Hello everyone! Welcome to DeafWire's coronavirus special report#20.
The last report was about China reopening and how Wuhan was
the harshest of all lockdowns on this planet.
This made me think of the Deaf community in Wuhan and
how they were doing. I got into touch with a woman named Jing Cui.
You work for an organisation called (name sign) Prosigner that focuses
on lobbying for Deaf rights, human rights and
supporting the Deaf community. How did your organisation
support the Deaf community in the time of the outbreak?
In January, when Wuhan was quarantined that was when
the Deaf community realised that something was wrong.
Prior to that, they had no idea, what happened or how it happened.
By the time Deaf people received the information,
they couldn’t buy face masks and testing thermometers.
Many of them called face-to-face asking me questions
about what happened and because everything was closed
they couldn’t buy face masks and testing thermometers.
How could they survive and how can they go out to buy food, etc.
As I realised their situation, I had to assure them.
Wuhan was locked down so I could not leave the city
nor come back in so I relied on the internet
to contact hearing organisations if they could help by donating
face masks for the Deaf people in Wuhan. I explained the desperate
situation why Deaf people needed the face masks.
The hearing people were puzzled and surprised.
They pitched in with a big heart to help in providing the face masks.
Those Deaf people who called, I maintained a list of their names
and home addresses. With the donated face masks,
the next hurdle was to ship the masks to their destinations
so I asked my friend, who had a car, if he could help me by driving
around dropping off the masks. He gave it some thought and consented
because it was a time of life or death. If one goes out,
there is a risk of being infected with the virus so it was
really urgent to help and support the Deaf community.
So, with my help along with hearing organisations,
the Deaf people got the face masks and access
to communication as in how they could buy food and et cetera.
Your organisation helped the Deaf community but
how about the Deaf Association? Did they help you too?
The Wuhan’s Deaf community had no idea about the coronavirus
endemic and didn’t have any face masks… Why was that?
It was because the government’s daily news briefings
did not include sign language for Deaf people -
they did not know what happened and their human rights
was second to none. The lockdown hit us so hard and
the Deaf Association did nothing so I got angry.
I questioned why the Association did not support the Deaf community.
Deaf people had no information at all, had no idea what was going
on and the Deaf Association was doing nothing about it.
I was asking them why the news did not have any sign language
interpreters but as I was debating with them, time was lost.
I had to act fast because Deaf people cannot wait
for too long in a situation like this. If they need to go out
to buy food, wearing face masks was mandatory.
This information was more important than fighting
with the Deaf Association so instead I focused on the Deaf people.
As I was working with them, the Deaf Association was watching me
and a month later, probably in March, when the situation
has calmed down, they informed me of their wish to support
the Deaf community. Instead of persisting the fight
I decided to collaborate with them, mutually supporting
each other with the focus on the Wuhan’s Deaf community
as well as the rest of the world. That is the situation right now.
China has reopened not long ago and the whole world is watching.
How has it been going for you and the city of Wuhan?
Wuhan, when it was hit with the coronavirus, it was a very serious
leading to a lockdown from January 23rd to April 8th.
However, some other cities were still carrying on carefully
and slowly with the restrictions of wearing face masks.
The whole country of China, it did not matter where you lived,
it was mandatory to wear face masks if you wanted to go out.
If you did not wear it, it was possible to be arrested
by the police and jailed. The city of Wuhan reopened
on the 8th of April but prior to that the province
of Hubei was already open in March. Things may be opening
up very slowly, however, the whole country is not running at full
capacity as there are still some cities in lockdown.
People are pondering if the coronavirus would fade away
but there are caution and fear so if going out,
face masks are mandatory. Here in Wuhan,
face masks are being enforced very, very strictly.
One may wonder why the Chinese government is encouraging
some cities and Wuhan to open up. The long lockdown
has affected the economy very severely and by not making money
caused the government to go into deficit.
Same thing goes for Deaf people, if they get sick,
they have to stay home and endure being quarantined.
If the economy is not running, how can anyone make a living?
Yes, the government has money and support but not very much
in comparison to the economy if kept alive and running.
It was better for the economy if people are sent to work
and with the money pouring in, the government makes money,
in which helps stabilise the country.
The world has been blaming China for the global pandemic,
how do you feel about that? Is China at fault for the problem?
COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China. The whole world has
been blaming China, however, here in China, the people
have been blaming us who live in Wuhan too.
The blame is international as well as domestic.
I know how everyone feel about this but what happened
is not our fault. Who ate what and what kind
of animal it was, I do not know. If we can put that aside,
the focus is not who is at fault. I would like
for you to think about it - if something happens
in your country that is worrisome, it is not an individual mistake -
something like this could happen in your country
with people falling ill and chaos. Right now,
it is not the time for blame because that will not solve the problem.
Right? I think that currently the crisis is getting bigger
so we need to use the time quickly to find the source
of the problem and how we can solve this.
I think this is more important.
Hmm, I hope for the world to calm down and focus
on the problem clearly rather than blaming on individuals.
Thank you for sharing your information and you are right -
it is not the time to blame anyone or any country.
It is a time for the whole world to come together
in support as well as the chance to clean up of what
we do not need as we figure out our new normalcy.
I wish you good health and best of luck
for your organisation in the fight
for human rights for Deaf people in Wuhan.
Take care and thank you for watching DeafWire.