Covid-19 Review – How China Coped

It’s been 11 months now since the original emergence of COVID-19 in China. And now the US and much of the world is experiencing a resurgence; a “second wave.” Many of our readers continue working from home and our own office in New Jersey has been closed since mid-March due to this global pandemic.

But in China, things are back to “normal”: our Beijing staff are working from the office, taking crowded public transport, going to restaurants, and traveling within China without difficulty. Observing their progress has been interesting. We are relieved that they are fine, happy that they were back at work, and hopeful for the rest of us.

Obviously, this virus—tiny, insidious, and mysterious as it is—will not be the end of us.  There are solutions and the vaccine is near.  There is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Our ability to adapt to circumstances and overcome obstacles speak volumes.  We at CPG have relied heavily on the flexibility and dedication of our team members. Different environments create different experiences. In this blog, we recount the experience of one of our sourcing associates, Rita Zhang.


Initial Lockdown

This year’s Spring Festival was very different from the previous year, as was the Canton Fair, and many other events that could not take place due to the pandemic. Without the normal activities that were held in previous years, the lively scenes where friends gathered, and the crowds of people on the streets, there were only quiet and serene views across China, and the world.

 This year everyone is watchful, doing what they can to keep the country and our society safe. “Home isolation” is the theme of this year’s events, whether it is the Spring Festival, the Canton Fair, or whatever event is practiced in your own home country.

 During the initial stage of the pandemic, the only place of activity was home. And that is a small space. For many in China, the home workspace is about 100 square meters, or roughly 1000 square feet. For those who are isolated with other family members, the space is even smaller, sometimes a range of only 10 square meters, or 100 square feet.

This means much work was getting done in a space as small as a bedroom.      

Even mealtimes have changed drastically. While some meals may occur in a shared space, for the most part, we were all spending our time in complete isolation. And though it felt boring at times, it has also felt very meaningful.

Fortunately, most of us had a smooth Internet connection, so we could learn from various sources how to pass the time – sometimes, even just counting cars passing by the window! 

There were also many activities that could be done indoors, such as playing badminton and table tennis.During the pandemic, we’ve challenged ourselves to find fun things to do at home to enrich our daily isolation.


Coming out of lockdown

China adopted rigorous measures to deal with this, a closed-off management system to control spreading of the virus. At the higher level, the province and towns supervise each other. At the lower level, the village and community are also under closed-management. This is how epidemic prevention and control was gradually implemented for everyone. The goal was to keep everyone safe and prevent transmission. The objective was zero infections. 

As time went on, the epidemic was brought under control step by step, and China was able to control it fairly quickly. 


How are things now?

At present, China has become a “no-go zone for COVID-19”. There are no more infections. All parts of China have basically returned to normal.

Enterprises in all parts of China have already resumed work and production. KTV, bars and other entertainment hotspots have returned to normal for the most part. Various tourist attractions have also been opened gradually.


What is the new “normal”?

For the sake of safety, people will still voluntarily wear masks in public places. In places with dense population, such as buses, hospitals, supermarkets and so on, everyone still has to wear a mask and measure their temperature on a monitor at the entrance of these places before proceeding. Although the epidemic is disappearing from China, people’s safety awareness has greatly increased with the outbreak.

We all must do our part to end this pandemic. I hope people around the world can escape the virus and return to normal lives like us. Stay safe and healthy, have fun, and wear your masks!



By Rita Zhang and Jocelyn Trigueros

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