Sandy Alexandre Perkins: China during the coronavirus epidemic, China – March 2020






Fragrant hills

Fragrant hills


Over last two months life in China changed in many ways.  Because of the spread of the coronavirus epidemic across the whole country, the government implemented very strict measures to control the virus. At the core of these measures is to encourage everybody to leave their homes as little as possible. Therefore, apart from supermarkets and some companies in industries that were classified as essential, most of the companies and shops in Beijing either closed or operated work from home policies. As for my university course, the university has been running online classes.

A government slogan for fighting the coronavirus

A government slogan for fighting the coronavirus

Although the epidemic meant that I had to cancel all my travel plans and limited my opportunities to interact with Chinese people, it has also resulted a lot of time to read Chinese novels and study hard at home. Chinese has an idiom “the old man lost his horse, but it all turned out for the best”, which is used to describe a blessing in disguise. This idiom is fitting for my experience in that through studying at home over the last month my Chinese grammar and vocabulary has improved. I’m also very grateful to be safe considering the tragedies that the ongoing epidemic is causing across the world.

Recently in China the coronavirus epidemic situation has improved markedly. In light of this improvement, I have taken the opportunity while most people are at home to visit some famous sites. Last week I went to The Fragrant Hills, a beautiful mountain park to the east of Beijing. After a half day of climbing I reached the peak of the mountain, from which the view of Beijing is stunning and allows you to take in the vast scale of the city. Yesterday I visited the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium and the Olympic park, which brought back memories of watching the 2008 Olympics twelve years ago.

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