To view the slideshow of photos, click the title link below.–Kirk
Source: China File (2/4/21)
Running on Empty: How Beijing Faced the Outbreak
By Summer Sun, photographed by Dong Lin
Dong Lin photographed this project with support from the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography. The fellowship is a joint initiative of Asia Society’s ChinaFile and Magnum Foundation.
Afew days before the Lunar New Year last year, I called my mother for some urgent advice. Since I live in Europe and was not traveling home for the celebration, I decided to host a dinner party at my apartment. My invitation list soon grew out of hand, ending up with 15 guests. There were vegetarians, vegans, and non-pork eaters, a difficult endeavor for any Chinese chef, let alone a novice. My mother helped me decide on some easy-to-make and filling recipes. Before hanging up, we briefly discussed the mysterious, pneumonia-like disease sickening people in central China, far away from where my parents live. Around that time, Zhong Nanshan, a prominent Chinese pulmonologist well-respected for his work during the SARS outbreak in 2003, publicly confirmed that the virus that would come to be known as COVID-19 spread from human to human. Still, given how little information the government had yielded on the extent of transmission, the outbreak remained obscure, if alarming. “Are you guys wearing masks?” I asked my mother. “I’ve started to, but your dad hasn’t. We still have some masks that he bought on Taobao years ago,” she said. “Who knows if they’re still good—you know your dad always buys whatever’s the cheapest.” Continue reading