A few days ago, we received a letter from Mr. Wagner, a reporter of German Bild newspaper. He hoped to find Wuhan residents through us, hoping to know their living conditions during the epidemic period. We helped Mr. Wagner establish a connection.
Bild (German: Bild; Bild Zeitung), the daily newspaper of Germany, is issued by Axel Springer AG, with its headquarters in Berlin. Bild am Sonntag (abbreviated as BAMS), founded in 1956, is published every Sunday.
Below you can read the description of their lives from Wuhan residents:
How old are you and your mother?
I am 17 and my mother is 51.
How many people live in your flat? Who is it? You and your mother?
There are three people currently living in my flat, me, my mom and my dad.
Do you or your family have/ had Corona?
Luckily, none of my family members has caught the coronavirus.
When was the last time you were allowed to leave your apartment or apartment block?
People were allowed but not suggested to go out after the quarantine started, and were restricted to go out during the time when the epidemic became severe. My mom and dad leave the apartment for short periods to get groceries from the community volunteers, but I am always on curfew. The last time I went out was on Jan 20th.
Are you already allowed to go to work again?
Most residents in Wuhan are working from home right now, but those whose work required them to work outside were not yet allowed to work. A portion of workers working outside the Hubei province have been allowed to work again.
Are you already allowed to leave your apartment again?
Those whose neighborhood has no further infections are allowed to leave their apartments, but very few of them have left their apartment blocks.
Are you already allowed to take the bus or metro again?
The public transportations are scheduled to reopen tomorrow, March 28th.
Do you know at what day quarantine in Wuhan will end?
Quarantine in Hubei province ends on March 25th, and it ends in Wuhan on April 8th. By that time all means of transportations leaving the city are reopened to all citizens.
The shutdown of Wuhan started from Jan 23rd, the day before New Year’s Eve of traditional Chinese New Year. All the means of transportation leaving the city were closed, ranging from railways and airlines to highways. Though supermarkets, drug stores and grocery stores were still open, masks and disinfectant were out of sale. Then I bought some tissue paper, vegetables, fruits, meat, rice and noodles in supermarkets, where all the customers were wearing masks and keeping a 1.5-meter social distance.
As public transportation operations were halted, private car travels were restricted, supermarkets no longer operate to individuals, the shortage of necessities appeared gradually. Neighbors spontaneously set up a “living aid” group chat to exchange information of COVID-19 epidemic, encourage each other through the toughest time, and tackle grocery shortage issues. We purchased groceries through the group chat just as any other online transactions. Though the variety of goods were not as abundant as before, basic life need were well satisfied. I bought a bag of rice, two dozens of fruits and some vegetables, and planned carefully the daily consumptions of the food, so that I can prepare for the next online purchase. Shopkeepers were responsible for delivering the goods to our community volunteers, which were then picked up separately by us buyers. Community epidemic monitors required us to report fever cases online and reminded those who didn’t wear their masks or gathered around in the neighborhood. COVID-19 tested positive patients were sent to hospitals or quarantine centers. Our communities were on our way to a more transparent environment during the epidemic.
One night at 8.30 pm during the primary state of quarantine, all the Wuhan citizens shouted “武汉加油”, or “Come on, Wuhan!”, on our balconies and sang the national anthem together. I was deeply moved by the strong will of Wuhan citizens to fight the coronavirus together.
My family’s daily routine were very much the same as usual. A typical day of my daughter consisted of studying and taking classes online, reading books, listening to music, and sometimes, playing the piano. We usually do exercises together twice a day, mainly jogging and yoga. I am in charge of cooking and doing chores. I also follow the news update of the epidemic and work online from home. Neighbors in the living aid group chat posted cooking methods and DIY delicacies, which encouraged me to improve my culinary skills and make buns on my own instead of buying them from grocery stores as usual.
More and more life supplies from across the country were sent to Wuhan as days gone by. Some were delivered to hotels where the doctors fighting days after nights lived, others were sent to communities to aid the heirless elderly and the poor who cannot afford basic needs. As the situation grew better, the goods offered became more abundant. Fresh raw fish, Wuhan’s speciality-hot dry noodles, and strawberries can all be bought at reasonable prices. Supermarkets were reopened to individuals who possessed “health code” last week.
By the day there were no newly diagnosed COVID-19 patient, neighbors sang songs to celebrate the termination of our toughest time. Looking out from my balcony, blossoms grew vibrantly on the huge trees, youngsters were playing badminton on the playground, dogs were running all over the place and cats were lying in the grass fields, where a couple was feeding the them. People have turned an open heart to the vivid spring.
My daughter wanted badly to go back to school and learn and chill with her classmates. I would like to enjoy the beauty of my city Wuhan, walking along the Yangtze River bank, gazing at the bridges, breathing fresh air of nature, riding bikes on East Lake Green Tracks would all be great choices for me. But most of all, I want to visit my parents, both at their 80s, who lived in another city in Hubei province, to make up for the loss of reunion this year.