happy wuhan-lockdown anniversary

A year ago I was thinking that I should reserve these photos I took from Jan to March 2020 in Wuhan for a proper channel to release them. But as lockdowns have become the most banal and universal experience of 2020 (with very few exceptions) and I, for one, forgot about the matter entirely until a super quiet anniversary that no one seems to care. So I am just going to exhibit them here.

Lockdown diet from Jan to March 2020, in chronological order
It began with an emergency shopping in the early morning of 23rd 2020. Ge Yulu called me at 3am and told me to buy whatever from convenience stores before food and other necessities run out. I went to 5 24hr-convenience stores and bought 24 cup noodles and some other stuff. Lockdown began in full force later that day but we were good in terms of food during the first two weeks because mum stocked up plenty of dumplings and cabbage (which was intended for the CNY anyway). I preferred pan-fried dumplings. I loved snacks but those were certainly out of question as supermarket deliveries prioritised essentials. Those cup noodles became the rationed snacks I only consumed when I had trouble falling asleep late at night – it of course did not resolve the issue but it worked somehow as the comfort food at a time I unfortunately run out of Valium. Plenty of noodle supply – just need to find inventive ways to cook them and mum was exceptionally good at that. I craved snacks so mum and I made chips from raw potatoes, sliced them, fried them in oil, seasoned them, dried them, and stored them in a candy jars. Spring rolls – yum too. Half way through the lockdown as the supermarkets began to restock things other than essentials. Alcohol returned, first taste of wine in a month was amazing – it was really shitty wine but who cared, then came the beer, and yes with peanuts. Hot dried noodle was necessary for breakfast, it was Wuhan after all. I ate most of my breakfast at random hours – 5am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm. And finally when I got out for the first time in 66 days, I went to my uncle’s place and we together drunk 6 bottles of Penfolds – very mediocre but damn I passed out for the first time in 66 days.
Nail growth
I did my nails right before the lockdown, for the special occasion of CNY. But of course I ended up staying inside for 66 days and watched my nails grew. Vanity was not in vain.
I created a Chinese character out of boredom: a small person inside a door inside walls.
First outing on 26 March 2020
I went outside, with the last remaining KN95 mask, a bottle of sanitiser spray, gloves, and a pair of goggles. A lot of blockades, bulldozers, randomly parked cars, empty streets, workers in hazmat suits, and old people chilling outside with their masks on their chin. I went to see the riverside, too. The day ended with an optimistic note of a building lighting up ‘Hello Wuhan’.
The empty city centre on 26 March 2020

For the record.