This title sounds a bit more extensive than the post will be. I asked a few online friends in China (contacts, if you’d rather) about their experience with this virus issue, and they passed on some thoughts.
I’d hoped it would come together better than it did. It had seemed the human side of the story was getting lost in the first six weeks of reporting on it, and the fear and unusual restrictions within China were special conditions not being considered elsewhere. As everyone knows, the entire country was essentially closed down for a month, then not completely re-opened after. Then the accounts passed on by contacts in China were mostly just about people missing the normal New Year holiday experience, and being bored in isolation, and concerned. Economic impact came up; it’s hard to imagine how extensive that would be, or how long it would take for full effects to trickle down. I’ll share some input all the same.
My wife and kids getting ready for an ice skating lesson – wearing masks
My good friend Cindy of Wuyi Origin described the general earlier status:
So from 26th [of January] the government took fast action, and did not allowed the people to gather together, and not go outside. Each village closed the roads in order to protect the village’s people. They did not allow outside people to enter their village. For example Wuyishan has 3 high speed ports (highways?) but the government here closed that. No one can stop in Wuyishan and enter here from high-speed ports before the 18th of Feb.
Another contact mentioned how although this sounds extreme he actually approved of it, since that extreme measure was for the benefit of the entire country; and was probably the only way to effectively stop virus transmission. I’ll get back to that other input but wanted to also mention Cindy’s take on the impact on the economy:
Several doctors and nurses lost their lives in this incident. And in China many enterprises face bankruptcy. It is really a big influence on the economy. In Wuyishan now, 80 percent of the shops are not open [to be clear that was a bit earlier, maybe different now]. All the hotels and restaurants cannot start the business until the situation is stable.
…One of my cousins invested in a hotel in Wuyishan. He invested a lot of his family’s savings, and borrowed some from others. This will cause very poor business for his hotel, like SARS in 2003. That lasted almost 2 years, then everything went back to normal…
To be continued in Chinese Tea Producers Talk About Coronavirus Experiences – Part 2
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