East vs West

Mad Chaos: January 26, 2020 – Coronavirus Causes Bolstered Security Presence

Today I was woken up by a tap on the door from my son saying, “Baba.  Baba.”

It was cold today so I put a blanket down in front of the TV and scattered his toys on there so that he would not be cold.

For the next hour and a half I played with my son.

My throat was a tiny bit coarse.

Grocery Run In Rock Square, Guangzhou

In the afternoon I said, “I am going to go to the markets downstairs to get groceries.”

I think my wife felt stifled indoors due to our decision to self-quarantine because of the coronavirus outbreak.  She needed some fresh air.

I remarked, “You can go out later today and I will take care of the baby.”

I donned a face mask ready for a grocery run to stock up our fridge.

As I walked through Shayuan (沙园) towards Rock Square (乐峰广场) it struck me how almost everybody was wearing a mask, and how few people walked around on the streets of Guangzhou (广州市).

The Chinese public was nowhere to be seen, that is, until I got to Rock Square.

A Bolstered Security Presence

The Rock Square entrance doors threw me off.  Railed security fences – the kind you would see at metro stations – had been erected outside the entrance.  People were forced to queue up single-file to have a security guard check their temperature using a hand-held forehead thermometer.  The security guard checked everybody that came in.

A Long Snaking Queue

Once inside the mall I came to the supermarket downstairs, stunned to see a line from the supermarket entrance snaking back fifty meters to where the back entrance for Costa Coffee is.

There must have been 200 people waiting in line to get food.

I thought, “Not today!”

Instead I came to Starbucks and bought a cappuccino.

The Local Markets

Slowly, I walked back to the markets adjacent to our apartment block to buy food.

I bought apples, cooking oil, fruit, vegetables, and curry, totalling 100元.

At Home In Guangzhou

When home in our apartment in Guangzhou, my wife prepared lunch as I played with my son for an hour.


He tried to grab my coffee, so I gave it to him.  When I take the coffee cup away he starts to cry.  I distracted him with my shiny phone in front of his face。  He became interested enough to release the coffee cup so that he could press the mobile phone buttons.

In between playing with my son and eating the carrot and egg pancakes that my wife had made, I got onto the exercise bike for half an hour.

I need to keep fit and maintain a strong immune system in these next few weeks before we return to Australia with Scoot airlines on March 13, 2020.

Later, a student called in for an English class on the The Language Master APP.  We only spoke for half an hour.

In the early evening my wife took our son to the bedroom to breastfeed him.  She had a nap too.

Discussing The Coronavirus Over Dinner

In the meantime I came to the kitchen to cook dinner for the family.

My wife and son soon woke up.  I showed off the curry and rice dinner, as she prepared food to feed our son.

I did airplanes in front of my son, singing and spinning to amuse him while my wife fed him with a spoon.  He laughed at me.

During dinner we discussed the latest reports on the coronavirus outbreak in China.  It was reported that 1,975 people have been infected with the coronavirus, and 56 people have died.

Canada reported its first domestic case of the coronavirus.  There were 5 confirmed cases of coronavirus in America.

Local Australian news reported that 100 Australian kids are trapped in Wuhan due to the city-wide lockdown.  There were reports that Australians in the coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan could be evacuated by the Australian government.  France will also airlift citizens out of Wuhan.

There were reports that China has rushed to build a hospital in Wuhan to treat coronavirus patients.  It will be built within one week, and will house 1,000 coronavirus patients.

I was alarmed to also to learn that coronavirus is infectious even during incubation, and that it spreads before symptoms show.

Another Grocery Run

We finished dinner at 8pm.  Then I put balloons, toys, balls, and all kinds of other baby toys on the floor and came to play with my son.

My wife mentioned, “I am going to go out now to buy rice.”

Ten minutes later she sent an audio message to say, “The markets downstairs are not open so I am going to Rock Square instead.”

Twenty minutes later, she messaged, “I went to Rock Square and they are also closed.  I am going to try to go across the street to where I used to work.  I just want to get out of the house for fresh air because I have not had fresh air for a long time.”

Later, she returned carrying a huge bag.  She bought tofu, more apples, a 1.5 kilo bag of rice, some bread, and cake snacks for us all to eat.

I exclaimed, “Wow, you bought a lot!  You must have paid a lot of money for this?  Was it around 100元?”

She said, “It was more than that.”

I said, “Good.  We don’t have to shop around for the next few days.”

Playing Online Mahjiang 麻将 

My wife relaxed for the next few hours playing Mahjiang (麻将) online with her relatives.

I pushed my son around the house on his scooter.  There was a dance festival on TV where kids between 5-12 years old danced in salsa outfits, sang songs and played the drums.  He sat there on his scooter engrossed with the little girl groups dancing to music, also watching intently as the boys played drums.

Later, I hopped onto the exercise bike and started to exercise for another half an hour.

Giving A Relaxing Foot Rub

Soon, we took our son to bed.  We had spent a great deal of time playing with him indoors all day.


I had the tongue-in-cheek idea to give my wife a foot rub

I walked up to her on the sofa and smiled, “You are the lucky person tonight who will receive a 5-minute foot massage from me.”

She asked, “What did you do wrong?”

I said, “Nothing.  You can just fantasize about what it is that happened.”

I got down onto the floor like a masseuse and started to massage her feet.  We chatted about the coronavirus outbreak among other things as she played mahjiang online with her relatives.

Later I filled a bucket full of water and added a tea satchel so she would relax.

“I’ve played too much.  I am going to sleep,” she prepared for bed.

I came to work in the study room a while longer.  Every now and again I coughed because it was so cold.  Even the cat is so cold that he has jumped into my luggage and is sitting in there to avoid the cold chills.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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