Nothing is as before in the mind

Nothing is as before in the mind

Finally going for a walk and doing some physical activity was what Ms. Zhang missed most at home. Since she was no longer allowed to go shopping, but had to have everything brought in by the neighborhood committee in her residence, she and her husband had been at home.

Thankful that there was none in the closer family There was an infection with the new corona virus, but worried about the news that they saw every day, she just wants to get some fresh air. Because the virus seems to have been contained for more than a week now. At least if you trust the figures from the Beijing health authority, there are now no new infections in the country.

The 39 new cases, Chinese news reported on Monday, were brought in by returnees been. How Beijing managed to contain the virus so quickly , you will probably never find out. “People are just happy now that the numbers are falling. You are not asking any questions right now, ”said Mr. Chen from Beijing when asked why people in China were not surprised by the numbers.

[Aktuelle Entwicklungen zur Coronavirus-Pandemie können Sie hier im Newsblog verfolgen.]

On Monday, the people in Wuhan were allowed to leave their residential complex for the first time in two months and go shopping in the surrounding supermarkets, or just take to the streets again, on April 8th the quarantine to be lifted completely.

The first train ran at the weekend and brought workers from all parts of Hubei Province to Wuhan. But freedom of movement is still limited: only those who can show a green QR code on their smartphone can move freely. If the code shows yellow, for example, you have to report to the authorities and red means you have to stay at home because you could not be virus-free.

It would be better to walk an hour than take the bus

It will first have to be shown whether the new measures work or from the People are accepted at all. In addition to the color-coded health status, this includes other routines. Supermarkets, shops or residential complexes may only be entered if the temperature is measured beforehand.

Also the public Transportation is an important issue . Chinese state media, such as “People’s Daily”, showed neatly dressed subway staff dressed in purple, who really cleans every corner of the ticket machines and entry barriers. Images of men in protective suits who literally smoke out the subway wagons with disinfectant are circulating on the Internet. All this to show the people in Wuhan how safe it is to ride the subway again.

Eine Frau fotografiert Blüten im Pekinger Zoo.

A woman photographs flowers in Beijing Zoo. Photo: dpa / AP / Mark Schiefelbein

Nevertheless, the wagons remained largely empty on Monday, as well in other cities. “If you can, you continue to drive your own car, scooter, bike or take a taxi if necessary, but no one wants to drive here with the public if it doesn’t really have to,” says a 30-year-old Beijing native sometimes it is better to walk an hour to work so as not to have to use the bus.

With the traffic jams that are now back in downtown Beijing, a bit of normalcy has returned to everyday life. But even if more people are out on the streets again and the kids in the courtyard played football for the first time at over 20 degrees on Monday without breathing masks, it doesn’t look much different in people’s minds than before.

Observations in the nightlife district

“At home it’s safest, ”says Ms. Li. She lives with her five-year-old daughter, her parents – both over 50 and almost pensioners – and her 75-year-old grandmother on 50 square meters in the heart of Beijing. Sanlitun, the nightlife district of Beijing, is just around the corner.

Not only do international brands have their flagship stores, within a few minutes’ walk, restaurants from all nations are also represented and hip bars are concentrated within a radius settled by a kilometer. If you want to get a feel for Beijing, you have to stroll here and an afternoon through the area. Watch the queue in front of the bubble tea shop being coordinated by several security guards. Or observe who the amateur photographers take to catch the latest trend.

Ms. Li fits here, as it should be for Beijing around 30. Before the outbreak of the new Corona virus, she was often out with friends, explored the trendy cafés in the city and then posted photos of herself on WeChat.

Suddenly it became quiet

It’s over. No more selfies of the restaurant visits and the food that you had ordered there, no vacation photos of chic beaches or hotels, no more pictures of yourself in front of sights. Ms. Li’s WeChat channel is not only similar to that of many other Beijingers. Suddenly it was quiet on the social channels – nationwide.

In addition, it was no longer “trendy” to be outside and take pictures of delicious food, overpriced coffee or at Post visits to trendy locations while more and more people in Wuhan died of Covid-19. Since then, Ms. Li has hardly posted anything. For a while, at the beginning, she tried to offer some respirators through WeChat, but since she’s only at home, she hasn’t posted anything.

Arbeiter desinfizieren eine U-Bahn in Wuhan.

Workers disinfect a subway in Wuhan. Photo: dpa / Shen Bohan

And what’s on the social Networking is reflected in China’s economic data. In the first two months of the year, production declined sharply due to the radical measures taken by the Chinese government – the closure of industries and the quarantine of millions of people. Not only did production drop 13.5 percent year-on-year, but retail sales in January and February also fell 20.5 percent year-on-year, according to the Beijing Statistics Authority.

The control mania has a new object

The uncertainty is not only felt in the population. In the state and party leadership, she has a form of control madness channeled. International flights to Beijing have been diverted to the neighboring province since Monday and passengers have to be quarantined in designated hotels at their own expense. For those who were allowed to go into self-quarantine at home because they came to the country two weeks ago, surveillance cameras were sometimes installed on the doorstep to make sure that they adhered to the rules.

There is great fear that people entering from abroad could increase the number of infections again. So big that racism and even more surveillance are accepted. Until now, people from Wuhan and Hubei had to be avoided, now foreign-looking people are avoided.


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