Photo: ChuBailiang/Twitter

Chinese Residents on Lockdown Are Passing Time in Some Pretty Creative Ways

by Eben Diskin Jan 31, 2020

With many global crises, it can be tough to find a silver lining. To attempt to do so can even feel insensitive or out-of-touch. Amid the recent coronavirus outbreak, people around the world are panicking and fearing for their health. In China, particularly, the mood is rather gloomy, with 10 cities on lockdown to prevent the virus’ spread. In Wuhan, where the virus originated, around nine million people are being advised to stay indoors. To make matters worse, the government has canceled all entertainment shows on TV, in order to show 24-hour news coverage of developments concerning the virus.

As you can imagine, people in these quarantine zones are getting quite bored. But they’re making the best of the situation. Videos have emerged online showing the different ways people are spending their time.

One person, for example, entertained themselves by staring out the window with a sock puppet, pretending to use the pupped to devour passing cars.

Another video shows a series of creative games people invented to pass the time, including ring toss, living room tennis, fishing in a pet fish tank, and makeshift ping pong.

On Weibo, China’s most popular social network, many people are sharing artistic creations they have plenty of time now to make.

Others got really creative, and managed to have a communal dinner despite being confined to different buildings. They set up meals on their respective roofs, and enjoyed each other’s company by shouting across the way.

And when there’s nothing on TV at night, and you can’t go out to a nightclub, you might as well join a singalong with people from the adjacent apartment buildings.

It’s important to remember that those most closely affected by the coronavirus outbreak are real people, and racist panic over Chinese people potentially spreading the virus will do nothing to help the situation. And if these people under quarantine can still find humor and relative calm under the circumstances, there’s no reason for people in the United States to be freaking out — especially when the threat of the common flu remains a bigger danger.

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