The life of a technology reporter “stuck” at the heart of Wuhan pneumonia

ICTnews would like to translate Jane Zhang’s article published in Hoa Nam Post newspaper in the morning of 1/2/2020:

The street is empty in An Thi province, west of Hubei province. Photo: Jane Zhang

As a reporter specializing in technology that changes rapidly and innovates, I never thought I could experience retirement life at the age of 20.

Getting up early, cooking by myself, reading, watching TV before going to bed – this has been my life for the past 10 days in Hubei, the heart of Wuhan pneumonia.

Shortly after returning from Hong Kong to An Thi’s hometown, near the Hubei border with Chongqing to celebrate Tet, I along with millions of others were trapped after the authorities ordered “internal and external affairs.” to enter ”to prevent the spread of disease. Now all airports, railway stations, highways, even village roads are closed or blocked.

The life of a technology reporter stuck at the heart of Wuhan pneumonia | Live

A road was blocked at An Thi. Photo: Jane Zhang

Chinese New Year is often the time for online entertainment to make room for activities such as karaoke, playing cards, mahjong with friends and relatives. This year, however, collective activities were canceled to avoid transmission of the virus.

This isolation leads people to technology – both new and old – to kill time and communicate with others. My parents, who recently became acquainted with reading news on the phone via Bytedance’s Jinri Toutiao, returned to watching TV amidst a sea of ​​fake news and rumors of corona viruses online.

The whole family now gathers around the television at 7pm daily to watch Xinwen Lianbo, the national daily news program of CCTV, broadcast simultaneously on all local television stations. Many other Chinese television stations also produce special programs on the health crisis.

Although not a “fan” of the game, I went back to playing Candy Crush, a popular mobile game a few years ago, about 1 to 2 hours a day. I also play Werewolf with other people trapped in the house.

The life of a technology reporter stuck at the heart of Wuhan pneumonia | Live

Trash for used masks. Photo: Jane Zhang

Across China, real gamers overwhelmed the servers of one of Tencent’s biggest games over the weekend. Some users have difficulty logging in to Game for Peace – a new version of PUBG Mobile, while others cannot participate in matches.

Meanwhile, Plague – a strategy game with content about infectious diseases – topped the ranking of paid apps in China, according to App Annie.

Many places, millions of people – myself included – follow CCTV’s livestream about building two field hospitals in Wuhan.

Although my family does not use short-form video platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou, they have become a popular source for people outside who are “thirsty” for news.

One major disappointment is the reduction in lucky money. Like many other young people, I couldn’t go to my grandparents because of the ban and could only send greetings to them over the phone. Although sending electronic money through WeChat Pay and Alipay is not new, this year it is expected to skyrocket.

The day passed slowly, and the sky was gray. This rare ray of sunshine this week allowed me to sit by the window and enjoy some fresh air – of course with a mask on my face.

Government cars walked the streets with loud speakers, urging people not to go out, cancel meetings, wear masks, wash their hands, report any suspected virus infections.

I’m also not sure when the ban will be lifted. Even if I did, I would face border insecurity when trying to return to work in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government has banned entry to anyone recently to Hubei, except for their citizens.

Because I am working in Hong Kong, I should be allowed to enter the country under the current policy, although many parties – such as the health union – call for a complete border closure.

Even so, right now, I feel like another Candy Crush game is waiting for me.

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