Voices

New coronavirus outbreak: A personal perspective from China

What is it like to live under lockdown because of the new coronavirus outbreak? A World Vision staff member in China shares his perspective.

What is it like to live under lockdown because of the new coronavirus outbreak?

The Chinese government has taken extraordinary measures to control the spread of the respiratory disease, with many cities in lockdown, affecting over 51 million people.

Che Zifa, a World Vision staff member in China, shares his perspective on living under lockdown and the opportunity to care for his community by helping to distribute health supplies.

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There’s a lack of access to masks, and I can’t go outside because I don’t have a mask. My wife has a mask, so she has to purchase our supplies for our family. My wife works at the county health department, and she has been working since the outbreak began. She can’t have a day off, and it has been a tough time for her.

This Lunar New Year has been a tough one since my two sons and I had to stay at home. We can’t go outside like we used to. Also, we cannot visit our relatives or hang out with our friends.

Caring about communities

My colleagues and I have been in touch with World Vision project communities so we can learn how the outbreak is affecting them. Moreover, colleagues responsible for sponsorship also ask about situations of the children in the community. Timely communication with the community shows us that parents have enhanced supervision on children. For example, they ask their children to wear a mask when being outside or not to go outside at all. Also, they tell their children to wash their hands more frequently.

Meanwhile, we find that the community lacks prevention awareness of the new coronavirus and the residents don’t have protective items such as masks, soap, or liquid soap. What’s more, some residents have not attached much importance to this outbreak due to their lack of knowledge. So they push their luck, which is one of the challenges threatening the safety of communities.

Distributing masks

World Vision quickly responded to the new coronavirus. The masks purchased by World Vision were delivered to Honghe County Feb. 2. My colleagues and I took charge of the distribution. That was my first time out since Jan. 23. I felt touched when distributing masks to our partners. I felt quite delighted that we can still give timely responses to meet the needs of the community and our partners in this drastic time.

A little episode happened during this distribution. Some of the masks were delivered to another city nearby because the local express company refused them. Two colleagues of mine and I had to drive back and forth for more than five hours to get the masks. Although we all wore masks, we still felt nervous. Therefore, we barely approached other people. After getting the masks, we started a second distribution. My colleagues were joyful seeing our partners wearing the masks we had delivered.

Since Feb. 3, we have donated more than 7,500 masks to the local government and relevant departments as a way to support the control and prevention of the new coronavirus outbreak. In addition to the donation of protective items, we plan to hold educational activities in the project community when the spread is under control. Those activities will help raise the public health awareness, and teach people to wash their hands correctly and more regularly.

I hope that the outbreak will pass soon so that we can all go back to normal life and work.

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World Vision teams worldwide, and particularly across Asia, are doing all they can to keep children, families, and their communities safe. In China, we aim to support nearly 390,000 people in 10 provinces where we have development work. This emergency response will include providing face masks to communities and health workers, distributing hand sanitizer and other personal hygiene items, and supporting efforts by local health authorities, schools, and other partners to communicate stay-safe health messages.

World Vision is also preparing to respond to community needs within the United States. Our response supports schools in low-income areas, specifically where cases of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, have been confirmed. We plan to provide a bottle of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for every student in 900 schools.

Donate today to support World Vision’s response in the U.S. and worldwide to help keep people safe from the new coronavirus. As it continues to spread, our staff are providing emergency protective supplies in affected areas both abroad and here in the United States. Your donation will help provide things like face masks for health workers, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for children and families, and in some cases, health training to keep everyone safe. Please pray for the health of everyone involved and donate today.

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