Day17 Wuhan Diary 武汉日记





2020.2.8 The 18th Day of the Wuhan City Closure


Today is Lantern Festival. Today marks the end of the Lunar New Year.

I’ve never bought flash-frozen tangyuan dumplings before. It's hard to get anything fresh now. Normally we would make our own at home but now we lack for most everything. Everything except for time. Yesterday evening I used the grinder to grind black sesame and peanuts. This morning I added oil and caster sugar and then boiled it to make black sesame filling which together with the family we put into the tangyuan and then boil them. This is the first time we made them this way but the taste is good, the aroma is tangy, and they were delicious.

While eating the tangyuan, friends sent me the news that a former colleague had died from the new type coronavirus pneumonia. This colleague was not old so his death came very unexpected. Not surprising though given what we have here in Wuhan today. Today I saw online that a professor who taught graduate students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology has passed away. Sometimes the foolish idea comes to my head that the virus is really quite “fair”. No matter whether you are rich or poor, noble or base, young or old, no one is exempt.

Sitting at my desk, listening to the twittering of the birds outside my window seeming to welcome the Spring, it feels like they live in a completely different world from us. As I think about it, I decide that it is a ridiculous thought. People have great difficulty sharing the sorrow and happiness of another. How much less this must be true for creatures of different species!

According to the latest news, the pangolin may be an intermediate host for the new coronavirus.

I feel that this is very depressing news.

The Pangolins is a protected species. The Chinese pangolin has been listed as "critically endangered" on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which means that they are just one step away from extinction. Chinese do a lot of pangolin hunting not only to eat wild game but also for Traditional Chinese Medicine which uses pangolin body parts to made medicine. It said that Traditional Chinese Medicine made from pangolin body parts helps “stimulate the circulation of the blood and helps muscles and joints relax” as well as for “stimulating menstrual flow and promoting lactation”. This is because, it is said, that pangolins are good at digging holes, Thus liquids can flow through through the body without causing pain.

What idiocy! Anyone of normal intelligence could not believe such a thing!

But that’s what Traditional Chinese Medicine says so some people believe it!

Recently many people in the neighborhood WeChat group have been sharing so-called Traditional Chinese Medicine prescriptions for preventing new type coronavirus pneumonia. Even my own mother has talked to me about this a few times. Whenever I just get indescribably angry. There is really to argue about on this matter. It’s just common sense. However could Traditional Chinese Medicine “prevent” problems that modern medicine can’t solve? When you drink the Traditional Chinese medicine does it go down to your stomach to do diplomatic negotiations with the virus? I don’t think Traditional Chinese Medicine even works as well as drinking more warm water – and drinking water doesn’t have side-effects.

Anyways doesn’t Chinese medicine argue that its great strength is finding “the particular prescription suited to each individual person?” Then how can it offer one prescription to everyone online? That is very simple logic.

This just enrages me!

There are always people claiming that their relatives terminally ill with cancer prolonged their lives by taking Chinese medicine. This makes me think of the "placebo effect" one reads about in popular science publications. Even more astounding is that some people say that Traditional Chinese Medicine is unfathomable to ordinary people because it is philosophy. No, it isn’t “philosophy”. Its metaphysics! !

That’s how some ordinary people see it. Now Chinese officials as well are promoting Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat patients with mild cases of the new type pneumonia. This is even more annoying. Shuanghuanglian is a farce. [Note: Shuanghuanglian oral liquid consisting of honeysuckle, scutellaria baicalensis and forsythia. According to a PRC anti-rumor website, it is being studied, but no evidence of effectiveness in preventing coronavirus pneumonia and people should not take it.]

Does pushing this medicine have to end up not only defrauding people but taking their lives as well?

I do not completely reject Traditional Chinese Medicine. If one considers the matter carefully, the classifications "Chinese medicine" and "Western medicine" are not rigorously objective ones. The difference is really between "traditional medicine" and "modern medicine". Traditional medicine has analyzed and refined by modern medicine. By reasoning, we arrive at correct principles. One hundred years ago, the Chinese New Culture Movement promoted "Mr. Democracy" and "Mr. Science". Why do we still use the those theories which “belonged to our ancestors” to fool people today? That is not medicine, that in not modern civilization. Promoting these things is just making people stupid and foolish. The end result: just look at the pangolins, just look at us in Wuhan. Is that lesson not already painful enough?

I only hope that pangolins do not share the fate of the civets – many of these were killed during the SARS epidemic.

The Chinese have already harmed this species too much.

However, maybe there are not many wild pangolins left at all to hunt down and kill.

Finally, I want to tell about how I went out the evening before last to throw out the garbage. Suddenly I noticed that there were plastic trash barrels were placed a result intervals on the street with a sheet of paper on them reading "Special barrel for medical face masks".

From the placement of this trash barrel on the main road and not in the centralized garbage collection area in the community. The trash barrels is very large and has no cover so that the contents will be exposed to the air.

This arrangement, first of all, makes it harder to throw out the trash since residents will have to go off in two different directions to throw out the trash that they have separated. Second, how long have these barrels been sitting there? How often are they picked up? Our community has not put out any notice. If I didn’t happen to see them, I wouldn’t have know that they were there. Even if I had seen them, the trash I carried out would already be sealed in a bag so I wouldn’t be able to separate it. Next, if some people in cars passing by threw face masks into the barrel, the air current might carry them away. Even if they don’t, the face mask may have virus on it that is in direct contact with the air. Wouldn’t that make the virus spread even further?

When you take all that into consideration, wouldn’t it have been better to dispense with this kind of doing things for appearances’ sake?



2月8日 武汉封城第17天


今天是元宵节,今天过完,农历新年就正式结束了。

之前没有买速冻汤圆,现在买东西也不容易,索性就自己包汤圆了,反正现在什么都缺,就是不缺时间。昨晚就把家里剩下的黑芝麻和花生用料理机磨碎备好,今早加了油和白砂糖,简简单单就熬成了一小锅黑芝麻馅,跟家人一起包好汤圆下锅煮熟,虽然是第一次做,味道倒是不错,香气扑鼻,挺好吃的。

吃汤圆的时候收到朋友的消息,一个前同事因为感染新型肺炎昨晚过世了。这位同事年纪不大,就这样走了挺意外的,但是发生在现在的武汉,似乎也不算意外了。刚才在网上又看到,一位华中科大的教授、博士生导师也去世了。有时候会傻傻的想,病毒可真是一个特别“公平”的东西,不管贫富贵贱男女老幼,都难以凭个人的意志去豁免。

坐在书桌前,听着窗外的啾啾鸟鸣,好像是在热热闹闹的迎接着春天,仿佛它们与我们不在一个世界,想想又觉得自己好笑得很,人的悲喜都不能相通,何况不同物种呢。

最近的新闻说,穿山甲可能是新型冠状病毒潜在的中间宿主。看到这个消息,我觉得特别郁闷。

穿山甲是保护动物,在国际自然保护联盟IUCN的红色名录上中华穿山甲已被列为“极危”,距离灭绝只有一步之遥。至于中国人大肆捕猎穿山甲的原因,除了吃野味,中医也脱不开干系。中医将穿山甲入药,据说能“舒筋活络”“通经下乳”,之所以这样认为的原因据称是——穿山甲擅长挖洞,能“通”,通则不痛。

白痴啊!脑袋正常的人都不会相信这一套吧!

但是中医,就有人信!

最近本地群里有很多人在发所谓的预防新型肺炎的中药方,连我妈妈都跟我说过几次,我每次看到就无名火起。这根本不是什么需要辩论的问题,只是常识而已,现代医学没有办法解决的问题,中医怎么“预防”?药喝到肚子里跟病毒搞外交吗?我看不如多喝热水效果好吧,还没有副作用呢!何况中医不是经常标榜自己特别讲究,“一人一方”吗?怎么面对病毒的时候就能一个药方全网发呢?这不是很简单的逻辑吗。

气死我了!

总有人言之凿凿说哪个亲戚癌症晚期,靠喝中药延长了寿命,我就特别想科普“安慰剂效应”。更神奇的是还有人高深莫测的说中医是哲学,一般人不能理解!

“哲学”?根本是玄学吧!

普通百姓也就罢了,现在官方也在推动中药治疗新型肺炎的轻症患者,这就更让人生气了,双黄连已经是一场闹剧,难道除了割韭菜,还要收人命吗?

我不是完全否定中药的意义,认真追究起来,“中医”和“西医”的分类本身也不够客观,而是“传统医学”和“现代医学”的区别,将传统医药通过现代医学进行分析、提炼和论证才是正理。距离中国新文化运动提出“德先生”和“赛先生”已经100年了,怎么还能用“老祖宗的东西”这套理论去忽悠人呢,那不是医学、不是现代文明,而是愚昧和愚民。最后的结果——看看穿山甲,看看我们武汉人,这样的教训还不够惨痛吗?

惟愿穿山甲不要重蹈SARS时期果子狸被大量捕杀的境遇,对于这个物种中国人已经亏欠太多了。

不过,也许,野生的穿山甲根本也没有多少可供捕杀了。

最后闲记一笔,前晚出门扔垃圾,忽然发现路边每隔一段距离安放了一个塑料垃圾桶,桶身上贴了A4白纸,上书“医用口罩专用”。

这个垃圾桶,从摆放的位置上说,是马路的主干道,而非小区的垃圾集中回收区域,从垃圾桶的本身来说,体积非常大而且没有加盖,整个垃圾桶内容物会直接与空气接触。

这样的设置,首先就很不方便扔垃圾,居民可能需要往返两个方向才能分类丢弃;其次,这个垃圾桶什么时候摆在这里、回收频率如何,我们社区内没有任何的公告,如果不是我看到根本不会知道它的存在,即便我看到了,由于手里拎的垃圾袋是完整打包好的,不可能现场进行分类;然后呢,如果往来有车辆,扔到这个垃圾桶里面的口罩就有可能被气流带出来,就算不会,口罩上可能存在的病毒直接与空气接触,不会造成大范围传播吗?

都这个时候了,这种形式主义的东西能不能别搞了!

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