Fred Rogers’ is famous for the advice to look for the helpers. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Mr. Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Compassion knows no borders or ethnicities. Helpers are popping up everywhere following the early January Coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese province of Wuhan. Mr Rogers would be proud.
On February 1st, ten or so trucks that were Wuhan-bound had been festooned with red banners that read, “Pull together in times of trouble, go Wuhan!” and “The people are united, fight the epidemic together.”
Several said they had leapt at the opportunity to take part. “I knew about the dangers,” said Ma Chenglong, a 34-year-old driver. “But when the country is in trouble, we common people have a duty.”
Amy Qin, a NY Times reporter stationed in Beijing arrived in Wuhan on January 31st. She tweeted from the epicentre,
Pulling together in times of trouble.
My friends James and Victoria are working and studying in Beijing. They voluntarily chose to stay in their apartment since the outbreak so that they are at a lower risk of infection. The school James studies at was closed as was the school where Victoria teaches English.
“The Government of China is being very cautious with the virus and is doing the right thing by isolating areas with the highest infections. The nation as a whole is very supportive of each other and keep wishing each other happy health and good luck “jia you”. Services like schools (K-Uni), tourist attractions, movie theatres are shut down across China to prevent the spread of the infection. This in itself does create a sense of urgency and slight panic.”
The Chinese are building a prefab hospital in Wuhan which should be completed in a few days.
While Chinese hearts are opening, more and more international doors are closing. Chinese travelers are restricted from the US, Australia, and Singapore which is good for preventing the spread of infection but bad for the world economy.
Chinese stock markets are falling, China’s economic heartland is closed, but it’s people are optimistic knowing the pandemic will end and they will recover.
Here’s what you need to know:
- United States, Australia and Japan expand travel restrictions.
- Death toll passes 250, with nearly 12,000 infections confirmed.
- Massachusetts confirms its first case of coronavirus.
- Spain confirms its first cases of coronavirus.
- A Chinese doctor who called the virus ‘controllable’ regrets his words.
- Hong Kong medical workers vote to strike.
- A view of the epicenter from a New York Times reporter.
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