During the Chinese Spring Festival in 2020, Kunming, like the whole country, is confronted with severe pressure of the epidemic prevention and control since the sudden outbreak of pneumonia epidemic of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection. A prevention and control campaign is mobilized in the city across the board.
How do expats in Kunming respond in this special time? And how are they living? What feelings do they have about the all-out prevention and control in Kunming? Ten expats in Kunming are interviewed by journalists.
Sense of Security of the would-be son-in-law of Wuhan
“My girlfriend’s hometown is Wuhan. So I may feel more than other foreigners with regard to this novel coronavirus.” Matthew said.
Both Matthew and his girlfriend live in Kunming. They planned to go to Wuhan to see her family before the Chinese Spring Festival. But they had to stay in Kunming since Wuhan had been locked down. In the New Year’s Eve, they told her family to protect themselves and do not go out as they were having a video call. The would-be mother-in-law showed them the dumplings she made to reassure them. “So long as I have things to eat, I will not go out!” she said with a smile in the video call.
“We all have an unprecedented determination to beat the epidemic,” Matthew said, “There are timely supply of vegetables, fruits and meat in the markets around our home. My girlfriend and I stay at home, feeling a great sense of security and no worries at all.”
“Everything will soon go back to normal”
Andy Wang 安迪
“The first time I heard the novel coronavirus was a few days before the Chinese New Year, which was a very sad thing,” Andy said. As a Chinese, he really looked forward to the reunion with his family in China. However, since he can not go out, he has started to cook instead of ordering food, no longer go to crowded places, and tries to avoid unnecessary contact with others ...
He told us that the property management staff in the community where he lives has been popularizing prevention and control knowledge to the residents and urging everyone to minimize outdoor activities. Meanwhile, the temperature of each person who enters and exits is checked by them, showing their due diligence.
Seeing the efforts of authorities to avoid the spread of the virus, Andy’s worry has been reduced significantly and replaced by a sense of security. “I have no doubt that everything will soon go back to normal,” he said.
“Prevention and control measures are very good.”
As a person who had been through an epidemic virus event, Ana firstly was not very worried about it since similar things had occurred in her country as well. At present, governments at all levels are very good at prevention and control. She feels very secure.
“Better safe than sorry,” Ana said. It was a holiday before the epidemic outbreak. So she prepared to go around for better understanding of China. Yet Ana had to change her plan as the rapid outbreak of novel coronavirus. She said: “Now all authorities are sparing no efforts in controlling the epidemic. I believe the virus will be under control before long and things will get better as well.”
“We will prevail as long as we hang on together”
Jake lives a very happily life and has a successful career in Kunming.
Jack always hopes to make some new friends in Kunming. But because of the epidemic, there are fewer things to do in the city, making it more difficult to make friends.
“The epidemic has disrupted my daily life. However, I am still very glad to see authorities and my employer have taken necessary measures to protect our safety and guarantee our life.” Jake’s family in the US are concerned about his safety, longing to know his life in Kunming in this period. “I believe this problem will be solved soon. Things like these are always unexpected. As long as we hang on together once it happens, we will prevail,” he said.
“The city has reassured me”
Sebastien Genier 颜小外
Occupation（职业）：Partner of Youth Hostel（青年旅舍合伙人）
Canadian Sebastien Genier is a partner of the youth hostel in Xiba Road. He lives in a community around the youth hostel. He said that Kunming has taken good measures of prevention and control in the face of the sudden epidemic. “Authorities have been urging people not going out and staying at home. The checking and clearing methods of all kinds are also very strict. Specialized personnel at the food markets and supermarkets will measure customers’ body temperature. No need to worry about daily life with abundant supply of necessities.”
During the outbreak of the epidemic, his hostel is closed. He stays at home apart from going out for necessities of daily life. “I pay close attention to the epidemic information every day, and various news reports let me see the power of China. After living in Kunming for 19 years, the city has reassured me and I believe that the epidemic will soon pass.”
“People in Kunming are doing everything they can”
Benjamin thinks China is a very friendly and safe place. He has lived here for almost 10 years and enjoys every moment here.
These days he has changed his work place from the office to his home. He will never go out unless absolutely necessary. “At this point, you can feel the kindness of everyone,” Benjamin said. He had masks sent by people, and the company also prepared fruits and vegetables for him. He is helped from all sides.
A video of a netizen shouting “Wuhan Fighting” at a balcony in the evening moved him very much. He firmly believes: “People in Kunming are doing everything they can.” In the mean time, he believes that it is a miracle for China to build a 75,000 square meter hospital in 10 days.
“There are only a few cases in Kunming, and the government has taken a lot of measures to prevent and control the epidemic.” He is full of hope for a normal life.
“The care from my friends makes me no longer worried”
Sameera Chathuranga Wijekoon 冯伟
In this winter vacation, Feng Wei chose to stay in Kunming and spend the Spring Festival together with friends. During the epidemic outbreak, Feng Wei has been living in a friend's home, and the community where they are is also in semi-quarantine.
“Despite the worrying epidemic, the cars and people going through schools and communities will be inspected including temperature measurement. Indoor ventilation is kept at home at all times. The earnest care from my friends and family makes me no longer worried.”
During the epidemic outbreak, Feng Wei's family are particularly worried. He has video calls with his parents every day telling his family that Kunming has taken comprehensive prevention and control measures and the problem will be resolved as soon as possible.
“I believe the epidemic will end soon”
Leoni has been in China for more than 5 years with fluent Chinese. Her love for China has been increasing day by day.
While staying in Kunming, she watched the construction process of Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital through her mobile phone and was amazed by the speed of China.
Every day when she passes by the community, a staff member will take a temperature measurement and ask about her recent situation, which is reassuring to her. “The solidarity of the Chinese people convince me that the epidemic will end soon!” She said.
“Face adversity with best smiles”
Before the outbreak, Cee had never experienced a similar event. “I had a fast-pace life. This ‘quarantine’ instead gives me an opportunity to reflect and rest. I also took advantage of this opportunity to improve my cooking skills, which is very interesting.”
Cee said that the epidemic made him realize that every day is so precious. His family are very worried about his safety. But the government's powerful measures to control the outbreak have made him feel relieved.
“I hope everyone can continue to face adversity with their best smiles, and hope that all those who call China ‘home’ will live through difficulties and get out of the hardship,” He said.
“A shining day will always come”
Ronnie has learned a lot about the epidemic, such as its origin, the reason of generating a virus, and so on. The epidemic suspended most of his work in Kunming, so he left Kunming. Fortunately, he returned to the United States safe and sound.
“Many people I have connections with are still in Kunming with necessary precautionary measures. I have confidence in Kunming and believe that authorities in China are able to control the epidemic.” Ronnie believes that Kunming is doing its best to prevent and control the epidemic, "Friends in Wuhan, Kunming, or other China’s cities must remain confident and strong. A shining day will always come. China shall prevail!” He encouraged.
“许多与我有联系的人还在昆明，他们也采取了必要的防范措施。我对昆明有信心，相信相关部门有能力将这次疫情控制下来。”罗尼相信，昆明正在尽其所能防控疫情，“无论是在武汉、昆明还是中国其他城市，身处其中的我们必须保持自信和强大，光明总会来到的，中国必胜!”他鼓励道。（记者 任翊翔 王子仪 陈燕 翻译 江琳）