How To Tackle the Coronavirus Outbreak Anxiety Amidst A Lockdown?


How did the people of Hubei deal with the lockdown as Covid-19 spread worldwide? Lillian Yang in an article published in The Guardian reveals how some of the Hubei residents handled the situation.

Here’s an excerpt from that article.

Anxiety and stress more tough to fight

People living in Hubei province said they coped with prolonged confinement, isolation and panic, and the strategies they used to protect their mental health.

The coronavirus outbreak  forced millions under lockdown for the last two months.

Guo Jing, 29, Wuhan: ‘Make yourself a point of connection’

At the beginning, the city close down decision was so sudden and everyone was at a loss. Guo Jing said he came to know about the closure only the next morning. 

Having no time to react or leave, panicked Jing, having no clue on when the lockdown would end, went out to see how the food supply was.


Guo wrote a diary and did some volunteer work and interviewed and interacted with sanitation workers regarding their problems and working conditions that gave a very real connection. 


It has also been very difficult to be locked in the community. It deprives you of some sense of control. Food has been bought by the residential community. Guo said “I can’t even control what I want to buy. It feels like I have had to rely on other people to live.”

Online diary

By writing a diary online, Guo connected with other people. People have sent masks to that Guo donated to sanitation workers and to a hospital. 

Caring for others

Guo said participating in some volunteer work can alleviate the sense of powerlessness in the face of a huge disaster. “Caring for others, seeing their needs and doing what you can to help, is also a way of helping yourself.”

Werther Huang, 22, Wuhan: ‘Ask for help’

Huang said it was hard to describe the never-ending anxiety and heart palpitations. 

Looking at Weibo 

Huang  added, haven’t been able to concentrate on work, was constantly looking at Weibo to see the latest developments. “Really, it just makes things worse, but I can’t help it.”

Attention shift

“I have tried to shift my attention. I have played games online with my friends. When I need to work, I have used the time-management app, Forest. But when I look at the news again, all this effort is for nothing.”

Help from psychologist 

Huang said if you feel stressed, you can communicate with your relatives and friends, or ask a psychologist for help. “Take advantage of this time to care for yourself and your family.”

Shen Miao, 30, Tianmen city, Hubei province: ‘I write every day’


Miao, like others not knowing that the epidemic was so serious, returned home from wuhan the day before lockdown. 

“I was very worried I had been infected and afraid I would infect my family.”

Isolated myself

Mioa spraying alcohol all over the body kept a distance from everyone at home. 

After half a month of self isolation, nothing happened and Miao was out of worry.

Feel of guilt

Seeing the messages online of people begging for help and unable to find a hospital bed was really hard for Mioa.

A survivor

Mioa felt like a survivor and a privilege to be healthy. 

Writing a diary

Mioa started writing a “lock down” diary, and plans to write until the end of the lockdown. 

Hu, 22 Huanggang city, Hubei: ‘Talking with friends is really important’

Hu has documented what was happening through conversations with people or by going out, while volunteering in the hospitals. 

This kept Hu busy, and to relax while also helping some of the rescue efforts. It has helped relieve some of the mental and emotional pressure.

Whistleblower’s death

On the night of 6 February [when the Chinese doctor and whistleblower Li Wenliang died], Hu spent all night without sleep reading the news on Weibo and WeChat with friends.

Mental pressure

Hu said, “This was the hardest time for me.” There’s no way to really deal with this except to remember it. 

Also, in late January when the outbreak first exploded, the messages online of people asking for help and the huge gap between what was being reported in the news and what was really happening also caused a lot of mental pressure.

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Source: The Guardian


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