Wang Xiuying

Wang Xiuying is enjoying a quiet life and watching daily news updates from the US.

China after Covid

Wang Xiuying, 22 October 2020

Restrictions are diminishing everywhere in China. International flights are resuming, and friends who were marooned while visiting the US and Europe are flying back one by one. Plane tickets cost three to five times more than usual for an economy seat, and passengers have to comply with quarantine regulations on arrival: 14 days in a designated hotel, couples in separate rooms, no visitors allowed. They are tested almost every day, and have to put up with the not very desirable food provided – food delivery is out of the question. Afterwards, we throw a nice dinner party to celebrate their return to normal life. It’s the most we can hope for in 2020: a normal life. Other friends who are still stuck abroad (unable to get a flight or a visa) are missing a succession of delicacies: the crayfish season, the lychee season, the waxberry season, the durian season, the gordon euryale seed season, the sugar fried chestnut season, the pork mooncake season have all gone by. Will they catch the end of the mitten crab season, or will they have to wait another year?

Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying, 16 April 2020

When our​ nationwide self-isolation began in late January, it was said that Chinese people fall into two groups: cat types and dog types. Cat types were likely to suffer less from the quasi-house arrest that drives dog types mad. A cat type myself, I could see on WeChat Moments that my dog-type friends were going for a long walk every day, usually at midnight, when no one is around. During...

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying, 5 March 2020

Despite evasions and failures of party bigwigs and moguls, a fierce battle is being fought by the people on the ground. Frontline medics are working under extreme physical and mental pressure. They wear adult nappies so they don’t have to waste time taking their biohazard suits on and off when they go to the loo. Volunteer drivers are delivering medical necessities while normal transport networks remain suspended. Chinese people living overseas have been buying up stocks of face masks in Europe and beyond to send back to their families and friends. A picture of an unfazed young man in a hospital bed reading Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order was suddenly all over the internet. It reminded me of the photograph of three Englishmen choosing books in what remained of Holland House library after the Blitz. The young man received a great many love notes.

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