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Tania Richter:My Chinese (Corona Flu) experience

Posted by on 2020/02/05. Filed under Breaking News,China. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 February 2020

My name is Tania Richter (53 years old, South African) and I am an English teacher, working and living in Qingdao, China since 07.04.2018 to date.
In my time in China, I have experienced good and bad times and have been privileged to make some very good friends. Some have become like family to me. I always say “Friends are the family that we choose”.
I felt inspired to write this as I watch the Corona Flu Epidemic unfold. These are my thoughts that I would like to share with you. Yes, there has been an initial slow response and silence, but this is human nature, not a purely a Chinese thing. If you doubt this, just go and watch the movie “Jaws”.
I stand in awe and have an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for the Chinese Government response, once they realised the seriousness of this outbreak. I don’t think any other country in the world would have moved so fast.
My home is in Shandong Province, Qingdao and is not in the same province as Wuhan, but that does not mean we are not affected. Our Provincial Government have put a lot of measures in place to keep us safe and to keep law and order in this unusual period.
Every day, I get messages from the Shandong Government via my cell phone service provider to inform us of the availability of food and to inform us of the law. Also requesting us to wear masks if going outside, not to gather and visit. Requesting people to be considerate to others and be safe. Wash your hands regularly. Don’t spit, sneeze and cough into paper and dispose of the used paper safely.
Also warning bad businesses that they will be severely punished for hoarding safety equipment and pushing up prices. Making sure that fresh food and basics (like, oil, eggs, flour, vegetables, fruit and meat) are available at normal prices. Only shops that carry necessities are allowed to be open. So this means food (not restaurants or take away places) and medical supply shops.
We are advised daily on the food situation and general prices.
All other shops that do not offer essentials stay closed, to ensure people stay safe. The transport services are cleaned, disinfected and monitored daily. My community/complex, where I live has closed 3 of the 4 gates and makes very sure that any visitors are screened and must sign in with full personal details.
These are just some of the measures in place.
The thing that prompted me to sit down and write is the amazing spirit of the Chinese people in general. On We Chat there are encouraging posts, every day from different people. People support each other and really shame those that will not wear a mask. Wearing a mask in public is the least we can do. Not one person caused this flu. As far as my knowledge goes, it was caused by a traditional belief in eating game. This has now been banned.
Then I read online about the sacrifices so many people make here to help others. Yes, all the restrictions are inconvenient in many ways, but all the measures are to keep people safe. WHAT MAKES ME EXTREMELY UPSET IS THE “HATOVIRUS”. The Chinese people are going through a horrible time and people are secluded, worried and afraid. Instead of supporting and assisting, some people in the world have now said some truly mean and horrible things, about a culture and people they know nothing about. Treating people with an Asian/Chinese heritage like outcasts.
To me, in my personal experience, the spirit of the Chinese people is wonderful, kind, hardworking, self-sacrificing and supportive….to only mention a few adjectives. Hate is governed by fear. People hate and fear what they don’t know or understand.
To quote Winston Churchill “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. Even if you cannot help or don’t care, STOP badmouthing and hurting people. The Chinese people are doing the best they can in an extremely difficult time. If you can’t say something uplifting or positive, then just SHUT UP!
Tania Richter

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