- Chinese university students receive infinite quarantine.
- Shops inside universities raise their prices.
- Students become creative about their free time.
Covid-19 continues to be rampant in many countries, except where it broke out first: China. According to the latest statistics, on September 18, there were only 18 new confirmed patients, all travelers from other countries. Even so, the Chinese government is extremely careful with these imported cases. On September 13, in Ruili, two illegal travelers from Myanmar were reported to be infected. The next day, the local government quarantined the entire city and started to carry out massive PCR testing. In just three days, they’ve already completed 95,362 tests (all negative), and more underway.
Even though it seems that right now China has the Covid-19 under control, not all social and economic activities have been normalized, for example, at the universities.
Since the end of August, after several months at home, university students started to go back to college. Instead of a long-time-no-see welcome back, they were immediately put in an infinite quarantine, not the usual 14-day type.
They took to social media to express their disagreement and indignation. According to numerous posts on Weibo, the quarantine makes no sense because it only targets the students. Working staff and, in some universities, even external people can enter and leave the college as they want, while students need to strictly follow the rules. Also, since couriers are not allowed to enter the college, long lines or simply chaotic messes are formed everyday near the gate for receiving packages.
Some universities explain that it’s because the students live together in a dormitory, which means a higher risk in case of an outbreak. Other posts state that they are fine with the quarantine itself, but they can’t tolerate the fact that many shops and restaurants inside the colleges have chosen to raise their prices during this period. Whether it’s due to higher cost or not, some are afraid that this would become a burden for students from less fortunate families.
Bored and energetic, students have started to become creative with their free time. They organize public dances every night on the playground and shoot funny videos using TikTok. Some with an anarchist heart escape the college through holes or over low walls. Wuhan Sports University is surrounded by rivers, which encourages some students to sneak out by boat.
Over by the steel fences, students hold their lover’s hands and hug each other through bars.
Jiangxi Provincial Department of Education announced on September 17 that all universities in Jiangxi must open their doors for the students, the first province to do so. One day later, the Ministry of Education of the PRC also suggested universities nationwide to be reasonable when it comes to quarantining students, allowing them to leave when justified.
It looks like after weeks of whining online, the students’ voices have finally been heard.
This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival overlaps with the National Day of China, which legally means an 8-day holiday. Many universities have announced before that they would cut it to three or even just one day. Students remain hopeful for a change in the decision after the new announcement by the Ministry of Education.