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Daily Drip

Ordinary Chinese People are Getting Creative to Cope with Coronavirus Confinement

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Hashtag #在家里无聊如何打发时间# (“How to pass the time when bored at home”) is trending on Sina Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms, as coronavirus-induced confinement continues to have the nation in its grip.

While the serious repercussions of the virus’ spread are being played out in news media and online, life in lockdown — whether government enforced or voluntary — is bringing out the creative side in many a Chinese netizen climbing the walls.

User 小五同学 found comfort in food, finding various ways to entertain with Jelly Babies.

Other incidences of people playing with their food included these creative takes:

Video clips have been doing the rounds on Douyin (China’s TikTok sister app), Weibo, and WeChat of other exploits to keep yourself entertained when you can’t leave the house:

Some of those under lockdown decided to look further afield than the four walls of their own apartment. Videos have been circulating of people in Wuhan yelling across apartment complexes for anyone to spark up some conversation with, while videos posted on social media on January 28 showed the citizens of Wuhan shouting “武汉,加油!” out of their windows — literally translating to “Wuhan, add oil!” and meaning “Come on” or “Hang in there, Wuhan!”

Fast forward 24 hours and their shouts of support have resulted in the following hashtag, #武汉加油MV#. Yep. “Wuhan, add oil! The Music Video.” The song comes courtesy of notorious red rap crew CD Rev.

Another contender in “how to beat the boredom” is the Chinese state media’s livestream of the construction of two new hospitals authorities in Wuhan are building to fight the outbreak of the virus in the city. At its height, the livestream has been attracting tens of millions of viewers following every nut and bolt tightened on the high-speed constructions.

Of course, despite some of the more light-hearted distractions on social media, many people in China continue to be deeply concerned about developments related to the novel coronavirus. The death toll from the outbreak as of January 30 has now risen to 170, and a confirmed case in Tibet means the virus has now reached every region in Mainland China. Health authorities on January 30 also stated there were 7,711 confirmed cases across the country.

Photo: Benjamin Chris on Unsplash

Elsbeth van Paridon
Sinologist Elsbeth van Paridon is an aficionada of fashion and urban culture. Deeply devoted to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon also reports on trends in her own publications “The China Temper” and “China Under The Radar“.