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What It's Like To Be A Reporter In Wuhan Amid Coronavirus Epidemic


The city of Wuhan China has been shut off from the outside world for more than two weeks now it's part of China's effort to contain the spread of coronavirus which originated in Wuhan The New York Times is it Chris Buckley is one of only a few reporters in the city he is on the line now from Wuhan Chris Buckley welcome back to All Things Considered thank you would you start with the death of the doctor who first sounded a warning about corona virus he was a doctor in Wuhan people in the city reacting well to go out on the streets today war Han was what counts is normal for the past two weeks which means extremely quiet I did go to the hospital where he passed away and there was a small memorial with okay as a flower but apart from that there wasn't really any sense of public grieving in the city but I was very deceptive I was gonna ask whether online it was a different story online is very different story and across Charlie including Han there's been an extraordinary reaction to his death the locks which we haven't seen for quite a few years in China with the great deal of sympathy for him condemnation of the officials who've seen through persecuted him because of his warnings of the songs like coronavirus an extraordinary outpouring of emotion and give me some detail on that I was reading a dispatch this morning from one of our reporters in China Emily Fang her said the that China censorship machine has kicked into high gear very quickly trying to shut down some of this outpouring of grief that's probably true but the scale of the outpouring of grief I think is a little bit bit like large waves battering against sequels or something like that has overcome some of those protections I think what's also happened is that the traditional Chinese me being used things have been emboldened by this crisis over the corona viruses well we've seen much more combative and interesting reporting from them over the past few weeks in a way that I don't think that propaganda must assume in Beijing would necessarily welcome I want to go back to something you said which is that the streets of Wuhan today have felt like what passes for normal these days which is to say very quiet which is amazing one hundred is a big city eleven million people just give us a sense if if we walked out onto the street what we would see what does that sound like what does it look like they're Chinese cities the best place in the world take clanging with who is often but certainly where I'm saying the member again and says no he observes I hear dogs barking from a distance off and by large people staying at home in this for example they need to run an important errand or particularly if they have to go and see a doctor because of the virus even people with what you might think a relatively mild symptoms of a cold or flu are rushing to the doctor because there's so much anxiety about whether it might be the virus now our basic services still being performed is trash being collected or the streets being swept I too surprising extent yes one thing you do see when you step out in the morning says that the clean is our work usually they claim is our rule migrants from surrounding villages in full bay province in that been given orders to keep the streets clean on sometimes I think it's perhaps too much to unfold they should be given some time off so city which you might think quit being completely paralyzed still has this under structure of basic public services which is some out continuing I know you have been there this whole time you got into hung right before the city was locked down and shut off from the world has it changed in these two plus weeks or does it feel like a city not only disconnected from the world but frozen in time just talking to one hundred students so I've gotten to know that I am struck by how difficult defining it now people starting to feel very down about their lives and it's not just about jobs and livelihood to serve the sense of having lost direction as well like what day is it how many days of our being inside now play my video game or trying to find a way to keep the kids amused you know it's a great drain on people's mental energy just to keep active in focus well and no end in sight no one knows when this might end that's true a toll guess work at the moment and and some people say that apps in a week or so that the government might begin to loosen up a bit I tend to think that that's probably on the optimistic side just given the right to infection while that might be going down the pizza still very significant so I think given all of that we might be here for and now I really have to get a few more weeks

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