East vs West

Mad Chaos: January 27, 2020 – Interaction Curbed Amid Growing Coronavirus Fears

Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak (冠状病毒) in China, our family has now experienced its fifth consecutive day of self-quarantine in Guangzhou (广州市).

Our son woke up in the cot beside our bed.  My wife took him into the living room to play.  I continued to sleep a few hours longer.

When I woke up, my wife was cooking lunch.  She wanted to visit the markets behind our apartment block to purchase vegetables.

She asked, “Do you want to take our son downstairs for a little while?”

I said, “Okay, we can do that but we can’t take him too far.”

I came out to play with our son.

Both of us were concerned that our son had been indoors too long.  He needed to play outside and socialize with other kids, but with restrictions on freedoms in Guangzhou imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we were worried as parents that it could expose him to the virus.

We decided we would take him downstairs so that he could play on his scooter.

Coronavirus Outbreak Daily Updates

My daily ritual with the coronavirus outbreak is to come online and see how many new coronavirus infection cases there are every day and how many new deaths have resulted from the coronavirus.

I found out the death toll is 81 people with more than 2,700 cases of novel coronavirus infections.

SARS only had 8,000 cases worldwide over a span of six months.  This is allegedly only one month into the novel coronavirus outbreak.  We are already 1/3 of the way there in terms of worldwide cases of SARS infections.  Those are scary numbers.

If the novel coronavirus infection rate continues to trend upward, a high mortality rate is inevitable.

The Chinese government has ordered the Chinese public holiday to be extended so as to curb the coronavirus epidemic.  The Chinese government has also banned wildlife trade, as the coronavirus spreads.

Meanwhile, overseas, growing racism towards Chinese people has been reported in Australia.  Fake coronavirus material warning people to stay away from Chinese suburbs appeared in Queensland.  In Thailand, public anger grew over the coronavirus as the number of confirmed infections grows.

Lunchtime Family Time

Soon, lunch was ready.  My wife made a tofu soup with green vegetables, a dish with mixed eggs, and one bowl of rice each.

We hoisted our son into his dinner chair and gave him a three-course meal of exactly the same food we were eating.  He had one part rice, one part tofu, and one part eggs with greens.

My wife remarked, “He prefers eating the same food that we eat.”

I agreed, “Yeah, so we should give him normal food from now on.”

I stood up from the dinner table and fed him more than two-thirds of his food before I began on my own food.

Taking Our Son Outdoors To Play

Soon, I mentioned, “I really want to get a coffee.  Can you get me a Lucksin coffee?”

She said, “I can.  I want to get a drink too.”

We used WeChat (微信) to order two drinks for 49RMB.

As we waited I suggested, “How about we go downstairs and get our son to play while you buy some more groceries?”

At that moment she got a call from the coffee delivery man.

She said, “How about you go downstairs first to get it?”

I quickly put a jacket on.  My son was yelping out at me.

She said, “I will come down with him in a few minutes.”

I said, “Okay, make sure to bring his scooter.”  I donned a face mask, reminded her to wear her face mask outside, and came to wait for the elevator down.

When I came to our internal courtyard within our apartment complex I realized how cold it was.  The wind was very frigid, and blew quite strongly.  My hands were so frozen I had to clasp them for warmth.  Although I had a jacket on I still felt cold.

I greeted the delivery driver at the entrance gate to our apartment block, and thanked him for the coffees.


Soon, my wife came downstairs with our son in his pram.  He is pointing around, very interested at being outside.

I scooped him up and placed him onto his scooter on the courtyard floor.  He had thick clothes on, so he was fine.  He starts to push his scooter forwards.

Occasionally, our Chinese neighbors walked in and out of the courtyard.  They looked at us and smirked at my son playing.

My wife said, “I will be back in a few minutes.  I will go into the markets.”

Coffee in hand, I wheeled my son over to a seated area away from the wind.

I thought, “It is too cold outside.”

I decided to take him to the corner convenience store and get him to play there in the tunnel between two buildings, away from the wind.  But he did not have a mask on, so it was quite dangerous.

Every now and again I heard people around us coughing.  I did not want our son to get any kind of germs floating around the air.  I picked him up, peering to the back entrance of our apartment complex to see whether my wife had popped in through the back gate.

She exclaimed, “The groceries were expensive!  The prices have gone up!”  Then we took our son back upstairs.

Chinese Soap Operas And VPN

We had a lazy evening indoors afterwards.  While my wife napped, I worked.  I used the exercise bike for half an hour.  I tried to get the VPN to work so that I could read international news reports, but the VPN was slow.  I downloaded a new VPN called Windscribe tonight.

Later I ducked downstairs to purchase 10 eggs and a few different grocery items.

When my wife woke up she watched movies and soap opera episodes on her mobile phone.  She mentioned it is a Chinese drama about Chinese life played mostly by Japanese actors.  I left her alone to do her own thing.  I did the same.

Putting Our Son To Sleep

Meanwhile, we put our son to sleep early.  He did cry two times in the night.  We have started to train him to sleep on his own when he cries, and not be cuddled back to sleep.

I did not pick him up.  I put my whole body around him, with one arm underneath his chest and the other arm on top of his shoulder.  I gently pinned him down, but he kept crying, grabbing the top bar.  He turned his body around, kicked his feet, scratched around with his hands, crawled on the bed and cried hysterically.  He carried on like that for more than fifteen minutes.

Eventually I cupped him with my entire body tapped his back saying, “There, there.  There, there.  Sleep, sleep, sleep.”

It worked.  He stopped crying and started to go to sleep.  It is the first time he has gone to sleep without having to get picked up or breastfed.  I think that struggle really knocked him out.  He slept uninterrupted until the morning hours.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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