Wuhan blogger was 'surprised' by countries' reaction to Covid-19

Wuhan resident who filmed the city’s lockdown was shocked by how ‘slowly’ other countries reacted to Covid after China provided ‘textbook’ response and asks why Western nations ‘won’t make compromises to stay alive’

  • Qiongyao Xie and husband Jie Yang documented life in the Wuhan lockdown
  • Surprised by how ‘slowly’ the world reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic last year
  • Qiongyao said China had provided a ‘textbook’ response on handling the crisis  
  • The couple appeared on the first episode of BBC2’s Pandemic 2020 last night  

A Wuhan food blogger says she was ‘surprised and worried’ by the way other countries reacted to the Covid-19 outbreak because China provided a ‘textbook’ example of how to handle a pandemic. 

Qiongyao Xie and her husband Jie Yang, who got married on January 19 – days before the city was plunged into lockdown – spoke about their experience on BBC2’s Pandemic 2020, a new series which kicked off last night.

She claimed the pandemic at that stage was controllable and told how she was baffled when she saw how other countries responded to the outbreak, admitting: ‘I was actually surprised by their reaction and how slowly they took precautions.

‘The textbook is right here and you don’t even want to take it? I just can’t figure it out, I really don’t know what they were thinking.’ 

Jie added: ‘I know Western countries maybe attach greater importance to their privacy and human rights, but wouldn’t you prefer to make some compromises in order to stay alive? I want to live freely. Living here, I want to be free to breathe.’

Scroll down for video 

Wuhan food blogger Qiongyao Xie (left, pictured with husband Jie Yang) has said she was ‘actually surprised’ by the way other countries reacted to the Covid-19 outbreak

Beijing maintains that a ‘cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause’ first appeared in Wuhan on December 31, 2019. 

The Chinese government officially declared the disease as a new coronavirus outbreak to the World Health Organisation on January 9 last year. 

Qiongyao explained that the day after she and Jie Yang got married in January, their best man, who was a cousin, fainted out of the blue at work and was taken to hospital for a check-up. 

Jie added that while he was waiting in the hospital, he took a lot of really shocking pictures of medical staff in full PPE, during the time when Covid-19 was an unidentified type of pneumonia. 

Qiongyao explained that the day after she and Jie Yang got married in January, their best man, who was a cousin, fainted out of the blue at work and was taken to hospital for a check-up, where he took ‘a lot of shocking pictures’ of staff in full PPE

Jie said while their cousin was waiting in the hospital, during the time when Covid-19 was an unidentified type of pneumonia, staff had already taken measures to stem the spread (pictured)

While the news made it clear everything was ‘under control’, Qiongyao told how they woke up one morning to discover they’d been plunged into lockdown with no warning.

Jie explained: ‘On the night of the 22nd, I went to bed late, didn’t sleep until 1.30 or 2am. Before we went to sleep, there weren’t any updates or any breaking news. 

‘But I woke up at 9am the next day to find we were in lockdown. At 10am it was announced that nobody could leave.’ 

When Qiongyao and Jie went to bed on 22nd, they said there weren’t any updates or breaking news, but awake the next morning at 9am to news they were in lockdown

The entire city was plunged into quarantine over night, rendering its usually busy roads and streets deserted

At the time, Qiongyao hoped other nations would ‘follow their example’, because the epidemic was ‘controllable’ (pictured: a sanitisation truck in Wuhan)

The couple filmed their lives in lockdown, as they wandered around the desolate streets in search of vegetables, after surviving on a diet of cabbage and carrots.  

Qiongyao went to a shop and asked for masks and hand sanitiser, but the shop assistant told her they had sold out. 

She wondered whether people had ‘given up on their image’ as she saw several people wandering around wearing their pyjamas. 

And she was bemused when an ‘old lady’ she passed said a man should be ‘locked up’ because he wasn’t wearing a mask in the street. 

The couple told how medical staff from all over China flew in to help Wuhan treat its Covid patients

The country built two new hospitals to cope with the growing number of Covid patients and took over stadiums within weeks

Despite the dire situation, morale appeared to remain high within the hospitals, with staff pulling together. Pictured: Medics at a temporary hospital in Wuhan take care of Covid-19 patients and say: ‘Our work has been smooth and all is well. There is nothing to worry about’

At the time, Qiongyao hoped people would ‘follow their example’, because the epidemic was ‘controllable’. 

Two months after their first lockdown, life in Wuhan started to get a little easier as restrictions lifted slightly. 

Qiongyao said: ‘It was a bit more under control and things were starting to improve. So we wanted to check it out.’

During a filmed walk around the city she explained: ‘I can feel spring is on its way and occasionally we see some pedestrians but we keep our distance.

Two months after their first lockdown, life in Wuhan started to get a little easier as restrictions lifted slightly. The government decided to test everybody – and in 19 days, they tested nearly 10 million people

Qiongyao told how she was baffled when she saw how ‘slowly’ other countries responded to the outbreak, admitting: ‘I was actually surprised by their reaction and how slowly they took precautions

Two months after their first lockdown, life in Wuhan started to get a little easier as restrictions lifted slightly. People began taking public transport again, with a track and trace system and temperature checks seemingly in place, as well as compulsory masks

‘When you stay at home for a long time, things you took for granted before or views you didn’t think were as important, now look so pleasing.’

She added: ‘When we saw the situation in other countries after their outbreaks, we were really worried, really worried. I was actually surprised by their reaction and how slowly they took precautions.   

‘I can’t figure out why. Why are you doing this? Are you sure you don’t want to do anything, masks at least? We have no clue why, really no clue.’

Two months after their first lockdown, life in Wuhan started to get a little easier as restrictions lifted slightly. The government decided to test everybody – and in 19 days, they tested nearly 10 million people. 

Episode two of Pandemic 2020: The Great Divide airs next Thursday at 9pm on BBC Two.

Source: Read Full Article