A student at an Australian University who got stuck in Wu Han after she traveled back to China to spend Chinese New Year writes an open letter to the people outside her country to explain their current situation amid the outbreak of 2019-nCoV.
Helen Chen narrated her story via a Facebook post after seeing many negative comments threw by some netizens against the Chinese amid the outbreak in Wu Han, saying that she was saddened by the reaction of the world to what’s happening to them.
According to her, people should not generalize all Chinese, saying that not all of them are eating exotic foods which is the possible origin of the coronavirus.
She also explained how Chinese New Year is important to the people of China, pointing out that it’s a once-in-a-year family reunion but the coronavirus is ruining the said event because many nurses and doctors need to prioritize their work than going home.
Chen then tried to convince the people that not all Chinese are bad people and people should not blame all the people from China on what’s happening right now.
You can read her post below:
“I’m one of the millions in Wuhan right now who is affected by this. It is heartbreaking to see comments here saying how we deserve it.”
“Yes. Some people are disgusting and uneducated, they eat everything that moves and have total disregard for health/safety regulations. But most people aren’t like that. Most of us are just normal folks living a normal life. We are just as angry at those exotic animal traders as you are, if not more.”
“It’s CNY, and in case you’re not familiar with the Chinese culture, let me first put into perspective it’s importance. It’s like thanksgiving and Christmas combined. Historical/Traditional significance aside, for millions of people, CNY is the only time of the year where families get to reunite and have a home cooked meal together. It is more common than not for chinese people in more rural areas to go to cities to find better work opportunities. They work hard for the whole year, sending home the little money they earn to support their children and parents. Families don’t get to see each other for a whole year and reunion dinner on CNY eve is something everyone looks forward to.”
“The coronavirus is taking away the only time of the year that families get to reunite. Doctors and nurses are working around the clock, many of them have not gone home in weeks; healthcare professionals across China are flying voluntarily to Wuhan to help; factory workers have resumed work due to the shortage of masks and protective suits; 3M and other companies are donating masks too; hotels across Wuhan have offered free accomodation to healthcare professionals whose home are too far away; chain convenient stores are providing free hot meals to hospitals and workers; delivery man have to give up their holidays to deliver food to families because we can’t leave our homes; construction workers are working around the clock to build new hospitals… do all these people working tireless to save lives deserve to get affected too??? Those selfish exotic animal traders have taken away precious family time from all these people who are literally putting their lives in danger to help others, and yet on the Internet, these unsung heroes are being lumped together with them, criticised condemned and humiliated. It’s really heartbreaking. Those people don’t deserve any of it.”
“As of now, most of our fridges are still fully stocked from CNY, but what about in a week or even a couple of days when we run out of food? My parents just came back from the supermarket and many shelves are empty. Public transport have shut down completely, from today onwards vehicles unrelated to the containment of coronavirus will not be allowed on roads too, no one is allowed to leave Wuhan. So let me ask you, do all of us deserve this too? Especially during a time of supposed celebration. I’m not even a permanent resident here, I am just home for the holidays after being away for more than a year. But now I can’t leave to go back to Uni. I’m sure there are many people in similar situations as me. I hope I’m not coming off as playing the victim. I’m merely trying to tell my side of the story. And I’m so sorry the virus has now spread to other countries. I truly am very sorry. But not all Chinese are bad people. Not all are selfish and entitled and just downright disgusting human beings. I don’t think it’s fair for you to say that we all “deserve” it because of the terrible behaviours of some.”
As of writing, the post of Chen already reached 46,000 shares and 67,000 reactions from the netizens.
Most of the netizens who read the post of Chen cheered her and offered their prayers for China.