Chinese share tips on dealing with being on lockdown amid COVID-19

By Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/16 22:43:40

A student takes an online course at home in Yuncheng, North China's Shanxi Province during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: IC

As countries like Italy and Spain go on nation-wide lockdowns to battle COVID-19, more people around the world are staying at home for quarantine, leading a life similar to what many Chinese began a month ago. Here are some tips that Chinese are sharing for dealing being stuck at home during the pandemic. 

Working at home

Working at home became a trend in China to reduce crowds and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. In order to create a comfortable working environment, purchasing some office goods will help you concentrate more on your work.

Liu Jian, a 28-year-old IT engineer living in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday that he used remote working software to control the computer at his office through his laptop at home. He also bought a desk, a comfortable office chair, a computer monitor and a change-over plug to create a working environment at home. 

"It used to take an hour and a half to arrive at my office by subway, but now I can save the three hours used on my commute, and spend more time on my work and life, which made me feel things aren't that bad for me during the epidemic," he said.

In order to stay in a good mood during work days, some Chinese women have still been wearing makeup and nice clothing while at home. Some female netizens shared their experiences on Chinese social media, saying that dressing up helped them maintain high work efficiency while wearing pajamas at home just dragged them down. 

Reading time

Many Chinese discovered that quarantining at home gave them more time to read those books they always wanted to read but didn't have the time. Many bookstores and e-commerce platforms in China offered delivery services for books during the epidemic. Some reading apps and online audio sharing platforms have also released many e-books and audio versions of books for free to enrich people's lives.

Chen Ran, a 29-year-old civil servant living in North China's Tianjin Municipality, told the Global Times on Monday that she is currently reading the book Little Women

"I planned to watch the film Little Women which was scheduled to screen in the Chinese mainland in February, but was postponed due to COVID-19, so I decided to read the book first and I will better understand the film version when it is released in the Chinese mainland," said Chen.

Zhong Wen, an English teacher living in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shannxi Province, told the Global Times on Monday that she has spent her spare time finishing the audio version of the science fiction novel The Three-Body Problem through online audio sharing platform Himalayan FM.

Exercising at home

Since gyms have all shut down amid the pandemic, many Chinese have turned to training apps or watching online exercise programs at home. Some netizens have shared their achievements on social media to show how healthy they have become. For example, Liu Yifei, the lead actress in the Disney film Mulan, shared three photos of her fit figure on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Gao Wen, a 52-year-old woman living in Tianjin, told the Global Times that she used to take yoga class in a nearby fitness center but has now turned to online classes. 

"The drawback is that our yoga coach cannot give me guidance or correct my movements, but the good thing is that I can choose any teacher I like online without being bound by geographic restrictions," Gao said, adding that the teacher she chose is based in Beijing and is far more professional than her old coach near her home.

Staying with family

Getting stuck with kids at home has created some challenges for many Chinese parents as they needed to learn how to deal with their rambunctious kids and offer them help while they study online since schools are closed. 

However, cooking a delicious meal together, playing tabletop or card games, and having a soul-to-soul conversation with your parents, your spouse or your kids might help you develop a closer relationship with your family.

Liu Xiu, a 34-year-old businesswoman who runs a clothing store, told the Global Times on Monday that her daughter was very surprised to find that Liu was actually a very good cook, since usually Liu was too busy to cook for her kids. 

"I actually like cooking. Since my shop cannot open due to the coronavirus outbreak, I have had the time to pick up cooking again. I was very pleased when my daughter gave me such high praise," she said.

'Virtual travel, virtual discos' 

Many closed scenic spots, museums and theaters in China have begun offering online experiences to netizens free of charge, giving people the opportunity to enrich themselves while relaxing indoors. 

For example, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra gave an online performance on Saturday. The livestream earned 840,000 views, according to Chinese news site The Paper. Similarly, the Metropolitan Opera in the US, the Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester in Germany and the Vienna State Opera in Austria have also begun providing free streaming performances on their official websites.

For many young Chinese, they were very happy to hear that some Chinese musical festivals have made the move online. These "cloud disco dancing" activities have added more color to their stay-at-home lives.


Some Chinese have chosen to spend their time at home furthering their hobbies or learning a new skill like playing the guitar or ukulele, painting or learning a second language. Others have chosen to take online courses to improve themselves.

Ning Jun, a 37-year-old woman who loves public speaking, told the Global Times that she registered for a series of online courses on how to become a good communicator and earned her certificate after 28 days. 

"I took the online courses, submitted 18 essays and finally got the certificate. I think the course has helped me improve my ability to speak in public," she said.

Staying at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 doesn't have to be dull. In fact, this could be the perfect opportunity to indulge in a favorite hobby or to pursue an activity you never had time for before. 

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