Category: China

CoVid-19 Corona Virus Pandemic: Benefits

I am trying to stay positive amidst a terrible CoVid-19 pandemic, which started in China and has ravaged the most parts of the world. This highly infectious virus continues its march through out the human race. There is a lot of negative, but not much of an acknowledgement of the positive.

In all situations in life there are benefits which might not be easy to accept, but over time will be very good for us in the long run.

Benefits

  1. Family is closer: The virus has brought our family closer together. We got along well before, but now know that we can live together in the same house. Thankfully we have a house, which is plenty large enough to accommodate us in relative privacy.
  2. Revenge of the Introverted: Introverts, once scared and nervous in large crowds of gregarious people, are having a field day. They are more relaxed, living at home, and in small bubbles. It seems very natural for them, and now there’s a great excuse to not crowd together.
  3. Be more self-sufficient: We can no longer rely on a simple pop out to stores to buy something, or to find a service. Eating at home, finding a solution yourself, all these solutions are safer now than asking other people to enter your home.
  4. Infection Risk is Always there: There has always been an infection risk when going out and seeing people. Pre-March 2020 this was much less as to be minimal. Yet there was always a risk of infection when going out to stores. The pandemic has reminded us of this risk, and to calculate a risk-reward before we enter a store. Often this risk-reward is not worthwhile. The risk has always been there, will continue to be there now and for all infections, pandemic or not, in the future.
  5. Mask Wearing is a Public Health tool: A mask is not a social statement but a health tool. If you are sick you can protect others by wearing a mask. This has been known in Asia for a long time. We in the West should adopt this practice as well.
  6. Live for the Here and Now: Enjoy the present. Our pre-March 2020 life was so much different from now. It seems like a cruel hand has snatched our lives away from us, leaving us with the crumbs. Unfair, perhaps, but that is reality. Enjoy what you have now right now.
  7. Long Term Care/Retirement Home Conditions are Terrible: This has long bothered me, but Canadian society does not treat the elderly very well. When they become frail we lock them away in specialized homes and spend as little funding as possible on them. During the Pandemic it was clear that they were neglected and left to die. As nursing staff became sick there was very little to back them up, the system fell apart and more of the elderly died. It did not have to be this way, but it is. The pandemic has shone a light on our shoddy system. Good for the virus to show us our faults.
  8. Minorities are not as important: Blacks and Latinos die more than Whites. Why? There is inequality in society. The lowest of society are more susceptible and die first. While this is difficult to change, the Pandemic has highlighted this for all to see. What we do with this information I do not know. Hiding inequality is no longer possible.
  9. Selfishness is Abundant: While here in Canada most of us still feel a duty to help each other, there continues to be the selfish minority that will not even wear a mask, a simple face mask used to protect others and to protect yourself. What happened to the moral code of “I am my brother’s keeper”? It went out the window. We need to readjust our moral compass, as perhaps we are a little too comfortable with ourselves. The Pandemic has riled up the selfish and they have paraded down our streets in protest of their right to not wear a mask.
  10. Wealth Gap is Huge: The Pandemic has chased us into our homes to hide. Those that have the means can do this. Those that do not are forced to venture out and risk contracting the virus. The Pandemic has made this very clear that we do not take care of those that are on the edge of society. There is no hiding this from our conscience. To see and acknowledge this, I thank the Pandemic.
  11. Work from Home: As the Pandemic progressed governments asked companies to send their employees to work at home. previously most companies were very hesitant to do this, thinking productivity would fall. For anyone that has worked at home, you know that home workers work longer hours with less distractions. Productivity actually increased. Huh! who would have thought that! So now we know. This will allow companies to reduce their expensive office space footprint and even move their offices to cheaper locations. There is no need for a downtown office. I expect that this trend will continue.
  12. Preparation for Future Panemics: If nothing else, at least most of the world, excluding the US, is much more prepared for the next wave of CoVid-19 or any subsequent pandemic. We have learned, changed our lifestyle, practice mitigating steps, have masks. We are now used to social distancing and the need for air circulation. We are ready.

Returning to School in the Pandemic, Toronto, Canada

The CoVid-19 pandemic has walloped us in the head, in an obviously direct way. We, as a species, probably needed this kind of wake up call, as it seems no other method would get our attention. Starting from China, CoVid-19 has spread throughout the world. This, after 5 months of near lock down here in Toronto, is no longer news. Now we are faced with a new school year, the possibility that kids will return to their elementary school classes, become infected, and bring the virus back to their parents and grandparents. While we are still learning about this virus, what is clear is that it is highly infectious and no one is immune.

QQ International Version is dead: Learn Chinese or Use WeChat

If you are using QQ, the Chinese social media platform, on a PC and want multi-language capability, or at least a language other than Chinese, your days are numbered. The PC program was last updated in 2014 and has been slowly degrading in functionality. There is no foreseeable new version planned. The best you can do is to learn more Chinese and install the Chinese version, or use the Android international version on an Andriod smartphone.

Japan is Unique, and not like China

I have spent significant time in both Japan and China. When people say that China will progress just like Japan, I find it startling. The two cultures are not even remotely close to each other. This NYT article Testing Is Key to Beating Coronavirus, Right? Japan Has Other Ideas highlights some of the unique characteristics of Japan. While it does not specifically outline the differences between Japan and China, if you have lived in China and think about it, some Japanese traits are simply mind boggling.

qnreading from Chinese Social Media QQ: Unknown Protocol

I am a QQ user, which is part of Chinese social media. From Tencent 腾讯 in China, QQ is a simpler messaging and social media ecosystem than WeChat 微信. In the past couple of months I have been noticing more content is blocked to me here in Canada. More concerning is that China is beginning to use new protocols on the internet that are unique to China.

Geoblocking is regularly used by Chinese stores. I search for their products on Baidu, find images but cannot go to their web pages because they detect that I am not in China and block me. While this is annoying, at least I can understand the technical mechanism. They do not want Western eyes looking at their web pages, and that is their prorogative.

CoVid-19 Corona Virus Face Mask Requirements by Country

Requirements to wear a cloth face mask, by country is evolving. Starting in Asia, acceptance has spread worldwide. This is an evolving situation, with more countries mandating use with time and social acceptance.

Maskenpflicht (mask duty) in German

Government Guidance Articles

Sewing DIY Cloth Surgical-style Face Masks

This mask design fits very well. It is double layer cotton, with a space between for filter material. The nose bridge has a metal insert for forming around your nose. Straps go around your neck and head. Photo1 by Don Tai

This mask design fits very well. It is double layer cotton, with a space between for filter material. The nose bridge has a metal insert for forming around your nose. Straps go around your neck and head. Photo1 by Don Tai

We don’t as yet have an epidemic with the corona virus CoVid-19, from originally from Wuhan, China, but i thought it prudent to research how to sew up some surgical-style face masks, just in case. These home made masks can possibly match the surgical-style mask.

China Law Regulating Internet Content: Positive Content Only

This new Chinese law only allows for “positive” content on the internet, with wide discrepancy for interpretation. While it will be difficult to interpret and will be a moving target, this has always been the case for all of Chinese law and especially content on the Chinese web space.

A good study is required if you publish anything in China. Specifically note Chapter 2, Article 4 through 7. These are critical for content writers and commenters, which means everyone.

Li Wenliang: Torchbearer for Truth in China

It is always difficult to see someone die after they did the right thing and told the truth. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in Wuhan, China, did just that. For telling is circle of 8 doctor friends about a new virus spreading through his hospital, he was called to the police station and made to sign a confession for speaking out without authorization from the higher authorities. His friend circle were fellow doctors. He would later die from the very disease, CoVid-19, that he talked about.

What Can Fitness Change, Go Do Fitness, Wechat: Translation

Weixin photo from Jianshen Qu Ba, unknown origin, complete article

Weixin photo from Jianshen Qu Ba, unknown origin, complete article

China is a separate world and becoming even more distant. This is especially true with the internet. Wechat 微信 is part of China’s social media and a very good example. Their information ecosystem, heavily monitored and censored by the government, is often smartphone ecosystem, and not web site based. I occasionally monitor Chinese social media and often read some of their articles.

While the content can be very good, for fitness articles they almost always use white models. I find this very strange. There are more than enough jacked Chinese guys and beautiful Chinese women in Asia. The photos also have no sources.