In recent months, India’s new corona pneumonia epidemic situation has turned severe, putting the lives of some Sino-Indian families in difficulty. 10 years ago, a Chinese girl in her early 20s, Angie (a pseudonym), who often travels to India for business because of her work, met and fell in love with a handsome, caring Indian boy and was happily married. Due to the epidemic, Angie has been unable to return to China to visit her family. She recently told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao about her plight in India under the epidemic and hoped that life would return to normal soon.
Before coming to India, Angie had been to some developed countries, but she felt that India was a country with business opportunities, especially the coming two to three decades were a period with great potential for development. After her marriage, she had children in India and started a cultural business enterprise. Before the outbreak, Angie’s family would return to China two or three times a year. Angie, who has been living in India for the past year and a half due to the outbreak, told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao, “Three people I know well have died from the new corona pneumonia infection, including the wife of the landlord of my company’s office, a religious person who came to pray when we got married and the father of one of my former employees. These deaths around me make me realize the seriousness of the epidemic, and in a small way, makes it clear that the overall situation in India cannot be said to be hopeful”.
According to Angie, India has imposed several “city closure orders” last year and this year, but compared to the measures taken in China, India’s ban is obviously not strict enough, leaving too much “freedom”. For example, there are not too many restrictions and controls for residents to enter and leave the community. One neighborhood in New Delhi, where she lives, has for some time restricted access only to couriers and hourly workers, but not to visitors or family or friends. Angie says, “My husband and I have driven out during the ‘city closure order, and there are police officers stopping cars on the road, but they rarely check private cars. The checks were basically only for trucks, which were said to be checked for smuggled alcohol and drugs during the epidemic”.
Comparing the epidemic prevention initiatives in China and India, the couple feel that China’s overall prevention and control measures are very much in place and well enforced, and that “all minds and hearts are really in unison”. In India, in contrast, while the first wave of the epidemic in India last year was under unified control, each state was “on its own” in the second wave this year. Both central and local control encountered greater resistance in implementing epidemic prevention measures. Too many people are “disobedient”, who go out and party, so there is no controlling the epidemic in the short run. Angie added, “Many of my relatives back home have done nucleic acid testing during the epidemic, but I haven’t done it in India yet. Both in terms of human and financial resources, the Indian government cannot support large-scale nucleic acid testing, so at the level of prevention and control, there is a great difference in the approach of the two countries. For now, we can only rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and wait and see what happens back home”.
The family has not yet got vaccinated because they are worried that it will be unsafe to go to crowded places, and they plan to wait until the situation improves. They want to take the Russian “Sputnik V” vaccine that is on the market in India. Angie said, “We are especially grateful that the Chinese Consulate in India has given us medicine granules and vaccination items. We have an ample stock of our own masks, so, for the time being, we did not ask our relatives at home to mail them again”.
“The epidemic in India is really serious, but for most families, as long as they stay at home, their lives are basically not affected much”. Angie told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao, “we have a fairly normal supply of supplies here, stores are open normally, and online shopping is more convenient than ever”. According to her, many things that were not available online in the past are now available, “probably because more businesses see no sign of the epidemic ending, so they have expanded their online sales”. Angie knows of a number of Indian companies that have let their employees work from home online since March last year, “but companies that can’t work through the Internet are greatly affected, some are facing closure and some have had to lay off staff”. The company’s main goal is to help the people of India get the epidemic under control as soon as possible, so that everyone’s losses are lesser.