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Read this essay about how life in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak is “a living hell.”

NPR has a sobering essay about living in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Wuhan has had a government-ordered lockdown since January 22. And according to the author of the essay, who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid punishment for criticizing the Chinese government, the lock-up has made life in Wuhan “a living hell.”

Part of the essay describes the struggles faced by the people of Wuhan immediately after the announcement of the lockdown. The author described how people rushed to food stores within an hour of the announcement of the lockdown. A day later, the author said they were celebrating Chinese New Year’s Eve with a meal “made up of the few ingredients I could have bought during that last-minute shopping trip.”

The essay is also deeply personal. For example, the author discusses how they have worked hard and are silent about politics trying to live a safe life, but became disillusioned with the Chinese government after it was slow to inform the public about the corona virus. “If we had human rights, democracy and freedom, we would know what happened a month earlier in Wuhan,” says the author.

“What happened in Wuhan is like your house is on fire and all your neighbors knew it but forbade you to jump out of the window. Only when the fire gets out of hand and the entire city is on fire, do they slowly begin to take responsibility, emphasizing their own heroic efforts, “the author says in another particularly complex passage.

The entire essay is very enlightening, and I highly recommend spending a few minutes on it go read it.