The children of China weeps as this catastrophic disaster befallen Wuhan. It has come at the worst possible time at the end of December, when it is leading to a new year. It was a complete slap to the face for China to have it blown up during Chinese New Year, one of the biggest event for any Chinese-heritage soul.
Chinese New Year symbolizes family togetherness, completeness, and well wishes of prosperity for the year to come. Coronavirus not only claimed lives, it has taken away a person’s loved one during this important celebration. The question beckons, how is someone able to see the joy of new year again when it is now filled with sorrowful memories of hosting a farewell funeral instead. At the time of writing, the number of families (not person) affected is more than 1,500. If you do the maths and count that each family usually consist of parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunties etc – this easily affected thousands of people.
The biggest heart break for me would be the international reaction and perception. China has been touted and reprimanded for allowing it to escalate at an alarming rate. Not only that, local racism has rear its ugly head. Articles have emerged where people wearing face masks as a means to protect themselves from inhaling droplets in public places, have been insulted. Where is the sense of individuality and freedom to dress? Are we not treating another human being courteously anymore?
China could probably have a different approach to the coronavirus outbreak from a communication standpoint. At the same time, truthfully, is any country really ready for such an unexpected, immense biological crisis? Are governments planning financial and allocating resources on standby mode, awaiting a sleeping virus to emerge? I imagine these funds are usually place into other typical departments eg. education, health, defense, public welfare. I bet we still complain about an inefficient service – in my case, it is the occasional disrupted public transport.
Modern societies are becoming more open and talking about deeper topics like harassment and bullying issues in schools and workplaces. Specific words and/or actions can be classified as creating an uncomfortable, demeaning environment for another party (even if it was unintentional or appears as a joke). Are we practising what we preach when it comes to talking about China and coronavirus? Are we telling China how to handle the situation and what to do…..and then, wonder why has China not accepted much international help?
It is still considered winter in China, and it is freezing. If there is a time for the flu season, there is no other optimal time. It has only been just over 40 years since China has come to the international podium, and there is still so much to catch up on. The country has done remarkably well to be where it is today, yet the disparity between poverty and wealthy is still large. In these winter months, can everyone afford heating, warm clothes, daily meals? Are there some more disadvantaged than others? Is there anyone taking advantage of this stressful situation?
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of China, the coronavirus victims, the devastated family and friends, the strong people working during this period and the anxious hearts. I genuinely hope, that the world can show the same compassionate for Wuhan as I have seen when the historical Notre-Dame was burnt.
中国加油! 加油! 我会支援你的