On March 8, in a community in Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in central China’s Hubei Province, Gao Ruopei, a nine years old pupil, joined her 4-year-old sister to play games at home. While her father performed his duties at a local police station and her mother worked as a volunteer to purchase vegetables and medicines for the residents in the community, the little girl took the responsibility to take care of her sister.
In the past 46 days, she learned how to make bed, fold clothes, help her sister to shower and make breakfast. But what brought her most excitement was taking classes online. She said, “I am delighted to take online courses offered by our school, and I hope the virus can be wiped out as soon as possible!”
The precipitate monster of COVID-19 sweeping the whole city and the country at large disrupted the celebrations of the Spring Festival. On January 23, Wuhan was placed under lockdown, with more than 9 million people quarantined consequently. The city later halted public transport, closed communities and restricted visits to supermarkets. The whole country soon followed suit with stringent epidemic prevention and control measures.
People around the country are staying at home to stop the transmission of the virus. Home has become a crucial battlefield in the fight against the ferocious virus.
A Wuhan resident surnamed Yuan, who works as a designer, felt a great deal of stress after his community was locked down. The first thing he did after waking up every day was to read news about the epidemic. To calm his family, Yuan picked up some psychology books. He read the books through livestreaming platforms to share what he leant with others.
On February 18, Yuan’s wife knew that the makeshift Huoshenshan Hospital was in need of plastic bags. But no company in Wuhan could provide plastic bags during that period. The couple contacted a friend in Zhejiang Province in east China with whom they had cooperated before. Hearing that the bags were for Huoshenshan, local authorities approved their friend’s application to resume production, and six days later, 2,000 bags arrived at the hospital. Being able to make some contribution even when staying at home made the couple feel proud.
Zhou Yongjun is a retiree who previously worked in an electricity company in Wuhan. Before the lockdown, he went back to his hometown Jingzhou, another city in Hubei. During his stay at home, he decided to keep a diary. On March 7, he wrote in the diary that “after a month of quarantine at home, I was feeling a bit low. Then a volunteer knocked on my door to deliver free wax gourd on behalf of the government. He cheered me up and said the next day the government was going to send another 5 kilograms of free vegetables to the community.”
On March 6, a 57-year-old Wuhan resident surnamed Chen celebrated the birthday of his wife. During the lockdown period, Chen learned how to make purchases online, while his daughter learned how to make steamed dumplings and cakes.
To Chen’s delight, his daughter and son-in-law, who used to leave soon after having a meal, stayed at his home every day. “Sakura downstairs have blossomed these days, and I’m convinced the day for the reopening of the city is approaching,” Chen said.
(Photo courtesy of Hubei Daily and cbg.cn)
Copyedited by Madhusudan Chaubey
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