What can we learn from China’s experience facing the epidemic


On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended voluntary use of non-medical masks.

“If people wanted to wear them, they can,” Trump said in a CNN article, when asked about potential new guidelines on wearing masks in public. “If people want to use scarves, which they have, many people have them, they can.” 

But it turns out non-medical masks and scarves cannot stop the spread of the virus nor protect us from the virus. The United States is not the first country infected by the virus. About two months ago, the virus began to spread in China. Today, China has effectively controlled the virus to some extent.  What did they do in this two-month battle?

In January, the virus’s spread began in Wuhan. At that time, because the Spring Festival was approaching, a large number of people returned from Wuhan to their hometowns, which not only caused the second-generation infection, but also triggered a clustered epidemic. If an epidemic is allowed to spread, the prevention and control of other cities across the country can be more difficult. Therefore, the Chinese government decided that Wuhan must immediately seal the city, otherwise the consequences would be unbearable.

 At 10 a.m. Jan. 23, Wuhan was closed. The channel leaving Wuhan was shut down, and public transportation was suspended.

 More than 10 million people live in Wuhan, and the closure of the city was a last resort. In fact, experts warned of the necessity of closing the city before the New Year; however, officials were not able to manage the logistics of such a closure in time.  Had the city not closed when it did, more cities would have become like Wuhan, which would have had a great impact on the safety of international people, international economic development and social stability.

 My cousin and his family work in Wuhan. Because of the epidemic, they decided not to return to their hometown for the Spring Festival. They said that all stores except the supermarket were closed on the streets of Wuhan. They wanted to go out to find a pharmacy, but finding one was difficult.

Later, the community was closed, and residents were not allowed to go out to buy food and goods. Many supermarkets no longer accept personal orders. Later, these policies began not only in Wuhan, but also in various cities and provinces, with a community-centric management approach. The government also ordered the masses to be banned from gathering.

Although many states in the United States have also adopted closure measures, these will not work because it is not a true closure. Chinese respiratory expert Nanshan Zhong emphasized that the blockade should be deeper and stricter, he said to China Global Television Network. He emphasized the importance of social distance in preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. He said that China’s doing so can produce results, and other countries can do the same.

 I also discovered this phenomenon at Hays. In a park near FHSU, a lot of people gathered for entertainment activities, and everyone did not wear masks or maintain a sufficient safety distance. The same is true in Dillon’s. Every day, many people go to the supermarket to shop, and people are very close. They don’t seem to remember the social distance at all.

We all know that COVID-19 is an infectious disease. Two ways to control infectious diseases are to control the source of infection and cut off the transmission route. The significance of the closure of the city and working from home is to cut off the transmission channels. However, there are still many people who are not aware of the seriousness of the problem and the true significance of this initiative.

Some people think that Hays has no suspected cases, so everyone relaxes their vigilance, but this is not the case. Let’s take an example. We divide the crowd into four categories: A, B, C, and D. Person A has a history of contact with Wuhan, and can be scattered around the world. People in this group are easy to keep track of.

Person A encounters Person B in a public place that they never knew before. Person A did not know the existence of B, and B did not know the existence of A. After reaching the destination, Person A touches Person C. No matter how many C’s they touched, these C’s are easy to find, and the officials have isolated them.

Person D is a person who is not going out. The biggest hidden danger now is Person B, who cannot be found at all. No one knows who Person B is, nor do they know that they are a “B.” As soon as Person D goes out, there is a possibility of bumping into Person B, and he is also the new “B.”

Therefore, the purpose of each person’s isolation now is to use time to screen out all those who are “B’s.” The incubation period is two weeks. Within two weeks, Person B has become ill and can be identified and treated. The epidemic will not end until all “B’s” have been identified and treated in isolation. All measures taken now are to reduce the generation of new Person B.

This is the meaning of working at home and maintaining social distance. The same is true in the United States. Many people have inadvertently been in contact with sick people, but they don’t know it. Some people even become asymptomatic patients. They don’t get sick, but they will pass the virus to others. Therefore, although our city has not reported patients infected with the virus, this does not mean that they do not exist.

One of my professors said that death is not terrible, what is terrible is to suffer. But what I want to say is that the death process of COVID-19 is very painful. According to BBC Health, a patient infected with COVID-19 will have difficulty breathing until the last few minutes, the patient is awake all the way, the patient will call for help, with strenuous struggling, until the last breath. In essence, it makes sense to drown. A lot of water entered the lungs, but oxygen couldn’t get in. The lungs are filled with secretions caused by the virus, and the ventilation function is completely lost. The terrible thing is not just death, but this process, so we should pay more attention to this virus. One of the ways to protect yourself and others is to wear a mask.

It is useless to wear non-medical masks and scarves, because the transmission of the virus is direct transmission, aerosol transmission and contact transmission. Direct transmission refers to infections caused by patients sneezing, coughing, talking droplets and exhaled gas inhaled directly. Aerosol transmission means that droplets are mixed in the air to form an aerosol, which causes infection after inhalation. Contact spread means that droplets are deposited on the surface of the article, contact with the contaminated hands, and then touch the mucous membranes such as the oral cavity, nasal cavity and eyes. Non-medical masks and scarves cannot block droplets and aerosols, nor can they protect us. But medical masks, N95 masks or KN95 masks can effectively block droplets and aerosols, so this is why we need to wear such masks.

The famous Japanese host Kitano Takeshi said such a sentence: What is a disaster? A disaster is not a matter of 20,000 deaths, but a death of one person, which happened 20,000 times. We should respect every life because they are not numbers, but wonderful lives that they have never had. We finally ushered in the spring, but some people stayed in the winter forever.

Although China spent two months controlling the domestic epidemic, we have paid a heavy price for it. We still did not help some patients in time, and in this battle, many medical personnel also sacrificed. It is hoped that other countries in the world will gain some experience in facing the epidemic, thereby reducing the spread of death. We do not want other countries to repeat the suffering of China. In today’s world, the virus is our common enemy.

Mortals cannot live forever, but love can.

Danyang is a graduate student in her second year at FHSU. She is studying communication studies.

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