Canned yellow peaches bring back memories of childhood amid COVID-19 outbreak
Published: Dec 15, 2022 12:19 AM
Canned yellow peaches Photo: VCG

Canned yellow peaches Photo: VCG

Along with skyrocketing demand for fever medication, some other goods such as canned yellow peaches have also been in the spotlight recently amid the ongoing optimized anti-COVID-19 measures implemented across the country. Many netizens believe that canned yellow peaches can be a comfort when people get sick.

Some netizens also made jokes suggesting the canned yellow peaches should be listed as "over-the-counter drugs," reflecting their optimism despite being infected with COVID, and expressing a desire to recall their childhood.

The topic about "canned peaches sold out across the country" got more than 17.92 million views on Wednesday as of press time on China's twitter-like Sina Weibo. A company producing canned yellow peaches in Zhuzhou, Central China's Hunan Province has seen orders jump 10 times since December 9, according to media reports.

On e-commerce platform on Wednesday, the seven most popular convenience foods were canned yellow peaches.

For the top brand, a total of 30,000 bottles of canned yellow peaches were sold within 24 hours, according to data from the platform. Other e-commerce platforms have also been selling the canned yellow peaches, with various promotions including live-streaming sales.

In a supermarket in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, a total of 147 bottles of canned yellow peaches were sold within one hour, according to media reports. On the shelves where canned peaches would normally be stacked, there were signs saying "out of stock," and the staff said they would restock later.

In the 1970s and 1980s, canned fruit was a luxury for ordinary families. They would buy it only for special times such as visiting relatives and friends, celebrating New Year, or when children were not feeling well.

"When I was a child, my mother would buy a tin of canned peaches when I was sick. The canned peaches were precious and expensive for us during that time, and there was not much fresh fruit in my hometown," a local resident surnamed Yan in Changchun, Northeast China's Jilin Province told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Some said that it was "superstitious" to believe that canned peaches could cure illness, but it was simply a comfort to eat sweet fruit rich in vitamins when you were sick, Yan said.

A company selling canned peaches said via social media on December 9 that the canned peaches have no medicinal effect, and asked netizens to purchase rationally. Experts also reminded residents that the canned peaches are not medicine and made it clear that the food can't treat COVID-19 patients.

The Western media has also been curious about why Chinese people can't stop talking about canned peaches on the internet and they reported that some Chinese people believed that the canned yellow peaches can fight the coronavirus, a view rejected by Chinese netizens.

"Of course we know that canned peaches are not really a special medicine for COVID-19, but it was a comfort and it was more likely a good way to recall memories from your childhood when you were sick," one netizen said.

Also, "peach" in Chinese sounds similar to "Tao," which means "escaped," and many netizens wish to get away from the virus. Some netizens also forwarded the picture of Chinese celebrity Yang Di, with the name interpreted in English as "enemy of positive" - as in, enemy of a positive test result. These moves reflected Chinese netizens' optimism and good wishes despite facing the epidemic.