East vs West

Mad Chaos: January 28, 2020 – Questioning The Transparency Of Coronavirus Reports

Today I woke up late in the afternoon.  It is our sixth consecutive day of self-quarantine in Guangzhou (广州市) due to the coronavirus (冠状病毒).

My son was playing in the living room.  I walked over to him and said, “Hi!”

My wife mentioned, “I ordered takeaway bread pancakes online from the bakery.  I saved you one.”

I thanked her and had a nibble.

Updates On The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Then we began to ask each other about the novel coronavirus outbreak updates.

I asked, “Do you know how much people have been infected today?”

We talked about the infection rates.  The coronavirus death toll had jumped to 106 people, with 1,771 new cases.  I had predicted the death rate from coronavirus would have risen past the psychological 100 deaths milestone.

Friends and relatives in Australia had read my remarks on Facebook about the coronavirus.  They all told me to stay safe.

A relative commented, “If you need anything from Australia just let me know.”  I am thinking I need my cholesterol medication.  I have run out.  I could ask a relative to mail the medication overseas to me in China.  I worry if I come to a Chinese hospital in Guangzhou and queue up to see a doctor that I could get infected and then inevitably coralled and quarantined in a Chinese hospital for coronavirus patients.

Encourage Exercise For Better Immunity

For the next two hours I played with my son around the television room area.

The reported cases of human to human transmission of coronavirus outside of China worried me now.  I worried that when my wife and I take turns to leave our apartment that we would be exposed to people with coronavirus who are asymptomatic.  If my wife gets infected with the virus now it is going to be big trouble for her immune system.

I mentioned, “I think you should do some exercise because if you contract the coronavirus, you should be healthy.”

She nodded at me, “Okay.”

She changed into Adidas pants.  I had never seen her wear those kinds of pants before in my life.  It was really funny and retro.  She hopped onto the exercise bike for 45 minutes and watched her Chinese drama with Japanese actors.

I meanwhile chased our son around the living room floor and into his tee-pee, saying, “I am going to get you!”

Coffees For Adults, Crayons For Kids

We also ordered Luckin coffees (瑞幸咖啡) online using WeChat Pay (微信支付).  The discounted cost for a cappuccino and latte was 40元 plus delivery.  Today was a good day.

At 4:50pm the delivery guy rang up.  My wife ducked downstairs with a face mask on to pick up our coffee.  The day starts at 4:50pm for me.

Soon, my wife ducked into the kitchen to prepare dinner.  I took care of our son in that hour.

Recently, my son has become fixated with my coffee cup.  He wants to drink from the cup.  I hid the coffee cup behind my body but he sneakily found his way around.  I allowed him to touch the warm coffee cup but he tried to take a sip.  When I took the cup away he started to cry.  I distracted him with crayons instead.

Crayons were a fun, new game.  He has various, colored cars made of crayon.  We took a piece of paper out, put this onto the glass table and showed him how to draw pictures.

At first he observed us.  I drew smiley faces and straight lines up and down on the paper.  My wife drew squiggly lines and was more creative.  It took ten minutes for him to grab a crayon car, and push it across the paper to draw lines.  What I was surprised about is that he did not try to eat the car at all.

Transparency Of Chinese Domestic News Reports About Coronavirus

As my son wormed into his play pen, I came online to check on novel coronavirus updates, but news reports from within China are slow.

The truth seems hard to find in Chinese news media.  The Chinese news outlets do not come up with regular updates.  Infection rates and death rates are published once per day.  Then you do not hear anything about anything.  That is not transparent at all.

If the coronavirus outbreak began in America, Western news media and the free press would have an update every hour with the American government giving updates on the situation as it evolved.

China has a very different style of governance to Western systems of governance.  In the West and with the Australian bushfires for example, the Australian people got angry with the Prime Minister.  It forced the Prime Minster to come out, and make statements all the time, and react to the Australian people.

But the Chinese government is not the same.  It is not out there every hour giving updates about what is going on.  We are all waiting on China to give factual information, while China keeps most of the facts to itself.

The people of China do not get informed about what is happening. They see that the Chinese premier is in Wuhan, but they don’t actually see what decisions he is making. They do not see videos of hospital staff behind the scenes telling the real story.

On Chinese news we see officials going to places and making decisions, but the people of China are none the wiser about what happens next with the decisions that are made.

People who lack information have to fill the vacuum that the Chinese government creates.  If they don’t put information out there, then people will just make information up based on their paranoia and superstitions.  That is why there is so much paranoia around.  The lack of transparency leads to Chinese whispers.

You have all these kinds of conspiracy theories coming out.  The Chinese government does not negate those paranoid superstitions.  It creates an information vacuum.   That is very frustrating because I am trying to plan my life through this coronavirus outbreak, and you just cannot make plans without factual information.

An Apocalyptic China

As I tried to find accurate, transparent news reports online regarding the coronavirus, I looked out the window and saw it was getting dark outside.  We had spent the whole day indoors.  My son was in his play pen beside the window.  You could see outside from the play pen.  I thought it ironic that we have to be stuck indoors self-quarantined all day, but we can see the temptations of Chinese life outside.

Outside in China used to be such a fun place.  On any given day outside in China you could mix with hundreds of people on the street.  The sheer number of people in public, the many characters around and many opportunities is what made China so fun.  Now when I look out the window China seems cold, barren, and remote.  We have an apocalyptic China on our hands now.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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