So, my plan had been to head to Beihai for the spring festival (Chinese New Year) break, which I duly did, as fate would permit it just after the outbreak of the (Wuhan) coronavirus.
To begin with things did not look all that serious (these things seem to happen a lot in China). North Korea had closed the doors to tourism, and the masses were wearing face masks, but there was still a semblance of normality to things. Well, what a difference a week makes.
Currently they are 80 confirmed deaths due to the virus, thousands infected (some believe up to 100k), and society has been ground, at least somewhat to a halt.
Wuhan is currently under martial law, bars, clubs cinemas, and even whole islands have been shut down, and people have largely been told to stay in their houses. All a bit like a zombie movie so far!
So, what are the tips to getting through this?
Firstly stock on and food and water. In China this means the ever reliable rahman style instant noodles, that whilst somewhat lacking in nutritional value “fill a hole” and last forever.
Secondly processed foods. China are big on processed meats and fish, which are not only a food staple, but will last the test of time in the freezer.
Thirdly – Buy liquids. Chinese tap water isn’t drinkable, period. Water can be bought in bulk from most corner stores.
Fourthly – Wear a face mask. I honestly think this is more placebo than anything else, but the government say it helps, and why would they lie?
And lastly, ride out the storm, yes it’s a shitty situation, but for all the worry and panic, for the time being at least it’s nothing more than a really bad flu.
And my own personal way of coping? Soju, valium and watching The Big Bang Theory, whilst slowly turning into Sheldon.