I’ve been watching many videos over YouTube and other online sources of how ordinary Chinese citizens are coping with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This has given me some insight into what it might be like for us should we face the same issues here in Canada.

Rubbish Collection

In some videos, I’ve seen significant pileup’s of rubbish that isn’t being collected, this has potential health impacts such as vermin infestation, air pollution, affecting those with respiratory issues, poor for wellbeing, can contaminate water and more. However, in more modern apartment complexes rubbish appears to be taken away regularly.

Private Health Insurance

In China, they have universal health care but private insurance for more chronic conditions. I’ve noticed some having difficulty with the online forms for COVID-19 related hospital stays, making claims off their insurance. However, I am wondering about the impacts under a more corporate-run health care system as in the US, whether it will be a barrier to those who are sick seeing out treatment due to cost.

Food Deliveries

I’ve seen a number of options for buying food during the crisis in China.

First, some are given passes every couple of days to go out and buy food from local stores or supermarkets. It does look as though finding an open store can be problematic, however, when people are finding them they do appear to be stocked up well.

Second, some food items are delivered to apartment complexes but the owners must order online. I’ve seen some content in videos where people are stressed out because they are running out of food but not realising, or don’t have the skillset, to order via a website or app.


I’ve seen people donate ready meals to hospital patients, and those owning farms donating their own products to communities. Recipe videos seem to have increased, these are from established vloggers and others who are demonstrating what they are cooking when you can’t access the food you wouldn’t normally buy ie less meat.

Medication Shortage

Not seen a lot of this but in one video a vlogger had to go out to the hospital to buy medication on their health insurance, I couldn’t see any examples of supplies being delivered to an apartment block. I’ve seen vloggers discuss how family members became sick with a non COVID-19 issue but didn’t have access to a pharmacy to get advice or medication, it could be the case of not thinking straight during a stressful situation.

Face Mask Shortage

I’ve seen many videos where ordinary citizens donate face masks to hospitals, the police and other emergency services. At the beginning of the crisis, I heard some concerns where people couldn’t buy face masks however not heard anything recently. People appear to wear basic masks, not the N95 standard ones with filters.  I’m not convinced the basic ones provide people with adequate protection but everyone should find out via their own health care practioners.

Family Separation

I’ve seen a lot of upset people that they cannot be with their families and are very concerned for their wellbeing. Many cancelled their plans to be with their families for Chinese New Year by the request of the government so this must have added that additional stress. I saw a video where a Mother caught the virus and decided her child should live with the grandparents until she is well. This creates another issue where grandparents are looking after their grandchildren and I don’t know if they are receiving the support they need to perform that function. The parents feel guilty since their children don’t understand what’s going on and hope they will forgive them as they get older.

I have seen a number of parents wish for their children to become doctors or health care workers so they can help people should another crisis in the future.


The more time people have on their hands the more they tend to think the worst. From what I’ve seen there are moments like this for vloggers, they record video of themselves crying and showing their desperation. They do seem to be able to pick themselves up as the situation improves. Would everyone be able to cope with staying at home for a long time? I always have things to do so I don’t think it would be a problem for me but for some, it will be a big issue.

Hair Cut

People can’t go out to get their hair cut as the stores are all closed, so I’ve seen people trying to cut their own. This has created a lot of amusement for those recording the videos as they make a complete mess of themselves. I saw some guy try to use a beard trimmer on his hair which kind of worked out ok. There are many services like this that we will miss while being stuck at home.


In some respects, China does appear to be more technologically advanced than Canada. People are using technology to keep in touch with each other particularly through WeChat and Weibo. Most people seem to pay for things via WeChat such as online-shopping. Some vloggers have set up a PayPal account to ask for a donation to help in the production of their videos. I noticed some people are a little suspicious of donations to China.

Cold Apartments

In every video, I saw vloggers and their families wear winter jackets in their own home or can even see their breath when speaking. This was my greatest concern as I would think they should keep warm to prevent related illnesses, it’s also a better environment to get better if you are sick. I wonder if heating is too expensive in parts of China or whether this is what citizens are used to.


Most of the videos are more pro Chinese government as vloggers could be arrested if they said anything against them but reading between the lines I’ve got so much from these even if it’s just to learn about their day to day life. I certainly have a better idea of what I need to do if and when the virus hits Canada.