Day23 Wuhan Diary 武汉日记

2020.2.14 The 23rd day of Wuhan lockdown 中文日记最下

Today is Valentine’s Day, my original plan was to go to Hubei Theater and watch opera “Qin’s Moon”. But now my days are just like paused. Three meals reduce to two meals a day, do some easy exercise after wake up, have brunch, read books, remember vocabularies, take dinner, finish diary, watch movie then go to bed. I’ve lived day like this for three weeks. I’m having a regular life which I never had after graduated from senior high. I sleep early and wake up early, drink no coke and milk tea, eat no junk food, I assume I’ll have this kind life again after my retirement. However, life without junk food is without fun.

It had been raining all night yesterday, the sound of heavy rain made me sleep poorly, and I was waken by one raging thunder at six o’clock. While having lunch, my mom told me there’s an old saying“thunder in January, skulls make hill “. I checked lunar calendar, today is January 21st. I felt cold suddenly, and I got goose-bumped.

Since the day before yesterday, Wuhan lock down each neighborhood officially. This didn’t affect my family at all. Since I am the only person who throw garbage and take packages, my parents has never stepped outside for 23 days. Even myself couldn’t remember when was last time I went out. And also no one was really administrate our neighborhood, everybody could go in and out freely. I have a wechat group with my old friends inside, these friends separated in Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang(three towns of Wuhan). Every day we discussed and compared the anti-infection measures of each neighborhoods, my neighborhood rank last definitely.

But I have no intention to criticize all community workers in Wuhan. I know they have faced huge risks and pressure, and many of them have been infected during this time. I have heard many misunderstandings and abuses towards them, and these pressures have gone beyond their responsibilities and capabilities.

A few days ago, there was a notice of seeking help shared online: an old man with Parkinson’s disease was left alone at home without any help. His wife passed away due to the COVID-19. His children and grandchildren were away from Wuhan, in hospital or in quarantine. The notice left the telephone number for the community office. My friends away from Wuhan even shared it with me and asked if there was any way to help. Coincidently, I happened to have a friend living in that community and I asked her about this. She told me a completely different story: the children of this old man never cared about him. The grandson, who was perfectly healthy, lived in another building in the same community. The old man lacked independence due to his Parkinson’s disease and the children of the old man expected the community to offer the care matching the standard as a nurse’s, which was apparently not realistic. I do not want to make a “plot twist”, neither do I believe what my friend said was 100% “fact”. I just want to say grass-root community work is really petty and complicated. Human nature is elusive and unpredictable.

But the saddest part is the old man himself. I heard from a friend that he passed away the next day he was admitted to a hospital.

No matter what, lower-class people should not harm each other.

A few days ago, a former classmate’s community purchased rubbing alcohol in big bottles and asked me if I wanted some. I hesitated but refused at the end. A 5L bottle was too big for my household. I was surprised that my classmate managed to re-packaged a smaller bottle and drove over to deliver it to me. This really met my urgent need.

When the whole Wuhan was locked down and the virus made everybody anxious, my friend sent me the most urgent thing I needed at the moment. I will remember this kindness in my lifetime. I noticed an abnormal thing that the rubbing alcohol could even be group purchased online. On the other hand, the seller cancelled my order of some alcohol wipes today which I placed a week ago. The seller told me that all their stuff had been requisitioned by the government. This was not the first time I got this kind of message. My friend tried god knows how hard to get an order of 300 face masks, however, the seller cancelled his order minutes before they were to be delivered due to government requisition. I had asked my friends who were working in hospitals about the medical supplies, and they said hospitals were still significantly lacking in everything. Meanwhile, a lot of protection stuff could be group purchased online. Who is on earth blocking citizens to buy things via a normal way, but forcing us to buy through a “special way” at much higher prices? Why are hospitals still short in medical supplies, even after the government has requisitioned a lot of them and a lot of protections have been donated all over the world? What happened in between? I don’t know why. I may never know.

During the meal, my family talked about the epidemic prevention work in Qianjiang, Hubei, which many people are praising currently.

Mom: Qianjiang's approach illustrates that the leader is a person who dares to undertake responsibility and thus ought to be promoted.

Me: The fact that he did well will act as a foil to other cities, if those leaders aren't doing so well, I'm afraid they will be pushed aside.

Mom: How can that be! When someone can't even do it well himself, how can he forbid others to do well.

Me: This "well" depends on who says it. These officials are all answering to their leaders, their superiors, not to us the common people.

Mom: The ordinary people all expressed their opinion! Shouldn't the leaders listen?

Me: It doesn't matter what the citizens say, these officials are not selected by citizens whatsoever.

My original thought was, since it has already gone so far, and then the next logical step should be “one should have the right to choose their leaders”. I never thought that...


Mom: Nevertheless I still think if someone wants to be a leader he should get there by his own effort!


For a brief moment, I was at a loss for words.

I watched a Taiwanese drama last night, and there was a line: “How much one understands freedom, is how much freedom one has”
































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