Me & China
The thought of ghost towns only existed in horror movies until the "COVID -19" virus hit the entire province of Hubei as well as the rest of China, much like a strong tsunami or a typhoon.
Life was ongoing as usual and we were preparing for the Chinese New Year Festival. What should have been a joyous festival turned sour as this dreadful, silent killer reared its ugly head in an unannounced fashion. This was and still is a virus that affects the respiratory system and eventually kills it victims.
Shockingly, things came to a halt in a dramatic manner; the sound of lorry tires screeching could no longer be heard while all the beautiful local people and foreigners grounded themselves for safety and even the birds of the sky vanished as they no longer chirped with their melodious humming tunes as if they were instructed to hide for their safety.
Interestingly, I realized that fear and panic could induce the religious nature of people as the Muslims among us started reciting their Qurans, the Christians who had not even prayed for years took to their bibles and prayed like they dwelt in heaven and not forgetting the local people as they also cried unto Buddha and anything they
A few weeks had passed after the initial outbreak and life became as difficult for all of us as like Chinese algebra. The government had to act swiftly to contain the spread of the virus by locking down the whole of Hubei province as schools, malls, shops and everything came to a standstill. It was as if someone had pressed the pause button on a giant remote device that controlled the whole of Hubei province.
Indeed fear began to grip me as we were not allowed to freely move out and about. We were required to wear masks anytime we had to meet a friend or go to find something to eat. In addition, we had to wash our hands anytime we touched new things such as door handles as well as no shaking people’s hands. The elevators were shut down, food became expensive and we even struggled at first to get water. If magic was real, I would just have said out loud any magic words I remembered and vanished into thin air.
At this juncture, it became evident that most foreigners were determined on going back to their countries due to fear of the unknown. Unfortunately, my birthday was on the 22nd of February… no cake... no friends to celebrate with. Reality was beginning to dawn on me when all of a sudden an inner voice assured me in a calm and quiet manner "fear not, have you forgotten what the almighty Chinese people are capable of doing? “
Amazingly, it was as if the voice I heard wasn't wrong after all. Days had passed as the Chinese government started deploying effective measures. I was mesmerized as to how they started psyching everyone in a positive manner, especially the foreigners, by explaining to us how the quarantine was beneficial to our own safety and why there was no need to return to our countries since they had all the sophisticated machinery available for the emergency.
Lo and behold, the Chinese indeed put their words into action by utilizing technology, skill and wisdom. Drones and robots were used to transport safety materials, food stuffs and medical samples to the infected patients and quarantine materials among the various towns to reduce additional risks of increasing infected people. I was knocked off my feet when I heard of the state's desire to build a hospital within 7 to 10 days, the sole purpose of which was to curb the pandemic. What! Seven to ten days? I exclaimed in total shock. Noting what I had said, and to my astonishment, it was accomplished. Moments after the announcement of the hospital's successful completion, I gave them a one man Standing ovation in my room. I must admit I felt proud of the Chinese and wished I was one.
Furthermore, there was pure demonstration of global solidarity as the international community together with most countries came to our aid. It was as if the whole world was reciting one phrase "let's eradicate the Corona virus (jiayou Wuhan, jiayou China)." That was when I became even more proud as a Ghanaian when my government provided 10,000 nose masks to the people of Hubei province. As if that was not enough, all Ghanaian internationals received food stuffs, nose masks and 500 dollars each from the Ghana government as well. At least Covid -19 had given us one advantage since it was obvious most of us had little money in our accounts to even purchase dumplings.
I don't know if most of us still remember the movie "Fearless" back in 2006 with Jet li as the hero defending the honor of China. That's exactly how I felt in this particular episode as I became a hero who literally fought the villain "Corona virus." Being a member of the International Students Association (ISA), I was assigned to help with the distribution of masks, groceries, vegetables, snacks, electronic accessories, canteen food and all forms of delivery. I did enjoy the heroic aspect but trust me it wasn’t child’s play. This was due to the stress from over 400 students and fear of being infected since "Mr. Corona virus" does not care who it infects.
It's now the 21st of March, 2020, and cases of outbreaks in Hubei, the epicenter of the Corona virus, have tremendously come down with no new cases recorded, and classes are being conducted on-line even though a little boring. I have missed my friends and teachers as well but I know this menace will totally be defeated sooner rather than later.
All in all, I am overwhelmed that China has totally reduced the fatalities of this outbreak within the shortest possible time. They have indeed proven to everyone that they are capable and have the ability to be a world super power. I appreciate what President Xi Jinping and his leadership have done, along with the government of Hubei province, Yichang local government, our university leaders, the Logistics department and the security department, for their memorable gifts of caring and support during this crisis. I have learned a lot experience from China as this misfortune occurred. I believe it's time we all stop talking trash about the Chinese just as some of the European nations do and embrace the fact that China is a hub for development and advancement. I don't have any regrets coming here and looking at how the pandemic was contained, I would always love to be a part of this country by re-visiting after I have completed my studies. Long live China, long live the world!