands thoroughly, eat food well cooked and exercise every day. STAY indoor as long as we can to reduce the risks. It isn’t that hard. The real hard time lies ahead.

I will keep updating in case of things happening.

Updating on 25th Jan.

It’s Spring Festival today and many people across the globe are having a good time with their family. But not us. While watching the New Year’s Gala everyone in the family is concerned about what comes next. And here are some updates to the already serious situation.

The picture below shows that Hubei Gov has asked all schools in Hubei to postpone the date when schools open. ALL schools means every kindergarten, primary schools, middle schools as well as universities. I am currently studying in HUST and the notice has already been called out to all students that we must not return to school early and we should only return when it calms down.

This picture shows that the Central District of Wuhan city is going to prohibit private mobile cars from going onto the streets and only those cars used for supply transport, public affairs, and some free vehicles organized by the government will be allowed onto the streets. This policy has caused great controversy as people are worried that should they become the ill they could not be taken to the hospital as there are no vehicles available and they will suffocate to death. I myself is not so fond of this one either. It seems to me that the only reason they put forward this policy is to forbid Wuhan citizens from going out to other districts of China but as the city is already in quarantine this policy might not be that necessary to me. Many of my friends are still debating on this……

So as of now, we are still fine. The food is abundant as more resources are being relocated towards Wuhan and we no longer worry about the prices of vegetables as there is quite enough for people to eat. Medical supplies are still falling short and many people across the globe are helping us with that. I appreciate all help sincerely, from the depth of my heart. THANK YOU.

I will keep updating. Till the end of this catastrophe.

Updating on 29th Jan. Not so much has changed as everything is being handled in orderly fashion. We Wuhaners have more confidence in winning this battle against the Coronavirus than before as the Country is standing behind us and I am grateful for every help from all over the world.

The picture below is the emergency hotline should anyone wish for an emergency ride to the hospital. The prohibition of private mobile cars going to the streets is not affecting our lives too much, thanks to the community. I am in Wuchang district and if I ever need to get an emergency ride, I will first call my community to report my case and if the community has cars ready in place, I will simply get in the car. Wuhan gov has arranged to let all communities in every district in Wuhan to get at least a few cars to use in case of emergency. I am not that worried by now.

As for the 2 new hospitals, the design has been made and approved. The necessary protection is being done, like the layer that prevents contaminated water from being absorbed into the ground. The picture below shows the design map of the project. It suggests that the main designer had organized a team of 60 people to work 60 hours to deliver the design. Now we can simply wait for the project to finish and to be put into use to cure more people.

Here’s the link to watch the building process of the 2 hospitals online. We say that we can watch the broadcast live to feel the confidence and happiness. It is true as it is always happy to know people have not lost hope.

Yesterday I went out to buy necessities like food and drugs and masks. This is the line outside the drug store where people wait to buy some masks and some disinfectant. Everything was in order.

Meat and vegetable are all abundant. Other provinces like Shandong are delivering fresh vegetables in large quantity and we are mostly sure that tomorrow more food will arrive and we are sure not to starve.

Also, there are still some fast noodles in stock. Days ago there were literally not even one bowl left. Fast noodles are convenient as many don’t want to get up to make himself/herself a nice meal. They just want to pass the boring days. The caption reads that as days go by more fast noodles will be available and calls on the customers not to be anxious.

In the special sector in the supermarket where they sell masks and disinfectants, we can see there are many on the shelf, though the price is quite expensive. But I feel in this time of emergency, I can still settle for 100 yuan for 10 masks. (The drugstore that I went to provide surgical masks for 4.5 yuan each thus I didn’t purchase more here)

In all it is still good here, the supplies are running in and what we can do now is just to wait for the cure to come out and the virus to be contained. The only problem we are having so far—and I believe many Chinese are also having this problem—is that we are just bored to death. We don’t know what to do staying indoor every day. Take my mom as an example, she is becoming a bit more anxious day after day. I recommend her to watch some operas and told her about the Game of Thrones series and she accepted the offer. Now it is 2 am in the morning and she is still watching it !!! The same woman who blames me for sleeping late now decides to watch TV series all night!!! This virus surely changes some things lol.

I shall keep updating. I might not be able to update daily as I still have to help out the family business. But for sure I will update. Stay tuned.

Updating at 5 pm, 29th Jan.

A neighbor of mine got ill.

She first went to the community clinic but she couldn’t get proper treatment as many doctors in the community had been drafted to fight the new virus in the major hospitals. She had a fever and she kept coughing for days but the hospital cannot admit her as there are just no more beds. The community clinic advised her to go back and take some medicine to see if she can heal herself. She took the medicine and stayed in bed for days but it worsened. Then she reported her case to a major hospital nearby and they treated her. She was not infected by this new virus, she got infected by flu.

But what frightens me is what she says after she went back. She told me what she saw in the hospital. Many people, above 40 year olds, got ill not by this new virus, and could not get proper treatment, just like her. She herself was lucky to survive those days indoor. Many failed to survive these days—starting since the outbreak— as ‘Winter is always to take some lives away’.

Old and ill people are more likely to leave their loved ones as during winter it is cold and their body is weaker than that of warmer times. They may not be infected by this new virus, they just had bad luck. They got ill and couldn’t get treated as there are just too many people like them and the medical workers are not enough to cure them all. Some of them did die due to lack of medical treatment other than this new virus. And this reminds me of the same case during SARS as many who died in 2003 were not killed by SARS but rather dragged to death due to shortage of medical help.

So it is a catastrophe. People are dying. Even when we try our best to win there are always casualties. May their souls rest in peace.

Updating on 30th Jan.

Today’s news is quite a relief to me. Reports have shown that in several provinces the number of the infected stopped growing. This shows the effect of the quarantine which successfully prevents more people from getting infected. More patients are also getting cured as the doctors found that several already existing medicine can be used to fight the virus. This shows that the virus is not unbeatable and it is already on its way to its demise. Maybe it is a bit too early for me to say it but we really can use some good news.

It is sunny today. The temperature rose to 12 ℃ and the sun shines bright. In one way it is good as warmer means lesser people falling ill but in another way it is bad as spring is coming to spread the virus even further. People are predicting which way it might be. Days ago some professor predicted that on 15th of the first month of Lunar year (8th Feb) we will see another huge rise of the number of the infected, and today another professor claim that by that time the virus would be eliminated. Well, people can get desperate and hopeful at the same time it seems. For me I believe it is going to spread further not only in China but also in other countries but I hate to see that happen. More countries should try to contain it and to fight it the way China is doing now. In that way maybe we can really win the battle.

Updating on 31st Jan.

It surprises me that many still don’t know that the whole of Hubei province has already been in quarantine since 27th Jan, 4 days ago. Wuhan being the centre of Hubei province it is easy to spread the virus to other cities near it. While the situation in other provinces are still in an early stage of development, the situation in Hubei Province is really bad. Quarantine is really necessary it seems as it really limit the virus from a countrywide outbreak.The picture below shows that all cities except Shennongjia in Hubei Province are already in quarantine since 27th Jan.

 

So still be prepared for a long war. Even if other provinces in China are seeing a slower growth of the infected, we still need to win this battle in Hubei Wuhan. Even if in China the virus is contained, we still need to win this battle in other countries as it further spreads. Stay strong and hold on.

And I would really love to introduce one special person, the president of the Jinyintan Hospital who has been taking in patients from all over the city ever since the initial outbreak. This one particular hospital is the place where the front line lies. During this month the medical workers hardly ever rest as there are too many to attend to. What’s so special about this president is that his wife also got infected by this coronavirus on 13th Jan.

AND he himself is suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which already made his legs too weak to walk fast. He knows that his time is limited but he still devotes his life to fighting this virus. His wife being infected means he cannot see her even though he is the president. In this time of emergency we really need more people with devotion like him. There are some good news though. One is that his wife got cured and got out last night. Another is that the Jinyintan Hospital cured a total number of 20 infected patients in one day and they got out today. Jinyintan Hospital has cured 72 infected patients throughout the epidemic situation which is really something we can celebrate about.

The picture below is a photo of him. The news says that after the first 7 patients got admitted into Jinyintan Hospital, over 600 medical workers have been working day and night at the front line ever since, him included.

 

This picture below shows that 20 infected patients whose ages range from 15 to 64 have left hospital today thanks to hard work from Jinyintan Hospital. 72 patients have left in total thusfar.

 

Another wonderful news just popped out while I was writing this update. One of the two hospitals, Huoshen Mount Hospital is expected to be put into use at the night of 2nd Feb and be able to take in patients on 3rd Feb which is 3 days from now. Another hospital Leishen Mount Hospital is expected to be put into use on the night of 5th Feb and be able to take in patients on 6th Feb. These are both wonderful news. People who have been watching their construction live will finally be rest assured that their supervision had worked.

Below is the publication of the news. Huoshen Mount Hospital has an area of 34 thousand square meters is expected to have 1k beds while Leishen Mount Hospital has an area of 75 thousand square meters is expected to have 1.5k beds.

 

Below is the news saying that the Leishen Mount Hospital had its electricity supply ready at night on 29th Jan. I came by this piece of news only today but I still share it here to show that the project is being done.

 

And here are some design sketch of the newly built hospitals, both inside and outside.

These are how it looks from the inside. Surely it is still unfinished but we can see some essential parts getting ready. Wait till they are completely done and we shall have a better look at it by then.

So work is getting done. People are getting cured. Hope is getting strengthened. Life is sure to be better tomorrow.

Updating on 2nd Feb.

First I thank all people out there who express their support for people in Wuhan as well in China. This is really a hard time and we need to pull ourselves together and do whatever is necessary to keep our life going.

I didn’t update yesterday simply because I was upset. Upon getting up last morning I noticed a series of news that made my heart sink.

The total number of the infected had spiked through 10k. Many have died and many are dying. Little can be done to help that.

And there’s more. A teacher in my school who would be teaching us next semester found his wife’s parents infected by the coronavirus. Now he is desperate to find ways to get them admitted into the hospital. But as I previously mentioned, the hospitals are already too full to admit any more even if they wanted to help.

Also, people have found out the Red Cross of Wuhan had been holding materials such as masks and protective suits that should have been given out to medical workers in hospitals days ago at their own warehouses. Also, people are raising questions as to why they gave little supply to the Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, aka HUST, which is a very major hospital while giving tons of masks to a rather less known hospital whose specialty is delivering babies. People were blaming the Red Cross yesterday all day and today the State Council issued a special team from Beijing to Wuhan to supervise the work of the Red Cross of Wuhan. Maybe they will be delivering better performance under supervision. If not they will all lose their jobs.

Helplessness really can drag people down. I got drowned in my emotion yesterday all day and I didn’t step out until today. Even when more people are falling ill, hope is never lost and we should be able to see the 2 new hospitals taking patients starting tonight.

Below is a link to a video of the inside of the finished Huoshen Mount Hospital. In the video, we can learn about 4 essentials for every quarantined patient. First a buff area where doctors and nurses get disinfected. Second a box that opens both ways that helps to deliver food and medicine to the patients. Inside the box there are UV lamps to help disinfect. Third the ventilation system which helps to get contaminated air out and fresh air in. Fourth there is a bathroom for every room.

There is also more news regarding the 2 new hospitals. This picture says that Huoshen Mount Hospitals has finished its basic construction and is starting to get indoor decoration as well as medical preparation done. Leishen Mount Hospital is 65% ready.

 

The picture below says that president Xi has authorized to have 1400 medical personnel from the military to handle the task after Huoshen Mount Hospital is ready. Many of these people from the military have the experience as well as the confidence to fight the coronavirus based on their earlier participation during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and Ebola.

 

 

As the country stands firmly behind us we the people in Wuhan should also bring out the best in us. This is not a time to spread fear but to boost confidence. So this title of CNN really makes me wonder……

 

WE the people of Wuhan, Hubei are never the outcasts. WE the people of Wuhan, Hubei are not the unwanted. We are people, with flesh, with blood, with minds. WE will NOT lose hope and China will NEVER abandon us. We WILL pull it off, no matter what.

Updating at the night of 2nd Feb, 10pm.

HOORAY! The Huoshenshan Hospital is officially ready to take patients. Below are some photos from a friend of mine whose father is a senior manager in the construction team. She shared these with us and I post them here. As we can see it is fully equipped with most essential systems, even the equipment to put out fire should one break out. The stuff on top of the head of every bed is what I believe to be oxygen delivering system. As for those monitors and lines I am no expert in this but I believe life support system is also available.

 

 

As we can see some places were still under construction this morning and not everything was in place (these photos were taken roughly 12 hours ago.) Later the official media let out the completed version.

 

The news says that it is designed as a combat hospital which includes Reception Area, Negative Pressure ward building, ICU, Medical Tech Department, Data room, Central Supply warehouse, temporary Waste storage room, Ambulance Wash room etc. (I am not from the military so I don’t know the exact meaning of those rooms, I just translate what I can)

 

About 6 hours ago the handover from the Wuhan gov to the military took place. The picture below shows the signing of the paper work. The person on the left is the mayor of Wuhan city and the person on the right is Senior Colonel Zhang Sibing who is now the director of the Huoshenshan Hospital.

 

And also, we should not forget those who should take credit for what has been done. This includes all designers, all managers, all workers as well as those who were around to help them. Some of them are really really exhausted as they devote everything to finishing the project on time. They have hardly gotten a sound sleep ever since the beginning. This worker sleeping here isn’t alone. There are literally pictures of dozens of them sleeping on the floor to get some rest. I give them my deepest respect and gratitude as without them nothing would have been accomplished.

 

Updating on 1 AM, 4th Feb.

Bad things are really happening all around the world, all across the country. Roughly 24 hours ago an earthquake with the magnitude of 5.1 hit Chengdu ,Sichuan. One of my friends lives there and he said that where he lives is just 40km away from the source of the earthquake. His house was shaking and he felt like the end of the world. Fortunately nobody was injured. But this is really a bad sign. Maybe 2020 is a year of disasters.

 

A city near Wuhan called Ezhou (鄂州) is also under serious condition by now. My relatives who live there tell me that medical workers are even more scarce compared to Wuhan. The gov has been focusing on containing the virus in Wuhan and it is easy to neglect the need of nearby smaller cities. What’s worse the education level there is also not enough for the populace to realize the danger of the virus during early days of the outbreak. Even when Wuhan had been put into quarantine, citizens there were still happily gathering with each other despite the gov and the community officials told them not to. And now the situation is almost out of control…The picture below is titled: ’Each household in the main district is allowed to appoint one person to go onto the streets to buy essentials every 2 days’. All other outdoor activities are forbidden. It is really much much harder there…….

 

Likewise, some radical communities here will also limit access both in and out. The picture below is the community where a friend of mine lives. She says that nearly all the gates of this community has been shut like this one, except one small door.The officials claim that this will help them to get temperature of everyone going in or out through the gate. As nearly everyone stays indoor, this does not affect that much.

 

Staying indoor really can inspire people to do creative stuff. Another friend of mine wanted to eat baozi but due to the quarantine he could not get any. So he helped his family to make some baozi starting from mixing flour to steaming.Even when the baozi are not very good looking I am sure they would taste well 🙂

 

And there’s some question regarding the construction of Leishenshan Hospital. As Huoshenshan Hospital is already taking in patients, Why is Leishenshan Hospital not ready yet? As we can see Huoshenshan Hospital was built in a modularized way, the rooms, the systems, they were all in place before installation. They need only to be well organized to be put in the right place. Leishenshan Hospital was not built in that way. Unlike Huoshenshan Hospital which will be taken apart after the end of the crisis, Leishenshan Hospital is to stay there and to provide medical services to people nearby for years to come. So they build it in a more solid way. Not to mention Leishenshan Hospital can take in about 1.6k patients according to official numbers, which is 600 more beds compared to Huoshenshan Hospital. These pictures below are photos of Leishenshan Hospital , also from my friend who provided the inside photos of Huoshenshan Hospital.

 

Tonight, as I type, the government is transporting the infected patients from local hospitals to Huoshenshan Hospital. After tonight I believe more infected patients will be able to get admitted and treated. This picture shows what I think to be stream of ambulance that contain the patients passing by. I sincerely wish those medical workers all the best as they are the only solution to solving the current situation. May they be well.

 

Updating at 2 AM, 5th Feb.

I should be going to bed by now as I had a rather tiring day today but I still want to post some updates so that people can know what is happening at this very moment. I read posts from Hubei Daily to get informed and I trust it to be a reliable source. Being the news outlet solely for Hubei Province its coverage of life around here is normally accurate.

I was worried that I might soon run out of fresh vegetable but today my community officials told us in the Wechat group of all residents here that they can help to have the fresh vegetable delivered to us from outskirts of the city by a group of farmers. The price is 50 yuan for 8 kg of different vegetables, including carrots, cabbages,potatoes,etc. I ordered one package and they will likely be making the delivery tomorrow morning. I saw on the ordering list that many communities around here had also placed orders to them. And now I can stay indoor without going out for another week 🙂

Last night the ambulances were not on their way to deliver the patients to Huoshenshan Hospital, instead they were going to the local hospital to wait till sunrise to pick them up. This morning the first wave of critical patients had been admitted into Huoshenshan Hospital. The link below has a lot of pictures both outside and inside.

In every room there are 2 hospital beds.Every room has its own bathroom, wash table,toilet,water heater equipped. In the buff area outside the rooms, there is another wash table for medical workers to get disinfected. All the place was designed with the aim to contain a contagious virus with characteristics of respiratory tract infection just like this one. 3 CT machines is currently available. Title:’Huoshenshan Hospital start taking in patients’

And for obvious reasons, 3 leader officials in Red Cross of Hubei have been punished for they failed to carry out their duty to deliver medical supplies. 3 leader officials in 3 Wuhan gov departments also have been punished. The vice commissioner of Statistics Department of Wuhan has been fired, and general guess is that he might be responsible for the spread of early misinformation. He might be the person who ordered to ignore the initial outbreak and keep the statistics low thus caused the infection to breakout. Both Links below.

Many people around the world are concerned about this one problem : There are just not enough beds to take in all infected people. 2 new hospitals yes but that is less than 3k beds added. How to quarantine those infected and limit their access to other people is one big question. And finally the gov has come up with a solution (which many citizens have been urging Wuhan gov to take since the initial outbreak) which is to arrange stadiums as well as empty buildings such as schools or government buildings to take in patients ,normally younger and stronger, who are not in critical condition. Unlike those in major local hospitals, these patients normally only suffers from coughing and light fever without other complications. By taking them into so called local shelter cabin hospitals (方舱医院) they can get admitted and be tracked. If anyone’s condition worsens they can get treated quicker compared to that when quarantined at home. After all, it is better to let them know they are in a hospital with medical workers around other than staying home, with no help available.

Wuhan government has ordered 14 places in total to get prepared to take in patients. There are at least one local cabin hospital in every district of Wuhan and their bed numbers range from 300 to 2000, and that is another more 8000 beds to come. For instance in Wuchang district where I live, the local cabin hospital is Hongshan Stadium which contains over 800 beds. Should I get infected, as long as I am not in critical condition, I will be receiving medical care there. The workers as well as volunteers are working day and night to prepare the beds, quilts, pillows for patients to come. As it is still early spring and sometimes it is cold at night, the buildings without air conditioners also prepared eletrothermal blankets to help patients keep warm. Links below have tons of pictures as well as videos of these local cabin hospitals.

Another 20 more mobile cabin hospitals are also going to Wuhan. These mobile cabin hospitals are from the military. They have great motility as well as adaptability and they can serve as emergency hospitals during special occasions. They did an outstanding job in saving people during several earthquakes in China years ago, including 2008 Wenchuan and 2010 Yushu. The picture below shows their earlier work. Source is CCTV.

Last great news is that one Chinese Academy of Engineering academician Lilanjuan says that during vitro tests her team found 1 medicine that has the ablity to control the virus 280 times as well as limit replication of the virus compared to control group, and another 1 medicine that has the ability to control the virus 60 times while limiting the virus’s effect on normal cells compared to control group, both in their respective concentration. Her team says that these 2 medicine are currently being used on patients in Zhejiang Province and if the effect is good they will push it to more places. Well isn’t that just wonderful. People are really getting cured now 🙂 Link below. Title:’Academician Lilanjuan publishes great results: 2 medicine can effectively control the new coronavirus’

So even though it is a new kind of coronavirus, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it cannot be beaten by using some old methods. Humanity will prevail!

Updating at 22 pm, 5th Feb. I wish to sleep earlier today.

A dull day it is today. NO big news. NO relieving stories. Just another spike of the number of the infected. 20k confirmed case and 20k suspected case in total. About 300 are cured today but compared to those infected this is a rather tiny number.

Please understand. This is a virus. It is contagious. It is deadly (official number is 2.1% death rate).The only thing it can do is to influence people in a negative way.

People are dying. And if we fail to contain it more people will be dying.

People are suffering. As I said spring festival is normally a time for people to spend money and have fun. Now all business are losing money, whether it be a stall that sells fruits, or a big restaurant that hosts family reunion dinners. Big business will likely be able to survive but those small businesses? Some invest their livelihood on those fruits and vegetables which normally would be selling well during winter but now they can only watch it rot and lose everything. It is hard for people to make a living. This is just too hard…

The reason I keep writing positive stuff instead of negative stuff here is that I need to keep myself positive so that I can keep those close to me positive too. There are tons of bad news ever since the beginning. If I spend hours writing sad things I will get drowned in it. I cannot let them eat me alive. Otherwise, more will be lost.

I heard about a postgraduate in HUST where I am currently studying. After her father passed away days ago due to this virus, her mother also got infected. She wanted to save her mom but there were just no more beds available at that time. She turned to the university for help and thankfully Union Hospital of HUST organized to take her in. Now her mom is being treated. Maybe she will survive, maybe she will not. There is literally nothing we can do to help her. (The teachers and students have already donated money and medical stuff but that cannot decide if she lives) If her mom dies, she will be an orphan who lose her parents in 1 month. If her mom lives, she will still carry the burden of the family vacated by her father’s death.

She just had bad luck. That could be me. That could be any of us. Not just people in Wuhan, Hubei, or even China. Similar cases could happen to anyone. Plz cherish one another while you still can.

Wish tomorrow I have some good news to share.

Updating at 1 am, 7th Feb.I was expecting an uneventful day until all sad news broke out just a few hours ago.

A newborn (technically only 9 hours’ old) baby was infected. The only way he can get it is from his mother who was indeed infected before giving birth. People are now wondering when the baby got the virus, is it when he was still inside the womb or is it after he was born. This raise the possibility that this virus may possess the ability to pass on from mother to children through their blood systems. Well, perhaps it is learning and evolving.

News came out that the whistleblower of the first case, the doctor Wuhan gov silenced at the outbreak, Doctor Liwenliang passed away at 21:30, 6th Feb, just 4 hours ago.(Well social media of Wuhan Central Hospital which is treating him now says that he is still alive but in critical condition.And in the morning they announced that he did pass away but TOD is 2:58 AM) He did get infected by this deadly virus that he wanted to warn the world about. The social media explodes and everyone is honoring him in their own way. Many call him the TRUE WARRIOR, who is not afraid to face danger, or even death. I believe he is sure to be made a hero by the people and hopefully the Chinese government will learn from his case to reform better public health departments to stop similar case from happening again.

Questions about measures taken by the Wuhan gov are being raised everywhere. Some people are worried that the cabin hospitals that are to treat patients who are not in critical condition will cause more cross infection thus lead to a more serious situation. They believe it is better to be quarantined at home for these patients compared to going to those hollow cabin hospitals without the company of their family members, who can surely deliver the best personal care for them. Some Other people however claim that these cabin hospitals will provide better treatment as well as better quarantine for the sake of all citizens including their family members as those who are close to the patients are also the people who are most likely to be infected.

Earlier this afternoon Wuhan gov asked the telecom companies to send a text to every cellphone in the city saying that they are going to have everyone’s temperature taken by the community workers to find out those who might be infected. Obviously grass-root community workers as well as medical workers obstructed this order and later Wuhan government published the override of the previous order via social media. Wuhan government is trying to solve problems and many measures have been put in place. All measures have pros and cons. There’s just no ‘the best way’ to problems. People are anxious and fastidious because every decision the government make will influence the lives of millions of people, each and every one of them. We must come up with the best possible way or lives will be at stake.

A colleague of my middle school English teacher had fallen ill, so did her husband. She only suffers from minor coughs while her husband has developed a fever and is having trouble breathing. The couple went to the hospital for diagnoses but the curious thing is that she is diagnosed with the coronavirus while her husband is not. Later her husband’s condition worsened and had fallen into a coma for 2 days. She had tried many channels to find help but there are just NO more beds in any hospital to admit them. The response from those channels are always ‘keep waiting’ ‘as everyone else’. She says that she is worried that a similar case that happened to a brother of her colleague might happen to her husband. That man died on the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Now she is still waiting. Little can be done to help her. Getting admitted into the hospital is all she wants but who could imagine that in 2020 a bed in a hospital has become a luxury.

Everywhere in Hubei Province is infected now. The death rate in Wuhan is not that high (5.1% at the moment )thanks to huge numbers of hospitals we have. Other cities with less hospitals, less medical workers, worse medical conditions have a higher death rate. In the city of Tianmen (天门) of Hubei province the death rate of this virus rose to 8.69%. The same can be said to other cities near Wuhan like Ezhou(鄂州), Suizhou(随州), Huanggang(黄冈), Xiaogan(孝感). These cities also hold millions of people. if the situation does not get better people will despair. My relative there says one of her friends’ father in law had fallen ill after he went out to play mahjong with his friends during a gathering and everyone who showed up at that gathering is currently under home quarantine to find out if they are infected.

How it feels to know people you know are falling down? How it feels to see people around you falling down? I know now.

Do one’s level best and leave god’s will to the rest. 尽人事知天命。Let’s hope the god is on our side this time.

Updating at 2 PM 7th Feb.

Last night in all social media nearly everyone is expressing their emotions regarding the death of doctor Li. Many blame the government for early cover up and remembered him as a martyr who exposed the dark side of the government. Please remember the order for the early cover up was issued by Wuhan government other than Chinese Central government. So the central government of China expressed their sorrow for his death and also issued a team of special Inquiry people to look deeply into the matter. Picture below is the publication of the news and people are waiting to see if some problems within the structure can be solved.

 

Pictures below are from my friend who provided me with inside photos of the 2 hospitals. These are the insides of Leishenshan Hospital which will be finished later today. Once these 1600 beds are put in place, more patients can finally get admitted.

 

Updating at 23 PM 9th Feb.

This is a long long post.

Regarding the issue of Doctor Li, the Central Government of China sent out a special inquiry team and later based on their reports, the CCP Party Central made an announcement more than 36 hours ago, of an appointment of a new standing committee of Hubei Province, Wang Hesheng. Based on the official CV he used to be director of the Tianjin Public Health Bureau and later standing committee of the city of Tianjin before being promoted to Deputy Director of National Health Committee. Since Graduation from Tianjin Medical University, he has spent over 30 years working in the field of public health. With this new appointment, I am quite sure those local officials in Hubei Province who don’t know what is the best to do will finally be talking some sense. Below is the publish of his appointment.

 

Regarding the 2 hospitals, Leishenshan Hospital has been receiving patients since yesterday morning. Like I said before, this hospital will still be providing medical service to citizens after this crisis ends and this is the stone with the sign of Wuhan Leishenshan Hospital. The director of the Leishenshan Hospital is also the director of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, which is about 1km from where I live. I trust his work to be carried out perfectly.

 

As for Huoshenshan Hospital, its ICU are finally fully equipped and ready to be put into use this afternoon. Blood purification equipment , Color Doppler as well as ECMO are all there to help patients in critical condition.

 

And those cabin hospitals are also ready to take in patients with light symptoms. Picture below is from a local stadium. It shows that for every 2 beds there are 3 sockets and a small cabinet for them to use. So we can see some videos from people who are in those cabin hospitals using laptops or ipads to entertain themselves. Well, life isn’t that hard even when infected it seems:)

 

Thanks to the quick reaction of Chinese Central government, the number of new confirmed case in China (Hubei province excluded) has been decreasing continuously for 5 days since 3rd Feb. That means while quarantine works, Hubei province still needs to fight this battle for a longer period as more people in quarantined zones are getting infected. The graph below shows that the number of new confirmed case was 890 on 3rd Feb and it decreases daily to 509 on 8th Feb. Maybe we can expect to see no more confirmed cases should this trend continues.

 

Now as some evidence is showing that this virus may possibly have the ability of aerosol transmission as well as fecal-oral transmission, I suspect the situation continue to worsen within Hubei province. Despite the picture below says that it is yet to be confirmed whether it can be transmitted via said ways, people are doing whatever may stop its transmission, like closing floor drains. It is always better to be prepared than not.

 

Even when there is good news and we are learning more about the NPV (official name of the virus) ,we mustn’t let our guards down. All schools throughout China has been ordered by their respective local Bureau of Education to delay the time of school openings. As is shown from the picture below, most schools in the listed districts consider the opening of the semester to be no earlier than 17th Feb or even 1st March. Hubei province as well as some other provinces will decide the opening according to changing circumstances.

However, a delay of about 10 days is a huge change to the teaching schedule (normally we start school before 15th of the first month of lunar year and that is 8th Feb this year) .So all schools are finding ways to deal with this problem. Kindergartens and primary schools are using wechat to organize teaching sessions online. Some middle schools are asking the teachers to teach online using those live broadcast platforms like TikTok or Douyu ,etc. Universities with the ability to establish online systems for teachers and students are pushing to have these systems built or the old systems upgraded. Take my university HUST for an example. We have an existing system but it is a bit old and might not be able to work if lots of people are using it at the same time. So they upgraded it and now my semester will start on 17th Feb online.

 

Businesses are also suffering in this time of emergency. To help small businesses across the province Hubei government published a notice that for all small companies that holds housing for state-owned assets, their rent for 3 months is free of charge and another 3 months half. And also the price are downed by 10% for usage of industrial water and gas, starting from 1st Jan to 30th June. A dozen more subsidy are also announced to help local businesses. I take this as a boost of confidence in economy as we really need to have guarantee from the government that after this is all over we can still go on our lives before, with less difficulty than necessary.

 

So people are still hopeful about tomorrow. Despite difficulties and uncertainties, we have faith in our community, our city and our nation. There are many elderly people in my community and due to this outbreak they are not able to go out to buy essentials. Some are running out of their stock and they are eager to get some supply. So officials in my community asked everyone in the community on Wechat if they need vegetable. Those who need will submit their names, phone numbers as well as room number to the official and the official will report the total number to his superior.

His superior will then communicate the group of farmers who will then deliver the said amount to all communities that placed the order. After the package arrives, we will go to the main door to pick it up in line and the community official will also help deliver some packages to the elder people who are not able to carry those bags home on their own. The picture below shows those packages. One bag contains 8kg of fresh vegetable, which costs 50 yuan. My community placed an order of 40 packages in total. The official also managed to get some free vegetable for the elderly, 5kg each and they will deliver once it arrives.

 

Some vegetable like potato and pumpkin are not included in that package so I went out to buy more. The picture below shows the store that has many kinds of vegetable in stock. They said that they purchase these on a daily basis and their source told them not to worry as more will be coming.

 

Meat however is quite hard to come by. Unlike vegetable that can be stored in room temperature during winter in Wuhan, Meat must be transported in low temperature, which is not that easy to be done. I purchased some meat online on JD. Unlike Taobao which cannot deliver in Wuhan city these days, JD has the ability to deliver even during times like this. I ordered some fresh grade breast and it says that it will be delivered within a week’s time, before 16th Feb. I believe I can make it without 1 kg of breast meat as I still have plenty of pork stock in the refrigerator.

 

So it is alright. During these days of quarantine, we suffer mostly from boredom rather than real life issues. We can see the nation fixing issues top down. We can see the city pulling itself together to face new difficulties. We can see the community standing together to help everyone in need. We can see hope is within our reach. This will be a hard and protracted war against a new unknown virus but we shall prevail.

But sad stories do happen. And that is what I will be updating tomorrow. This one post already took me hours and I need to sleep now. Stay positive.

Updating at 1AM 11th Feb.Last 2 days have been the most painful for me.

I was preparing for dinner when I saw the news coming from my university. A student in the school of Economics was suspected to be infected by the NCP, while his parents were already confirmed cases. His symptoms were light but his parents were both in critical condition. His father had fallen into a coma the night before and could hardly breathe. He tried every possible way at that time but he still could not find one way to get his family admitted into the hospital. Desperate, he called his school for help.

What’s so special about this case is that he is also a friend of mine. I went to the same middle school with him and I have known him since kindergarten. We are not that close but we still talk to each other from time to time. He has always been a helpful and kind person and it is heartbreaking to see someone I personally know fall victim to the virus.I shared this information further to my social network in search for help. In no time, my middle school English teacher whose colleague fell ill days ago forwarded to me several links that might be useful to contact the hospitals as well as some psychological guidance to help him if the worst happens. She surely knew how to deal with this situation as she must have seen several cases since the beginning and she is prepared.

My classmates as well as schoolmates also heard about his situation from all the re-shares. Many were eager to help. At that time we were unable to contact him as the only possible ways are via his phone and his wechat, but not everyone has his account. I had his account but I could not get in touch with him, maybe he was too busy at that time. It seems my classmates believe I am able to contact him as literally everyone started pushing possible ways of help to me.

Numbers to contact the district officials, Numbers to contact directly with the mayor himself (of course he will not be answering all those calls but once answered the problem always get solved), Numbers of the hospitals that has opened new sectors of wards to take in critical patients, etc.Some shared links that lead to a government website where he can fill in the patients’ symptoms for the officials to see if his condition was critical and decide if they should send in the ambulance. Another classmate of mine told her father who works as a doctor in the Zhongnan Hospital about his condition and her father replied with pictures of the medicine that they are currently using to ease the symptoms to me. In all people gave whatever information they had to me and pushed me to forward these information to him.

Later I successfully got in contact with him. I comforted him and just shared all the information I received to him. He said thanks but he did not reply ever since. My guess is that he continued to read into those information and to try each one of them to see if it works. He didn’t reply to me for the whole night. I asked other friends if they knew about his latest situation and they said he was still trying. I was just too worried. I barely slept that night. Wonderful news only came next afternoon that thanks to help from his close friends and his old classmates, he got his family admitted into the hospital by calling the Mayor’s special Line. I was simply relieved to see an old friend made it through.

This is the first time that I had someone I know falling victim to the virus. I should have been afraid but the only thing I felt is the power of collective help from all the people around him, everyone who went to the same school with him, their families, their friends, who may not even heard his name before, is all eager to help him. Many are complete stranger to him but they all reach out a helping hand when they heard about his case. Just how heartwarming.

Wish him and his family a speedy recovery.

Updating at 1 AM 16th Feb.

Time really does fly. I hardly noticed that nearly a week had passed. Staying at home for days and weeks makes it difficult for one to tell the difference between day and night. Even when it is already spring, the sun still rises late and I normally wake up after 9 o’clock. These days my family normally eat 2 meals a day. One ‘breakfast’ at about 11 AM and another ‘lunch’ at 4-5 PM. If we feel hungry late at night, we will make some soup or noodles or just have some snacks. I also do some of the cooking to lighten the work of my mom so I have limited time to myself.

One really need to find something to do at home. Something to hold on so that one may not feel empty. After she abandoned Game of Thrones, she went back to some easy and light Chinese comedies. I , being a student and all, need to study for the next semester as schools will still be teaching even when we are not at the school. After taking those online courses from my teachers, I take pleasure in watching old series <yes minister> and <yes prime minister>. Classic English humor really gets me.

Also I still need to follow closely on the wechat group of my community. That Communities in the quarantined cities are required to limit access in and out makes group ordering online the only way to purchase essentials. There are many sources to buy from, privately owned or publicly owned, appropriately priced. Vegetables ,rice, oil are abundant and meat is what we are missing these days. A butcher in our wechat group got his hands on 3 freshly slaughtered pigs and it sold out within 30 minutes after his announcement. Another butcher’s offers chicken as well as beef and after I placed my order, his stock also ran out. As Central Government has organized to transport over 1k tons of pork reserve into Wuhan I wish we may never run out of meat.

As for more epidemic stuff, there is just not too much that I NEED to update as about everything really is going in their orderly fashion.

The incompetent old local Wuhan officials have been replaced, the new officials with work experience in related areas have been appointed. The 2 new hospitals have been built and put into use and more cabin hospitals have been holding patients with light symptoms. Medical workers across China are coming to aid Hubei as many smaller cities around Wuhan are also in desperate need of medical supply.As more provinces with few infected cases start to organize transport to help workers go to their workplace which is sometimes several provinces away from their hometown, Productivity in China except Hubei province is slowly recovering. That means more masks, more protective clothing and more disinfectant; more food reserve and more energy compared to that 1 month ago. Despite the virus is still infecting more people and causing more deaths, we can see that what we have done really did make a difference. The scholars have developed an effective rapid detection kit to identify the confirmed cases. The number of new confirmed cases outside Hubei has been decreasing for 11 days since 5th Feb. People are still hopeful about tomorrow. We are seeing the effects with our eyes.

For ordinary people like me, there is little that can be done about the epidemic. The only thing my family can do is to remain calm and positive while staying indoor. Prepare for a long battle. Life still needs to go on.

I will keep updating. If there is anything worth sharing, I will post it here. I am totally healthy btw, I live in Wuchang District which is separated from the Hankou District which is THE epicenter of the outbreak by Yangtze River. It is bad yes, but it is not that bad.Thanks to all that cares:)

Updating at 1AM 19th Feb

I am sensing great optimism these days. Despite the fact that there are more people getting infected in Hubei, people are becoming more positive towards the future.One great news is that the new confirmed cases outside Hubei province in China has been decreasing for 14 days in a row and there was only 79 new confirmed cases on 17th Feb. This shows that the virus outside Hubei has been effectively contained. My friends in other provinces are looking forward to see no more new confirmed cases in their region.

 

While the situation in Hubei is still pretty bad, the number of total confirmed case has reached about 60k, our lives surprisingly have seen some improvement compared to that during winter.

When I was writing that last update 3 days ago it was heavily snowing outside. The wind was blowing so hard that the snowflakes were all flying horizontally. The sky was dark all day and it looked like the world was gonna end. The second day however , the wind stopped, as well as the snow. It was a happy sunny day. I moved my armchair to the balcony (indoor of course)and my mom and I relaxed ourselves bathing in the sun. Staying warm in the sun can really cheer one up, especially when it has not shined for over a month. The sunny weather went on to today.

More varieties of food is available now. Meat was rare to come by before but yesterday my community organized a group buy of fresh pork and beef. Note it is fresh meat instead of cold stocked meat. The local bakeries also opened to provide us with bread and cakes to satisfy our appetite. What’s more, some local delicacy also opened online for group buy, like Spicy Duck Neck. Even one famous Wuhan cuisine Hot-and-dry Noodles(热干面) is also available. It contains both instant noodles packages as well as fresh packages. Nearly all residents rushed to place orders. These are expected to arrive in 2 days’ time.

Life with a regular timetable can also help to ease the anxiety. My university started to teach online from 17th Feb and I have to watch online courses. This means I will have to get up before 8 to attend the online class. I need to sleep earlier so that I don’t get sleepy in class. I also get a good afternoon nap as I need to rest after helping with lunch. I exercise by doing setting-up exercises before lunch and after dinner. I feel better every day as spring is really coming to boost some life essence in us.

I just received from my friend whose parents were in critical condition days ago. He first explained that he didn’t reply in time because there were literally thousands of people trying to call him, to contact him, to help him. He said his parents got admitted into Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College of HUST, one major hospital in Wuhan on 8th Feb. He himself is also infected but in light condition so he was admitted into a cabin hospital on 13th Feb, days after he put his parents in hospitals. He said that he needed to stay in the cabin hospital for at least another 14 days and his daily routine consists only of eating and sleep (just like everyone else in Wuhan LOL). He said that all that could be done has been done and the rest is beyond our control. Now as he has little to attend to (he cannot visit his parents in the hospital as they are all under quarantine), he is sending response messages to all that have contacted and helped him. Honestly, I did little to help him, just sending some pictures and links. His appreciation made my day.

Lastly, yesterday, 18th Feb was my birthday. It is rare for me to spend my birthday at home as normally the school would have been opened by now. I made myself a little cake using blueberries and chocolate (weird combination?).All these positive news helps to keep my spirit high.

So keep positive. As some sources in the community claims that the situation in Wuhan will continue to 24th March at least, we need to be better prepared for days to come. Wish us luck. May the world survive this together.

Just a short update at 22PM 20th Feb.

I received the meat that I ordered days ago via the community group buy. All purchase of essentials in Hubei must be done via the communities instead of personal orders. I got more than 4 kg in total and as it came out official that the battle in Wuhan will continue to at least 10th March, I believe I have stocked enough. On my way to the gate where I pick up the food, I noticed something extraordinary.

 

I saw these plum trees blossom when it was snowing heavily the other day. Looking down from 28 floor, the red dots in the white snow caught my eyes in an instant. It blooms even more brightly despite the cold weather and the cutting snowstorm. In Chinese culture plum tree flowers represent the spirit of indomitable perseverance, self-reliance, and striving quality. I believe that can be applied to all the brave people fighting the virus not just in China, but in the world. Wish they become ever more powerful despite the difficulties they face.

JUST PURE DISGUSTING.

 

The news is real that some prisons have found many prisoners infected by the virus. Several wardens of the said prisons have already been fired like 4–5hours after the news came out. It was a mistake to overlook the prisons as there are many people there. We acknowledge the error and we are trying to fix it. The wardens responsible have been put behind bars as they failed to do their job.

BUT that picture below the title, is the front gate of my school, HUST, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. I wonder why BBC use the picture of the university that owns the most hospitals that is currently fighting the virus at the front line to talk about issues in a prison? Maybe they just use whatever picture they have that is taken in Wuhan and has Chairman Mao in it. Just how professional.

Disgrace.

Updating at 3am 9th March.

It has been a long time since my last update. I always wished to write now and then but I was just too busy doing my stuff. Sometimes I really wanted to put something down but later when I finally sat down at the computer, I found myself exhausted already. I cannot express myself with my mind free of other matters in that condition.

Every day I need to focus on many things. The schools are teaching on a daily basis and I need to watch the streaming as well as finish the homework. The assignment is usually required to be done and submitted within the week. Despite the outbreak, the teachers are doing their best to pass their knowledge onto us. In a few weeks’ time the examinations will also be coming. Maybe we will be taking online exams then.

The food stock at home changes after every meal and I need to follow closely on the group buy in the community wechat group to look for the type of food my family need. Normally officials in the community would organize group buy for different types of food, like group buy for fresh fish, group buy for eggs and milk, a group buy for vegetables, etc. There has always been a dilemma as to how often these group buy should be organized. More group buy means more varieties of food and nutrition, which will in return make our body healthy and make our immune system stronger, make the possibility to get infected and get ill smaller. However, more group buy also means more people going out to the main gate to receive the package, and to form a possible small gathering. Yes we know that there is nobody infected in my community or even nearby communities these days but if there is a faintest possibility that some might caught the virus on their way out, we should still avoid such unnecessary gatherings. (Some workers have resumed their work in Wuhan, mostly workers for essential businesses, for example, a neighbor of mine who lives in the apartment building beside mine had started to work in the diary factory weeks ago to provide more people with dairy products.)

Local communities as well as the city officials have been arguing over this for weeks every time the situation changes ever since the quarantine. Due to that divergence of opinion, the policies in the city changed from time to time. Like the pass for vehicles to drive onto the street has had many versions by now. Sometimes the pass issued this morning would not be working the day later. But now the situation has settled by the order to encourage communities to organize less small group buys and to organize adequate number of larger group buys to reduce the risk.

The community now links directly to the supermarket nearby which provides several kinds of essential packages. These packages are often cheaper compared to normal prices as the supermarkets that provide these will get subsidy from the government. Then some buses (yes huge buses) will transfer the packages from the supermarkets to the local community. The community officials then asks the residents in the building to come down to the gate to get the packages in order of from the 1st building to the 6th building to avoid gatherings. Thanks to this policy, I simply increased the amount of product I buy every time to reduce the time I go out to get them. I stepped out of my door 3 times in total and now I have fresh vegetable for at least half a month and my refrigerator is full of chicken, pork, fish, even dumplings, baozi. I even got a fresh living fish the other day and after I kept it alive for another few days, I made it into a delicious fish soup.

Below is the picture I took while waiting for my package. The bus stops by the road and the volunteers starts to carry the packages to the gate.

 

My mom suffers from diabetes so I have to find ways to help her acquire medicine that she needs. I contacted the one community worker who is appointed to look after the residents in the 3 apartment buildings in my neighborhood, including the one which I am currently living in. I sent her my mom’s ID number, name, the type of medicine she needs, the number of doses she wish to buy. My mom’s condition is registered to the medical systems so that she does not need to find a doctor to get a prescription. After the community worker collected the needs of the patients in all 3 apartment buildings she went to all nearby drugstore to procure them as some medicine might not be available.

She also delivered the drug to our doorstep, one by one. She then sent the medical bills to us via WeChat and we pay her back. Apart from delivering medicine to the ill, she also delivers the fresh food to the doorstep of the elderly because they might have trouble going out on their own as many elderly are living alone in my community. Her job as a community worker is to help all that is in need and we are very grateful that she could help us. She is not just a community worker but also a helpful friend when you need one. And there are many many many people just like her, doing their best to keep our community and city together and alive.

Many of my friends also joined forces in the course to fight the virus. As the city is still in quarantine, there are many places in need of volunteers. There is normally a better treatment, including better meals and sometimes a daily fee for the volunteers in different areas as they put behind their own safety and risk their lives to help.

One primary school classmate who became a photographer and reporter volunteered to help document the medical workers. He then got a pass to many local hospitals and he is able to picture many touching moments. He took pictures of the medical workers after a day of tons of work as well as Infected patients with mild symptoms living in those cabin hospitals.

The picture below is his day with the medical volunteer team from the city of Chongqing. The date is 24th Feb. The first 2 pictures are his reporter license and the 5th picture is his meal which is beef and potato! Damn that is hard to come by these days.

 

Below are pictures of the medical volunteer team from Nanjing outside the cabin hospital which was Wuhan Optical Valley International Convention and Exhibition Center.

 

This picture below is his day with the medical volunteer team from different provinces. The first is from inner Mongolia, the second and the fourth are from Ningxia and the third is from Jilin.

 

And after days of hard work he finally took the time to take a selfie, with the caption that reads ‘the battle against the epidemic will prevail’

 

Another high school friend became a volunteer for his community and his daily job includes driving to the supermarket to help deliver the essentials back to his community in case there is shortage of buses and distributing them upon arrival. Below is his experience. That last picture is the pass for vehicles which he acquired which is hard to get .

 

A high school friend has a father who is working as a local community official leader. According to her He needed to organize all those group buys and to contact many people, from the seller to the residents, from workers to all kinds of volunteers. Normally he starts working once he wakes up and sleeps very late, and sometimes he would not even go back home to rest.

One very best friend who is studying in the School of Journalism and communication of Wuhan University has a mom in the art area and a father working as a Discipline Inspection Commission of CCP. His mom organized many local musicians to cheer up people using their music while his father is on the field inspecting local officials. He told me that he literally spent weeks at home alone, writing his essay 🙂

Another very best friend has a father who works in another university. His daily job is to take care of the students who failed to get out Wuhan before quarantine and remain in the campus ever since. He delivers fresh food to them and whenever they are in need, they will contact him.

Another close friend who lives next to Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University volunteered to work there. Her job includes helping transfer patients and giving guidance.

The friend who provided me with all those construction photos volunteered to help in her community and as she is good at managing people, she avoided many problems.

A college friend of mine who studied in Tongji Medical School volunteered to help people with their psychological states. As many people are suffering not from the disease but from reading the related news, her help really means a lot to them.

Another friend who is in another province went to Shenzhen to help produce the mask-making machines that will later produce the masks for our usage.

Young people as well as middle-aged people have taken the responsibility to their shoulders to help more in need. Everyone is eager to help and many did what they can. I was going to volunteer so eagerly when I heard that the community is recruiting new volunteers until my uncle who also lives in my community pushed me back as I need to take care of my mom. To me keeping my family safe is the best thing I can help.

Thanks to all the selfless people who devote themselves to the course, the situation in Wuhan, Hubei, China is not as severe as before. In Wuhan the 14 cabin hospitals that opened in total has closed 11 and the last remaining 3 of them are only holding like no more than 5 hundred of patients as there starts to show vacancy of beds in the normal hospitals. Why keep them in cabin hospitals when we can already treat them in normal hospitals? The new confirm case in Wuhan is below 100 these days and in other cities in Hubei province we have seen 0 increases for almost a week. Outside Hubei province it is even better.

As many provinces and cities are seeing 0 cases continuously for many days, many places have resumed to work and many are setting plans to start future work. Many local primary schools and middle schools are setting the date for reopening. Many local restaurants are starting to promote their business online so that when the epidemic ends they can have more customers. Of course the complete victory still requires more time and effort but it is just like the break of dawn, after the darkness there is only bright light ahead.

But the damage has been done, and it is severe. People have died. The TV are starting to show some footage of people who are in critical condition. When they lay on the hospital bed, even with assisted ventilation, they desperate for air while their lungs simply cannot provide them with enough oxygen to keep the body going. Sometimes the patient died and was carried away in a body bag, even when he was rather young. Sometimes the patient lived after a few days’ struggle at the death’s arms, and later recovered very well despite being an old man over 80.

Perhaps this virus is targeting the old who are normally more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, maybe not. Maybe this virus is not targeting the young, but sometimes the result says otherwise. Everyone should be careful, not just the ill, the old, but everyone. The graphs, the data derived from numbers are just a possibility. Don’t think that you are young and healthy and you are immune to it, you never know. You can no longer regret once you get it. There is a saying that one never know if the knife hurts until he takes the cut. People will need to take the cut themselves to know how it hurts to see people near you fall.

So to people who are not in China, please, take care of yourself. I know that the way people interpret masks is different but if you can afford one, get one and put it on. Some say it only limit the possibility that it passes on from the one wearing the mask to others. But when this virus has a possible long incubation period, who knows if you are infected? If you are infected and you contact with people, they might become infected, too. There has been cases where one people who are infected infect 24 in a room of 40 during a meeting. To put on a mask is to protect all those around you. If everyone put on their mask that is to protect everyone around them, and every smallest possibility of being infected can be eliminated. Oh it can also spread via mucus, like contact with eye, so a pair of goggles is also helpful. I know sufficient amount of goggles might not be available in many places in the world and it is not a must-need for ordinary people but for medical workers. But please try to get a mask at least. It really helps. Please care about more people around you other than yourself.

Other measures include washing hands, disinfecting possible contaminated stuff with alcohol or bleach or whatever disinfectant at hand. I also did some other things that I believed that might help. These may or may not be effective but I have not caught the virus, so consider yourself. I keep my outdoor suit hung outside my house door to keep it from contaminating inside. I also wore a pair of gloves and a hat when going out and I also keep them out with my outdoor suit.

Eating healthy is also very important. Many Indian friends have suggested me to eat green without meat to keep healthy. I understand that and respect that. But eating green every day is not good to your health. I am talking about eating only green vegetables, the kind with leaves. Cabbage and Chinese cabbage are the only 2 kind of fresh green vegetable available days back during cold winter in February. The other types of vegetable available then are only some carrots, lots of turnip and a few potatoes. I did the potato and carrot with chicken wings mixed with curry but that just used all the potatoes I had. We need meat to get protein, as there are no other option. I am not asking you to eat meat, but please take care of yourself, do what you must when it becomes necessary.

I would not say too much about measure taken in other countries at government level, as only the respective local governments know what is the best to do about the outbreak at the ground level. I would not judge harshly on other countries because there are difficulties they may face that I don’t know. Only the citizens living there can get the real situation in their respective countries. Italy put some districts into quarantine and I feel that Italians, like Chinese, place their family value rather high, which makes it easier to support one another during a time of crisis as when one group of people support each other it is more likely that they survive this together. I wish more countries with the capability to produce medical supply can produce more test kits, and test more citizens with suspected cases, and more close related people, and limit the virus from infecting more people. This is not only the right and responsible thing to do for its own citizens, but for the whole humanity alike.

Many people have been asking me about how the people in Wuhan pay their bills without going to work. The first is that Chinese love saving money. The saving rate of Chinese is very high as people are accustomed to different types of disasters, be it natural or artificial. In case of possible bad things happening, people want to be better prepared, so they save money. So after the outbreak, despite not going to work, most people still have their savings to spend themselves. The second is that Chinese, being family centered, will care for each other. The meaning of family can also stretch further, to communities, to districts, to cities. When your kin is not near, those around you are your kin and we can all help one another when in need.

This also means that when some cannot pay their bills, if they ask for help, someone will come to their aid. The third is that the government has boosted a lot of confidence in economy. The government issued the order that during the epidemic, the companies must not cut the essentials, including water, electricity, gas even if the owner does not pay them in time, and as long as he pays them back in 6 months’ time, no extra fee is required. The government also used the national frozen pork reserve and the price is 40 yuan, 5.7 dollars for 2 kg. They also subsidized the local farmers to provide more fresh cheap vegetable, normally 10 yuan, 1.5 dollars for 5 kg, which is almost free. Sometimes we even receive free vegetable donations from nearby provinces, like Sichuan province.

In all the government put a lot of money and resource into subsidizing the local necessary businesses. I don’t know much about mortgage but some residents in the wechat group are complaining that if the quarantine does not end shortly enough he would not be able to pay his mortgage, I guess it is still a must pay thing. As many people can do their work online, they can receive their normal salary, sometimes plus a bonus from the company. Some other people who cannot go to work due to the epidemic will still receive half their salary. Some even say that this epidemic is like a long paid vacation as they get to work less and still get paid while having more time for their children and family. So cases are different but it is not bad overall.

 

At the end of my update I will share a picture I took today. The Cherry blossom in my community came out despite the bad weather (actually it rained not long after I took the pic). Wuhan is famous for its cherry blossom, in Wuhan University and East Lake. Normally many thousands of people around the country come to Wuhan to enjoy the cherry blossom, but this year they will have to miss it. Let’s hope we will not miss it next year 🙂

Updating at 10th March.

Today is a big day. With some big news. (There are some about politics and I will post it based on facts. If you are not a fan you may ignore it.)

All makeshift hospitals have been closed as they are no longer necessary. The new confirmed cases in Hubei Province yesterday is only 17 and they are all from Wuhan city. Other cities in Hubei province are seeing 0 new cases continuously for 5 days. The infected patients are all being treated in normal hospitals, including the Huoshenshan Hospital and Leishenshan Hospital. People are excited about the news as this might be the sign of the end of the quarantine. There are rumors spreading in Wechat groups that the quarantine might end in 2 weeks’ time. There are also rumors that the airport in Wuhan will be operating after 29th March. I am not sure if it is true but if we continue to see less infected cases in Wuhan I am sure the quarantine will end soon.

This is the link from China Daily about the closure of the makeshift hospitals (well I called them cabin hospitals before I may need to change to makeshift hospitals from now on)

When it seems that the end of the epidemic in Hubei province is coming closer, other cities in Hubei province are setting new policies to help workers in their positions. The city of Shiyan is giving subsidy to workers based on their skills, varying from 500 to 5k yuan. The city of Jingmen tunes down the prices for industrial usage of water and gas by 10%, starting from 1st Jan to 30th June. The city of Xianning is organizing more online job fairs to encourage employment. The city of Qianjiang offers 856 unemployed person 258 yuan each to help them during this hard time. I believe these measures will help people better recover from the economic loss caused by the epidemic.

But measures must also be taken to make sure that the situation doesn’t get worse again once the quarantine ends. The government issued an order for everyone to get a QR code for their health conditions when they need to travel within Hubei province to minimize the possibility of another outbreak. The QR code can be applied through small programs in Alipay or Wechat or an APP from the Hubei government. There are 3 kinds of QR codes, green, yellow and red.

Red codes are given to those who are a confirmed/suspected case and people who are having a fever. Yellow codes are given to those who have closely contacted the ones with the red codes. Green codes are given to all other people without red or yellow ones.People from areas with middle or low risk are free to go wherever they want in the province if they have the green code. People who come from areas with a high risk will have to obey the respective local regulations issued by the local government, be it county level or city level, even when they have the green code. No people with the yellow code are allowed to go out of their district. People with the red code must be quarantined and treated by local hospitals accordingly as sometimes they need to be transmitted to another hospital to get better treatment.Below is the link and the screenshot of the order.

 

President Xi came to Wuhan to inspect today. He visited Huoshenshan Hospital as well as a local community where he met with front-line workers and patients as well as residents. He praised the medical workers and the community workers (including police officers and community helpers) as they are the ones who helped to keep the city alive. He urges to make shifts so that the base workers can rest. Based on the picture below, which comes from the Wechat group of my community, I can tell that the community he visited is about 6 km from where I am living right now. I can also say that his visiting is carefully designed as that community is in the district with the least confirmed cases in Wuhan to minimize the possibility for him to get infected. His visit boosted great confidence in Wuhan as this not only shows that the country recognizes our sacrifice in this battle but also that the situation in Wuhan has softened to the point where he is most likely to be safe to visit.

 

Despite that we are at the brink of a complete victory, we still should not forget the early mishandling of the situation done by Wuhan Government, which have caused great loss. That the bureaucracy in the Wuhan government is the core cause of the early mishandling is already very well known. The CCP has leant this lesson and president Xi also acknowledges that it is very important to fight bureaucratism as it has the potential to corrupt the whole system. Many have remembered Doctor Li Wenliang as the early whistle blower. Today another article is circulating on the internet suggesting that another doctor Ai Fen was actually the first whistle-spreader, as that is how she call herself. She is the one who first forwarded the news on 30th Dec 2019 to the other 8 doctors, including Doctor Li. After she released the news she was criticized very very harshly by the head officials of her hospital for spreading rumor. The situation afterwards proved her right. She is yet to receive any formal apology from the hospital officials by now.

I am not saying that Wuhan government pressed down the early report of the case as that is not true. I am trying to say that we should let the professionals do their job as only those who are experts in their fields can tell the difference between rumors and facts. It is not right that from time to time the bureaucrats who know absolutely nothing can sometimes determine the course of the outbreak. The local officials refused to treat her notice seriously for they didn’t want to lose their government posts and that caused huge problem afterwards.

If the leading officials in Wuhan city and Hubei province had listened and recognized that this is no ordinary virus it is possible that we would be seeing much less cases. During my earlier updates I already shared that the leading officials in Wuhan city as well as Hubei province had been fired and replaced by professional ones with experience in areas of public health. I believe that this incident will push the Chinese government to make certain reforms to fix this problem after the end of the epidemic, just like how they always did with fixing old mistakes. No government is perfect, there are many flaws and the people will always push the government to fix them.

I noticed that the situation in Italy has worsened and that the graphs look just like the early Wuhan graphs. I believe the Italy government is doing what is necessary to contain the outbreak. I heard that Italy has limited the travel from district to district, which is a similar act Wuhan took during early stage of the outbreak after the quarantine. There are 13 districts in Wuhan, mostly separated by the Yangtze River, the Han River and several huge lakes. For instance, I could not go to a separate community 8 km away from me where my grandpa lives alone as we live in different districts. I naturally worry about him and when asked he replied that all his food and medicine were purchased and delivered by a community worker for his apartment building, similar to my case. I believe Italy can really make progress in its battle against the outbreak.

But in this time of emergency, some of the media is still trying to cause conflicts to separate the people apart when people around the world should be helping each other in this global event. Look at these NYT reports. When talking about China they use a pic with dim lights and messy background. When talking about Italy they use a pic with bright light and clean scene. Their choice of words are also completely different. Why is it that they use different tones when referring to the same measures being taken? Why is it that while the quarantine in Italy is an effort to contain the outbreak, the quarantine in China is an infringement on people’s rights? I really wonder how far they would go to discredit China’s effort.

In all, I wish the whole world good luck, as we are all in this together. The people of Wuhan will never forget the support we received from the world, and China will not forget to repay those who helped her during crisis. Love from Wuhan:)

Updating at 1AM 18th March

The situation in Wuhan really is improving and we can see it. These days we only have about less than 10 new confirmed cases in Wuhan. Yesterday we only had 1 new suspected case and 0 new confirmed case. Due to this situation, the quarantine in Wuhan city is starting to loosen up. The communities that have 0 confirmed cases can allow the residents to come down to the ground from their apartments to have a small walk around in the community, to enjoy the spring. More cars are allowed onto the streets as more business is good to go.

There are rumors saying that Wuhan will slowly return to its normal condition based on a schedule if nothing else serious happens. According to that rumored schedule,Wuhan will end the community lockdown on 29th March, reopen major businesses on 2nd April, restart buses and subways on 3rd April and restart highways and airports on 4th. It is a RUMOR so I am not completely buying it but we can tell that the end is near. As the sun shines brightly above, hope is in everyone’s hearts. Below is a pic I took from my balcony just to show how sunny and optimistic we are 🙂

The temperature in Wuhan is also rising to about 18 Celsius. Sometimes it can reach up to more than 25 at noon. It is really comfortable and relaxing to bathe in the sun after the cold winter. Spring call upon many flowers to bloom across the city. Below is a picture of magnolia flower, taken by my teacher. Normally the magnolia flower in my campus in HUST would all be blooming for all to see but not this year. Maybe I will be able to catch a glimpse of it when I return to my university.

The heroes, as what many prefer to call them, the medical worker fighters who sacrificed A LOT to save the people of Wuhan are finally taking their trips home, as the medical system in Wuhan is enough to treat all the remaining patients and possible new patients. Despite the fact that Wuhan citizens are still unable to go out, we expressed our gratitude towards them. There are videos of people yelling words of thanks from their balcony towards the busses that took these warriors to the airport or train station. They will leave Wuhan in turns to prevent a sudden rush and the first wave of medical help from Shandong Province is already home by the time I write this. The pic below summarizes our emotion towards these heroes perfectly. The words read, ‘Thank you, for you risked your life for the people of Hubei’. I hate the fact that we cannot express our gratitude in person, as I would love to apply for a parade to express our feelings in a collective way. I believe that is also what some Wuhan citizens would want to do. Maybe I will express my feelings by travelling around the country after this all ends, but for now, the best to do is still staying indoor till further notice.

I notice on the internet that some are talking about the possibility of a second wave of the outbreak, saying that the extreme measures taken by China will result in a more violent 2nd wave attack of the virus once the quarantine ends. I personally believe that it will come again in waves in the future but I also believe that further waves would not be so deadly considering the fact that we have learned about the virus and we have gained our firsthand experience. Months ago it is only known as a new kind of coronavirus while we have no info on any other information. Now we have examined it, studied it, collected data about it and there is no way that the 2nd wave of attack will result in more deaths. More infected, maybe, but we will live on.

I found a document on the internet, Chinese Clinical Guidance for COVID-19 Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment, which summarizes most vital information China learnt about COVID-19. It is in English and you are free to read the whole article. Considering the length of it I will only leave the front page here and the link to the original website. I also posted it in the space of coronavirus watch, with the hope that more can gain important information from it. It is important to gain firsthand information other than old mistaken outdated info which may lead to many misunderstandings.

I am following closely in Italy. If this virus has taught me something, that is humans are alike in the core, despite many differences we may have. What I am witnessing in Italy is very much the same I experienced in Wuhan. Before the quarantine starts, people rush to store essentials. Even in a dire situation like this some food are just not for local human consumption lol (a certain type of pineapple pizza in Italy(?) and a certain type of noodles in Wuhan) After the quarantine begins, people start to care for each other, help out each other, support each other.

Singing together on the balconies really helps to boost our spirit, and sometimes people just cannot stop singing. These exact same things happened in Wuhan and is happening now in Italy. Similarly, they may face other difficulties we faced like depression, loneliness, anxiety and other mental issues that they may need to prepare for. I believe it is just human nature, regardless of right or wrong, that keeps us moving forward as a unique species on Earth.

Still their condition is difficult just like Hubei Province, but unlike China, they don’t have extra medical workers sent from nearby districts to help them deal with it. China did send help and in the team of 9 experts sent to Italy, there are 5 from Sichuan, namely Huaxi Hospital, which is one of the best hospitals in China.

The principal of the hospital says in an interview that Italy helped Sichuan Province to build the biggest emergency care center at that time in 1988. During the 2008 Sichuan Wenchuan Earthquake, Italian medical experts also helped more than 900 people injured by the earthquake. Their mission to Italy is not only a helping hand but also an appreciation.I expect China to send more help there as things can get really worse. I believe many have seen this pic but I believe it takes more than China to support Italy. Maybe more countries will come to Italy’s aid once they finish dealing with their own outbreak.

 

At the end of today’s update, I will talk about things happening in the UK and US.

Boris Johnson finally abandons the policy of delay after the model at Oxford University shows that 260 thousand will die if they carry on their scientific method to achieve herd immunity. I believe that they used the data from China on those scientific papers and completely ignored the extreme methods China took to limit the spread of the virus. Models are useless if applied universally as there are all sorts of differences at the ground level. Science comes from nature. It is to provide people with helpful means to combat difficulties and the possibility of a better life, not to imagine and simulate what would happen and do nothing.

Trump finally sent out the words Chinese virus via his tweet. Though annoyed and angry, I am not surprised at all. He needs to do that to show his stance against China and to gain support in the US or his backers in the Republican party will not support him in the upcoming next election as he is facing a very hard situation caused by COVID-19 by now. I fully understand that. I won’t even blame him. I pity him for not being able to say what he wishes to say. I don’t think this petition for the Whitehouse will have any effect on anything but I signed it just to express my feelings.

However, China still needs to be cautious, as nobody knows what an angry mob who just lost tons of money will do. If the Americans really believe that China is to blame for all their money lost, what is the worst that might happen? I cannot say but I wish people on the other side of the Earth could think it through carefully.

Just a short update. 12:00PM 19th March 2020.

For the last 24 hours, there are 0 new confirmed cases in Wuhan. 0 new confirmed cases in Hubei.

  1. A simple Zero.

FINALLY, WE MIGHT REALLY BE WINNING THIS FIGHT.

Updating at 24am 25th March. I am too tired to write in my best condition but the recent news just needs to be put down here.

It is official. Wuhan will open travel outside the city on April 8, with other parts of Hubei province ending their lockdown on Wednesday (right now). People are just excited. I don’t think any word can express how I feel right now. Perhaps joy, mixed with relief.

 

Measures have also been taken to make sure that the lift of the restrictions does not set off another huge wave of infection. People will need that green QR code I mentioned earlier to be able to pass the border between provinces. All schools in Hubei province, from kindergartens to universities will continue to delay the opening time as nobody wants to take chances of the lives of the young.

We saw the lift coming days ago when we heard about the recent news. The travel ban of the bridges across the Yangtze River or the Han River has been lifted on 21st March. People crossing the bridges will no longer be required to have their body temperature checked. The 2 tunnels across the river remain shut but we believe it will reopen soon enough. On 22nd March the public transportation systems were getting prepared for reopening. 3 airports in Hubei province that will reopen on 25th March (right now) as well as 3 train stations in Wuhan had been disinfected thoroughly.

As for the buses, it is possible that once all travel restrictions are lifted, the virus will attack again and cause a second wave of the infected. It is also possible that they will unknowingly pass it onto others while taking public transport. In order to find out and quarantine possible infected people who took the same bus with the infected patient, they introduced a system where the passenger will need to scan the QR code twice, first when getting on the bus and the second when getting off the bus. The bus driver will also disinfect the whole carriage every time he reaches the end of the line. On 23rd March the metro systems were also getting prepared for reopening. It is said that the workers have been disinfecting every corner of the train, including ventilation systems, as well as the platforms and the gates every 2 weeks even during the quarantine, just to make sure. I can already see some buses running every morning and afternoon.

 

The city is slowly coming back alive. Since the travel ban between the districts within the city has been lifted, people are now able to go to work. Every morning I look out of my window and I see the cars flowing. Many of my neighbors have returned to work days ago. The couple who provided us with fresh milk now has to separate, as the wife has now returned to her work in another district and the husband will drive her there every morning. The delivery systems are also coming back. Whether it be express or take out. News said that all express companies would be working back to normal by 25th March. I have something wrong with my laptop fan as it cannot spin smoothly to give out the heat. I am looking forward to sending it to a maintenance center in Hubei province to have it fixed. I also ordered KFC and McDonald and they delivered within 40 minutes. It seems that everything is coming back to normal.

 

Remember my reporter friend who volunteered to help in the hospitals? This is his latest post as he finishes his job as a volunteer by seeing off the 6th team of medical workers from Anhui Province at the airport. He wrote ‘Parting is for a better reunion’ as he sent away those teams of heroes. I will try to find a proper time to invite him to dinner, as I really want to hear his first-hand stories as he accompanies those teams.

Other cities in Hubei province have already ended their quarantine and people are all free to go out and have fun. This is a picture taken by a friend who lives in the city of Chibi ’赤壁’. Those who are familiar with ‘Romance with three kingdoms’ will find the name familiar 🙂

 

I will end with a picture taken at Wuhan University. Wuhan University is famous for its cherry blossoms and after days of blooming, the flowers are fading without people watching. However, this creates yet another extraordinary view. It looks wonderful even without the people inside. If this COVID-19 has taught us anything, that is do not mess with nature. Human need to respect nature to live on, not the other way around. I believe people around the globe should learn to respect the basic laws of nature to prevent mistakes from happening again.

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