In times of coronavirus… trust your neighbour
The coronavirus outbreak has entered a new phase as it spreads all over the world. Cases in China are becoming less and less, with the official figures being 39916 current infections, 2791 deaths and 36254 cured as of today. South Korea and Italy are now two of the most affected countries and, interestingly, I haven’t heard yet of flight cancellations to those countries, and some places who were quick to ban the entry of people who had been in China and recommended their citizens not to come here think there is no need to take the same measures for South Korea and Italy. Meanwhile, here in China, we are still basically isolated even though there are less and less cases every day. Suzhou, for example, has not had any new cases in the last 10 days. But most airlines are not flying to and from Shanghai. Some of them, like Iberia, the Spanish carrier, have cancelled their Chinese routes until the end of April, but haven’t done the same for Italy or Japan. Does anyone want a ration of double standards?
The outbreak and the subsequent lockdown and quarantine have taken a huge toll on the Chinese economy, and it seems the virus will now continue rampaging the rest of the world, thanks to widespread panic. Up until last week everything was fine, but now markets are in free fall. Here’s the crisis we were waiting for! Some people think China is not reporting true numbers of new infections to avoid discouraging people to go back to work. My husband thinks Japan is not reporting their cases because they don’t want to have to cancel the Olympics and lose billions. A couple of days ago I read on the Facebook of a acquitance that lives in Japan that Korea had already tested 40000 people to check if they had the virus, while Japan had only tested 900.
But enough of speculation and retelling of news you already know. Today I wanted to tell you about a small aspect of our lives that has also changed because of the coronavirus: receiving parcels. Before the outbreak, delivery guys would either bring your parcel home or store it inside special delivery lockers inside the residential compound and text you a password to open the locker. Now, however, because compound restrict the entrance of anyone who doesn’t live there, delivery guys cannot enter and have to leave their parcels at the gate. And the same for delivered meals! You might think that it’s not a big deal to allow a delivery guy to enter, but the thing is that residential compounds here are HUGE (mine must house about 5000 people, at least) and people order many things online so, during normal times, the compound is always swarming with delivery guys coming and going. But now, to avoid personal interaction and minimize the chances of infection, our compound arranged these shelves by the main gate:
The thing with these shelves is that the delivery guys leave the things there and leave, so it could happen that someone takes your parcel, be it by mistake or intentionally. In fact, when I went to pick mine, no one asked me anything or checked that I was getting the correct one (and it had been there for a few hours and no one took it either). So they must trust the honesty and integrity of all the people that live here!
However, for some reason not all courier companies leave parcels in these shelves. No idea how it works. Another day I had to pick another parcel (yes, I’ve resumed my Taobao activity after a dry spell) and this time I was told to go outside the gate, and I saw this:
Wow, thanks for sharing! My friends in Italy are no on Lockdown. America is worried… we can only wait and see what happens. Stay safe.
I think by now it is pretty clear that it will reach most countries. Let’s see if at least it gets a bit better when summer approaches.
Well, if I were the rest of the world, I’d start banning flights from the US, since it appears our idiot President didn’t a) quarantine any passengers who flew with potentially infected Americans back from China, and b) then had federal workers meet them without taking ANY safety precautions like hazmat suits, etc.
I can only hope that our idiot President gets cover-19 before anyone else.
COVID-19, stupid autocorrect, this is why we say corona virus instead.
It seems up until yesterday he was saying the US was virus free? Then today someone died.
Yep. I mean, many politicians will spin, or even tell a lie or two. But Trump? The scale of his lying is unprecedented. He was up to more than 16,000 lies at the end of last year.
How can you tell if Trump is lying? HIS MOUTH MOVES.
Actually Italy isolated several cities too, flights from Italy into some countries in Europe has been cancelled, Hong Kong is not accepting anyone from South Korea either (but still accepts all Mainlanders), so I don’t think people are especially strict towards China. Also, the coronavirus did originate in China after all so what to do.
The new system of receiving parcels in your residential area is quite smart! Hopefully your neighbours are trustworthy 👍🏻
I don’t support cancelling flights anyway because experts consider it cannot avoid the spread, if anything only delay it. But I do believe European airlines are having double standards. I guess because they only have at most one daily flight to China, but to Italy they have many. I’ve read of having less flights but not due to airlines cancelling, it is due to people not wanting to go to Italy anymore. And by the time I wrote this, Trump, who was very fast to ban entrance to people who had been in China, was saying there was no need to do the same for Italy and Korea. Yep, it started in China so we got all the hate xD
It’s raining these days, I hope they are not leaving parcels on the ground!
I think we’re starting to suspend flights to and from various countries besides China. Amazon is asking its employees not to travel unless necessary, even within the US.
As Autumn said, our stupid president is just making things more difficult. He says the virus will miraculously disappear. He’s blaming the Democrats for the epidemic. He says they’re just trying to make him look bad and trying to ruin his chances of reelection. Federal employees and scientists aren’t allowed to speak to the public without the vice president’s permission. We’ve only tested a handful of people, and we don’t have many test kits. I’ve never seen such incompetence in our federal government.
Congratulations to China for getting COVID-19 under control as well as they have. Love your blue sky.
Trump never ceases to amaze me. And the worst thing is, I’m afraid he has a chance to be reelected!
I’m not sure it’s totally under control here. But life needs to get back to normal anyway! We can’t be confined at home forever!
hahaha hey Marta, you certainly know more China than I do!!!
It always hurts a bit to see how chaotic the arrangements can be, in this case the parcels can contains very personal or valuable things, lying on the ground like that… People live in China must be very integral :D :D
In Belgium, still people are not thinking it is very serious, they all think, meh, it is like flu… I am very concerned and try to avoid human contact as much as possible, maybe because of my Chinese genes.
Yeah, I think they will cancel the flights to Italy and Korea soon.
Nah, I don’t think it’s anything too valuable, I’m sure most of it is taobao crap hahaha
Hope Belgium is not too affected! There are many cases in Spain now.
Courier guys can’t come in to our compound either, everyday a bunch of them wait at a designated spot and ask us to come pick it up. It’s cumbersome cuz we have to wear the whole mask-gloves-coverall each time. The system isn’t foolproof if you think about it. Hoardes of people end up meeting in one spot, how’s that preventing exposure…? But I got to remind myself we don’t have it as bad as some areas, and I’m thankful for that.
It’s interesting to see how life’s like in other parts of China!
I think in most provinces the situation is similar! Except poor Hubei. Is your temperature being checked every time you want to go anywhere?
I haven’t gone out much or used public transport during this time >.< They don't check temps if we just go to buy grocery or pick up kuaidi parcels. The fact that this virus can stay on objects for at least 48 hours is worrying. We have to disinfect groceries now! One good thing is the pollution has improved greatly.
Oh, in our compound they check the temperature even if I was just outside the gate to give the courier guy a parcel. Since yesterday, we also need to register for a special QR code on Alipay that turns green, yellow or red depending if you are sick or came back from a very affected area. Supposedly, the data you provide to decide if you are green, yellow or red can be cross referenced with your phone positioning (i.e. if you claim you haven’t left the city but you did).
I haven’t been disinfecting groceries, as I think cooking them is enough and besides I think the chances of coming across an infected eggplant are quite low, at least here in Suzhou xD
I came to know recently that they take your temp if you just went out for a parcel here too! They also came and took temps and asked us to sign something and videotaped the whole thing -__- It’s only for the foreigners. A whole bunch of ppl came for that. They also did that QR thing, I think. One flaw with that is if you left your phone at home or if you have more than one account and phone. But I guess the chances are low.
Lol, we try to be more careful with stuff we consume raw, like salads or fruits. Random question, how do you cook your eggplants? I’m interested to know some new ways of eating it other than 烧茄子， 番茄炒茄子 and baba ganoush.
I actually need to go pick a parcel now but my phone has almost no battery so I need to charge it first, hahaha.
Mmmm what about 地三鲜？Or 鱼香茄子? Or, more Western style, eggplant minipizza (eggplant being the base, so better to choose those big round eggplants, and then tomato sauce, cheese and oregano on top)
Lol, it’s like a chain reaction :D 地三鲜? It’s sounds familiar…ok, just googled it, I like that one! 鱼香茄丝, gawd, just googled that too and it looks amazing! Might try that one some day. Eggplant pizza? Wow, sounds weird but anything with cheese is delicious :P Thanks for the suggestions!!
Also stuffed eggplants! I haven’t done that myself but my mum does. Man, now I’m hungry, hahaha.
I don’t think I’ve tried that one, it sounds mediterranean. Loll, that 鱼香茄子 got me :D
Thank you for posting. I lived in China during the SARS crisis and I remember all the quarantines in other parts of China. Hainan, where I lived at the time was one of the few provinces that were SARS free. China will get through this like they did with SARS.
Thanks for your comment! In one of my wechat groups there is a woman who was here during SARS and is still here now and she said this time there was much more panic, maybe due to social media and the overabundance of news. For the first month we were literally all the time checking the news and the official outbreak figures. Now we’re a bit more relaxed…
We had our first death from the virus here Marta. A seventy-three year old man in Western Australia. His wife also contracted the disease but seems to be ok at the moment. I know the Chinese always come up with great ways to do things when something happens…this is another of these…glad your parcels arrived safely.
I’m sorry to hear that! I’m afraid there’s going to be deaths in most countries :/
Thank you for making me giggle with your tell it like it is style. It’s great that the community building has come up with a way to deal with the parcels and how none get taken by mistake. And yes double standards with flights from China and to Italy.
I think a lot of the reporting of the cronovirus is sly of hand. Deflecting from other issues that otherwise might take president. It’s good how governments are coming up with ways to curb the virus (more so now money markets losses are now involved. Always comes down to money right). I don’t think any country expected it to travel how it has and so wasn’t prepared for it to hit their country. Barcelona cancelled the World Mobile Conference due to the virus which I think was a good move. Reduce the risk of rate of infection. However most people here seem kind of unconcerned and get on with day to day life. I read that one part of Madrid has sold out of face masks, however I’ve only seen one person out wearing one in Barcelona in the past week (not including cyclists). One great thing that has come out of it, is how it’s brought people together in a sense of community helping each other out when otherwise they might not have bothered, such as the parcel marquees!
A few days ago I read something interesting on a Spanish newspaper claiming that the Barcelona World Mobile Conference was “made to be cancelled” because it was going to be a show off of China’s 5G and certain countries didn’t want the world to see that China is a leader on that front. It makes sense because, if you remember, it wasn’t cancelled because of virus fears, but because many brands had pulled out, which was strange because they were still attending other events at more or less the same time in other parts of Europe.
It was a very interesting article, it also mentioned how every day there’s thousands of people dying of cancer, children dying of malnutrition, women being murdered by their partners, etc, however 3000 deaths (which are also a tragedy, of course) in one month due to the virus and the news make it seem it’s the end of the world.
I am concerned about the 5G. I’m sure all the wifi, pollution is what made the boys aka the cats so ill when looking back. Their bodies are so much smaller than ours therefore taking a bigger hit of the side effects.
I also saw an article like that too, to help downplay the fears. I’m with you on that one!
Hi Martha, are you familiar with the YouTuber Nathan Rich? He has done a great analysis of the coronavirus outbreak that is worth checking out. And stay safe.
Oh he looks familiar, I think I saw half a video. I don’t really watch YouTube much! Thank you! Stay safe you too!
Well, here in Malaysia, most MNCs have been walking the fine line between “not allowing you to not work from home” and “not allowing you to work from home” for a few weeks, and we finally have a first officially confirmed case here in Penang earlier this week. Yesterday, someone from my company was confirmed to have been in close contact with said confirmed case, so our factory has been shut down for deep cleaning and sanitization today until Sunday and we all get to stay home.
I finally have time to read fake news, read rumors, and read blogs at home. Yay!
Always look on the bright side, yes! Now you have some free time! Man, you’ve been missing for years already! Did you have to take the test in case you were infected at work?
Supposedly, all employees would have to be tested if our suspect colleague tested positive. But turns out his test result was negative, so it is now back to work for us.
We are doing now what China factories were doing though: temperature screening upon entry, all f2f meetings turned to online meetings, cafeteria seating rearranged to resemble college exam hall, etc.
Glad he tested negative! But you could have used some days at home xD
Yours is an excellent read!
What if a coronavirus could talk to us?
Read to know.
Scary times, but plenty of opportunities within! I’ve recently wrote about them.
May these opportunities help you in struggling well.
Thanks for sharing!