The novel coronavirus outbreak has already caused the world’s largest-known quarantine – first, Wuhan the city with a population of over 10 million (one and half times Massachusetts), then a lockdown of the whole Hubei province, with a population equal to one-third of the whole United States.
Such a quarantine means a horrendous price for the working-class people of Wuhan, who are braving this sudden epidemic outbreak for the sake of the rest of the world. Hospitals are overcrowded, medical staff are overwhelmed, and protective gear for doctors in China is in dire supply – so much so that even front-line doctors facing lines of possible pathogen carriers don’t have enough masks and protective suits.
It is a humanitarian hardship. Medical workers are restricted from drinking water and must wear adult diapers to save time from using the bathroom. Many patients are turned away because there is no more space in hospitals. If both parents contract coronavirus and are quarantined in the hospital, their child has to be left alone at home and fed by neighbors. Empty-nested seniors, even those not infected, could suffer from other diseases because the lockdown slows logistics and causes a shortage of basic medical supplies.
Wuhan desperately needs help from the global community. More than 8,000 Chinese medical workers have already gone into the province, putting their lives on the line. The entirety of China is fiercely trying to cope with an epidemic outbreak of such a magnitude – population in Hubei province is 4 times of people affected by Hurricane Katrina, and all provinces in China have found confirmed contracted cases.
If you’d like to contribute, please contact WeStar. WeStar is a volunteer organization founded in Weston on November 2019. As one of the first organizations in Boston which has realized the humanitarian hardship in Wuhan, our volunteers have started fundraising to buy and ship protective gear to front line doctors. Now WeStar is working with multiple associations in Massachusetts, including but not limited to Chinese American associations of Lexington and Needham, respiratory doctors, and photographers. WeStar recently received a thank you message from a hospital in Wuhan – “We are the only department still full stuffed so far in the hospital, blessed by your protective gear!”
We are in dire need of medical protective gear – goggles, protective coveralls, masks, gloves. We need medical equipment, or help to connect us with such providers. We are grateful for any help and will keep you updated on our progress.