My name is Wang Qiming. I’m 31 years old. I‘m an independent film director. I am a native of Wuhan. But I work and live in Beijing most time.

Today Wuhan and the whole Hubei Province are filled with a strong sense of fear. Since the closure of the city on January 23, the mood of Wuhan people has shifted from indifference from to extreme panic. It only took less than 5 days, which can be described as the feeling of riding a vertical drop tower. Now Wuhan is essentially like a city out of a science fiction doomsday disaster film. The weather is very bad – kind of misty, with intermittent drizzle. Except for the 120 ambulances wailing by from time to time, the street have hardly see any other living creature. The whole city is very quiet and frightening. You can hear clearly birds singing. You can even hear the sound of dead trees being blown down to the ground. This is a megacity with a population of 12 million. I’ve always wanted to make a science fiction film about the apocalypse, but I never thought that such a scene would appear in my hometown during my lifetime. Moreover, felt so real and strongly.

 

I returned to Wuhan from Beijing on December 19, 2019. After another week in Wuhan, I headed to Sichuan for a meditation course. on 12/25, I saw some news about a coronavirus off of the Internet. At that time, my instinctive reaction was that this was not a good thing, and that it was likely become serious. But at that time, the government published a rumor that the virus was under control and there was no human to human contagion. Because my meditation course was a ten day ‘silent’ retreat, I had to cut off all contact with the outside world. On my last phone call with my mother, I kept reminding her to pay attention. My subconscious kept telling me that it would never be so easy. Then, we all know what has happened since. In terms of information and transparency, I still don’t trust the current reported data of the epidemic. I’m also constantly comparing the news of domestic and overseas media. I think it’s a relatively objective way to get the real data, so I suspect the numbers are much higher than the reported number of infections and deaths.

The day Wuhan was closed was the worst day in my life. I woke up at 4 a.m without any notice. Because of the mental pressure of the previous few days, I felt powerless. I laid on my back for a while, but I didn’t feel sleepy. So I picked up my cell phone, and when I opened it, the bomb that had been buried in my heart for several days finally exploded. Wuhan was closed. For the next hour I felt nothing but desperation and despair. The last defense line in my heart had completely collapsed. My body began to sink. My breathing quickened. At that moment, I really had a strong sense that I was infected, and that kind of fear is really difficult to express in words. The day before the city was closed, I had a discussion with my family about whether or not we should we drive out of Wuhan. We decided to stay and spend the difficult time together. After all, it’s our hometown and we have to keep it! Most of my close family members and friends chose to stay in Wuhan, but some chose to leave. As far as I know, these people are those who just work in Wuhan and return home for the Spring Festival. As a native of Wuhan, I have chosen to live or die with my city. I think the majority of Wuhan people have the same notion, which is the spirit of this punk city! So please stop discriminating Wuhan people any more, we are really angry!!

Now the only thing we can do is to strengthen and encourage the safety awareness and implementation in each isolated family at home. I made two sets of simple protective clothing and developed a strict protection and disinfection process. I am a science fiction director, so the scientific knowledge and doomsday survival knowledge are really helpful. Although isolated at home, every day is is quite substantial. I get up at 7:00 in the morning, and I will meditate with my wife for an hour before we start our daily routine of disinfection every day. Then I will write in my journal and sort out image and picture materials. In the afternoon, I will chat with my parents or discuss the current situation (mainly to help them to maintain a good mentality). I will continue to meditate for one hour before supper and go to bed at about 10 o’clock.

Up to now, the city can still buy relatively sufficient food and water from the supermarket, but the medical supplies for disinfection and protection are still in short supply, and supermarkets and pharmacies can hardly supply enough.

 

For us, the series of measures taken by the Wuhan government are just ridiculous and pathetic The virus was found in early December of last year. It’s such a serious public security incident. But the government didn’t look at it like that at all – they even arrested eight people in Wuhan for spreading rumors. WTF?! in the early days of the virus’s spread, they organized various large-scale public activities. WTF?! When the government hadn’t determined the source and traits of the virus, they immediately decided that it does not have the characteristics of human to human transmission. WTF?! After the closure of the city, the rescue and aid materials could not be delivered to the major hospitals in time. The government departments still shirked their responsibilities. The Red Cross did nothing. They even charged the service and transportation fees of the donors, the aid kits were stranded in the airport. WTF?!

 

This spring festival was originally planned to be a road trip with my parents and my wife’s parents. After the outbreak of the epidemic, our two families separated themselves at home and stay connected with each other through Wechat video call.

One thought on “A Science Fiction Director’s Personal Experience of Wuhan City Blockade”

  1. Would you make a video diary of your daily life during the closure? It’s so hard to get a real sense of what’s happening (in Indonesia, currently still 0 case, but that could be a big fat lie!). So many hoaxes and exaggerated “expert” opinions, when all we want is just something honest and real and not some propaganda.

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