February 09, 2020
It feels like we’re trapped. 
The Wuhan I Know And Love Is Much More Than What You See Online
Usually, the Chinese city of Wuhan is vibrant and busy. Fourteen million people live here, but right now, it’s a ghost town. Normally, I’d look out the window and see people exercising downstairs in the park. I don’t see that any more. There are no people walking. There are no cars. It feels dark — like the city is wounded, injured. Most of the people here, I think, feel helpless.On 23 January, the whole city shut down. There are no buses, no taxis, and no running subways. Paramilitary police wearing masks guard the transportation hubs. The bridges have been blocked off. Highway exits are sealed. All flights are grounded. Ships can’t go anywhere. 
I spend all of my days indoors. I exercise on a yoga mat in the morning, work remotely from a laptop, eat meals with my parents, and watch television.
The whole province of Hubei is in quarantine. Nobody can leave Wuhan.
I’ve lived in Toronto for the last six years, but I’ve been in Canada for ten. It’s where I went to school, at Carleton University in Ottawa. It’s where I now work and live as a permanent resident.
I left Toronto on 10 January, planning to meet some clients in Shenzhen for business and to spend Chinese New Year with my family. It’s the only time of year that I get to see them.In past celebrations, all of my relatives — aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews — would travel from different Chinese cities, or from other countries, to my grandparents’ home in Wuhan. We’d go shopping, play cards and board games, watch movies and TV shows. We’d cook dumplings together. It would be warm, loud, and full of laughter. Chinese New Year is very similar to Christmas. Family time is huge. I was really looking forward to it this year, because it’s the first since my grandfather passed away. We were all going to visit his grave together.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I first saw news about a virus when I started planning my trip. Chinese health authorities didn’t even have a name for it yet. I asked my parents about it, and they told me it didn’t seem too serious — plus, it was contained in a small area across the Yangtze River that splits our city, 20 kilometres away from where they live. People don’t usually panic about this stuff.20 January was a turning point. I’d been back in Wuhan for just three days when health officials went on air to advise people to wear face masks in public, avoid crowded areas and wash our hands regularly. 
That same day, masks sold out. My relatives cancelled their New Year trips to Wuhan.The Wuhan I know and loveI was born and raised here. It’s where I took my first steps, learned our language. My parents, who are professors at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, still live here. It’s just like any other metropolitan city. People work, eat, sing karaoke, go to the mall.I have so many emotions and memories attached to this place. I remember walking to school. I remember taking the ferry with my friends across the Yangtze, from Wu Chang to Han Kou, where we’d visit all of my favourite bookstores and coffee shops. I remember visiting the East Lake in my childhood, bringing snacks, renting boats, biking along the water’s edge. I remember the cherry blossoms that would bloom every spring on the Wuhan University campus. I always think of Wuhan with love.
In my hometown, people are trying to keep each other positive. Doctors and nurses in hospitals are high-fiving patients to cheer them up. On WeChat, a messenger app used by most Chinese people, we share memes about the quarantine. We joke about taking “vacations” — from the bedroom to the kitchen, since no one is really leaving their homes. The lion dance is traditional around Chinese New Year, but since it’s been hard to celebrate it, someone made a funny video of them doing it themselves in their living room.But so many Westerners only know Wuhan in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. They don’t know that we have famous authors and scholars and actors, or great street food, or hot summers. They don’t know that we’re known for our schools. So when people share negative opinions over social media about my home, because of coronavirus, I wish I could show them its better side — the side of Wuhan that I know and love.Back in Canada ...The Toronto I’m seeing online isn’t the one I know and love either. I chose Toronto to be my home in Canada because of its multiculturalism and acceptance. 
I’ve experienced racism in Toronto, but only rarely — I truly believe the best in people and I always want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But racism does exist. And now, people are using coronavirus as an excuse, as a way to justify them being ignorant and racist.Meme pages post images arguing Canada should keep Chinese people out of the country. Asian kids are getting bullied at school; others are being barred from attending by districts concerned they could be carrying the virus. People are harassing the owners of a Chinese restaurant in Markham, asking if they serve “bat soup” and leaving negative reviews online. Can you imagine how that feels?Where are the prayers for Wuhan?When coronavirus broke out, people around the world were angry and didn’t know who to blame. So they blamed China — all 1.4billion of us. They claimed China needed to “learn its lesson,” that we’re eating exotic animals and that was the reason people were contracting viruses.Recent times have been marked by natural disasters. The fires in Australia, the earthquake in Turkey. The world has responded by sending help and showing unequivocal support. Yet Wuhan doesn’t receive the same compassion. The people dying here are innocent. We deserve the same support as those suffering in natural disasters.
As of this writing, the coronavirus has killed more than 560 people and infected over 28,000 others in China alone. It has spread to more than 25 countries, where an additional 250 cases have been recorded.
Why are we not worth praying for?
Like many others in Wuhan, I feel anxious to know that things are getting better. I find myself hoping that, if I refresh my social media feeds frequently enough, I’d come across some good news that I could share with my family.
The other day, I read news that Canada sent a plane to evacuate its citizens stuck in the city. I’m happy for those who were rescued, truly. But as a permanent resident in Canada, I’m not among them. I’m still patiently waiting. Whether I leave on a chartered plane or not, at this point, I want to face anything that comes my way with positivity. I just have to stay hopeful.
As told to Connor Garel. This article first appeared on HuffPost Canada Personal
Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on ukpersonal@huffpost.comMore from HuffPost UK Personal To The Woman Who Recoiled From Me, Not All Asians Have Coronavirus I'm In China. Here's What's Really Happening As The Country Faces Coronavirus
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.