East vs West

Mad Chaos: February 3, 2020 – Hysteria Sets In During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Today, on our twelfth consecutive day of self-quarantine in Guangzhou (广州市) due to the coronavirus (冠状病毒), up until now we had made calls to the Australian consulate and the Hong Kong customs office to research all departure routes from China abroad.  I then ordered coffee online, while my wife prepared lunch.

Disapproval From Some People In Quarantine

The afternoon hours were stressful dealing with all those hassles.  My wife mopped the floor everywhere, picking the toys up off the floor to relax.

I got a message on my WeChat Moments (微信圈) from a Chinese friend in Shenzhen that commented on a WeChat Moments post.  Yesterday I posted photos from when our son rode his scooter outside in the dark by the lakeside away from people.

He wrote in Mandarin, “很不赞成你的行为。现在需要呆在家里。不要给国家舔负担.  ~  I really don’t approve of what you are doing.  Chinese people need to stay home now.  Don’t burden the country.”

I reflected on his comments.  To a degree, he is right.  In China, the government has told everybody to be under various amounts of quarantine, but they did not say, “Everyone lock yourself up indoors and never come out.”

However, people have freedoms.  People are still free to move and behave as they please, as long as it is in within reasonable limits.  I am not free to cough in people’s faces, but I have the freedom to take my son outside to play sensibly where there are no people around.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I just do not think the threat of the outbreak in China – especially in Guangzhou – is at such an extent that we have to hide inside our home and never go out.

Government Shuts Down Massage Clinics In China

Into the evening, I wanted to get a massage treatment for the stiff pain in the back of my neck.  I anticipated that due to the health and disease prevention processes in place to stem the novel coronavirus outbreak, that all massage centers would be closed.   I wanted to try nonetheless.

Carrying an umbrella, I stepped out of the apartment, plodding through the rain up Baoye road (宝业路) to a large two-level, sixty-room massage clinic that I often visit.  I figured, if anything is going to be open, this massage center will.

Once I stepped inside however, the building interior was dark, lights were switched off, and the massage clinic down the hall was closed.

Buildings In Darkness In Guangzhou

This convinced me that all massage clinics in Guangzhou would have received the same notice from the government to shut down their services due to health issues related to the transmission of coronavirus as a result of body-to-body contact.

My alternative option was to seek out a massage chair in Rock Square (乐峰广场).

Visiting The Rock Square Massage Chairs

With my slither of freedom today, I crossed the footbridge over to Rock Square.  The security used a handheld temperature gun to check my temperature.

Supermarket security checked my temperature a second time as I entered inside.  A large number of shoppers swirled around in the supermarket, so I had to keep to myself as I walked around the aisles in search of cereal.

When I searched for massage chairs I was confident the chairs all would be switched off at the socket.  It would be a health risk to hop into a chair that someone possibly infected with coronavirus had sat in before you.  However, I was surprised to see all the massage chairs still switched on.

A headache began to develop in my left temple, so I used the chairs to unwind.

Barely anybody was in the mall.  I counted three people pass on their way to the restrooms, but none of them paid attention to me in the chair.  Either they had their eyes glued on their phones as they walked, or they were busy with themselves.  In China, people barely look up to notice other people.

As I sat back and relaxed, the massage chair worked on my body and scalp.  The one-hour service only cost 32元.

Soon I hopped up and walked through the empty mall to Costa Coffee.  I purchased myself a latte.  My wife has started to drink coffees again, so I want to split the latte between us when I get back home.

Nursing A Throbbing Headache

As dusk set in around 6pm, I returned home to play with my son for a few hours.  I had an unhealthy day, mostly lay around, nursing a massive left-side temple headache.

It is not a normal throbbing headache.  It is a headache on the left lobe that emanates pain from the inside.  You need to massage it for the soft part of that lobe to get better.

I took 2 Panadol for the headache.  The Panadol did not help, so I had a one-hour nap. Then I pedaled for an hour on the exercise bike in the hopes this would ease the tension in my head.

Face Masks Rationed By Chinese and Taiwanese Pharmacies

Once my wife had put our son to sleep, we discussed coronavirus news reports and information we had read today.

She said, “In Taiwan they have rationed face masks.  You can only buy two face masks every seven days.  You have to register with your Medicare number to get them, otherwise you can’t get face masks in Taiwan.”

China is the same.  China has also made it difficult to purchase face masks.  You need to make an appointment online with a pharmacist, and then visit the pharmacy at the appointed time to purchase a ration of face masks.

I worried, “What about foreigners?  They will not be able to get face masks readily.”

Discussing The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

My wife also shared some articles with me about racism, especially from Australia.

She showed me a newspaper that labeled the coronavirus a Chinese virus.  There was a change.org petition signed by more than 50,000 people that wanted the papers to apologize for their racism.

Another trending article had Chinese people hold up a piece of paper that says “I am not a virus” to basically share the sentiment that Chinese people are not the virus.  Being Chinese does not mean you automatically have the coronavirus.

Obviously if Australia and other countries completely close their borders to anyone that comes from mainland China, that is also a form of racism.

What bothered me was the lack of international support for the people of China who were suffering during this novel coronavirus outbreak.  Where is the help coming from America and Australia?  Where are the donations of face masks in their hundreds of thousands being flown into Wuhan and given to Chinese nationals and Australian expats who are in China?  It is not happening.

In other news, Thailand allegedly has come up with a treatment for coronavirus using a combination of cold and flu and HIV medication.  One patient who took this combined medication was well after 48 hours and was able to leave the hospital.  That sounded like a breakthrough.

Does The Coronavirus Create Panic In China

I also read news reports that the Chinese government issued a new decree to cremate all coronavirus-related deaths.  China has constructed two new 1,000 bed hospitals for coronavirus patients.  The patients who die will immediately be cremated.

In other news reports, Wuhan residents have also been discriminated against as they travel to other provinces.  Local residents inform police, and those Wuhan residents are allegedly quarantined.

Reports like this made me believe that this coronavirus outbreak has instilled great fear and hysteria in ordinary Chinese people.  We live in times now that hark back to the Cultural Revolution where some people dobbed in their own family members to the Communist Party.  The family members would be punished for dissent.  We are seeing that kind of fear circulating around China now.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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