notes from a colleague in Wuhan



On a work discussion about self isolation, a colleague from Wuhan popped up - her experience was fascinating, as a glimpse of how this is playing out there:

It's the 57th day of me being staying indoors here in Wuhan.

I remember having anxiety at the very beginning of the lockdown maybe for a few days. That was the time we knew very little about the virus. I don't even think covid19 had a proper name that time. I was consistently checking the news day and night non-stop ...

But now I am kind of a Pro of staying at home. I always wonder where my limit could be in terms of staying indoors completely and still being at a healthy state. I guess I still haven't found the answer yet. : )

Take care and stay safe everyone, virtual hugs

It might be just me always trying to simplify things. I remember the days in the beginning when everything looked out of control, and those were the days when I had anxiety. A few days after that, I thought through and told myself

"Hey, you know what - now is the prefect time to stay at home and do nothing, but still contribute to society. Not becoming a source of infection, and not being infected. "

That really calmed myself down, and I started to enjoy my life indoor with family. I am glad I am with my family during this difficult time. The elderly need more care and protection during the outbreak. I can help them to keep up with the latest news too. And, it's hard to face this extreme situation alone. It feels nice to know that someone is at home with you.

About the food in Wuhan

It's really tough at the beginning. Not because of stock shortage or anything. Actually, I went to the supermarket twice during the first month after the lockdown. There was never a time that the vegetables, fruit, and meat were out of stock. Some snack shelves were sadly empty. The problem was with the fear of going to the supermarket. Lockdown here means 100% shut down of everything, no bus, no train, no car or any sort of transportations except bikes and walking. No delivery either. All e-commerce businesses cannot be used because none of them have enough resources for delivery in this extreme situation. Imagine the system needs to support 9 million people’s daily lives, not just some add-on online shopping. Huge challenge.

To be honest, it wasn’t super organised here at the very beginning of the lockdown. It feels like “ This is serious, we have to start the lockdown and we will figure things out along the way”. Full attention and support go to the medicals and patients. The outbreak happened just before the Chinese New Year. That’s the time when all businesses slow down and stop. On a brighter side, it means that most of the Chinese would have already prepared a lot of food at home for the New Year celebration which helped hugely.

I remember one time I had to think for 5min that how many pieces of leaves from the only wombok I had at home to put into the noodle soup for my family. 6 pieces? Or maybe 5? Haha, a very memorable experience. I really had to plan carefully and wisely about food so I did’t have to go to the supermarket often.

In the past one and month though, situation improved significantly. Still full lockdown mode, but food order and delivery are taking care of by the public servants, community staff, volunteers from each complex and big supermarkets. Chat groups were created based on the community/complex you live in. Food ordering is a semi-manual process that happens in WeChat groups.

“Today, we have set A, B, C, D, E, F available. Please message your order in the group.”

  • A: I want A, C, E
  • B: I want B x 2
  • C: I only want F
  • A: Could you please change my order to A and E, no C, please.

Something like this lol. Not the most efficient way I would say but totally works! Delivery takes 3-5 days. Food normally delivers to the doorstep, downstairs of our apartments, or at the entrance of our complexes. We take turns to go downstairs and collect our delivery. Slightly fewer varieties than my normal life but I didn’t lose weight during this time which is a good sign. Now I don’t have to manage how much veggies or meat I want to cook for each meal. My new trouble is to make sure we finish the food before it spoiled. : )

In terms of the pricing, food was at its normal price at the beginning of the lockdown. Nowadays is cheaper than normal. Meat is a good example to share. The normal price is around $16-$20 per kg. Now is like $5 - $6 per kg. Price dropped because the government stepped in and provided special benefits to residents in Wuhan. Occasionally we may receive some free vegetables too because people from other provinces in China have donated a lot of vegetables and sent them to Wuhan.

I am probably rambling too much. Hopefully, this gives you some insights of our lives here in Wuhan. ☺

I find Zoom to be a great invention. I basically have my days live on Zoom now. It's good to see each other on video so it doesn't feel we are that far apart. : )