fredag 27. mars 2020

In China's Hubei, uncertainty, pessimism and hope as life resumes

Li Yu is happy she sold six pieces of roasted corn on the day she reopened her stall after travel restrictions were lifted in Jingzhou, but she worries about the future of her business near the city’s ancient wall, a tourist attraction in Hubei province. Li was forced to close her stall in late January as part of Hubei’s lockdown to tackle the spreading coronavirus epidemic, only opening on Thursday as China began lifting curbs on the province amid a sharp fall in locally-transmitted virus cases.

Li, 55, says business is at its worst in the seven years since she opened her stall. The Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in February is usually high season for Li, but the virus lockdowns killed that. In normal times she makes 4,000 yuan ($565.70) a month. The sale of six corn cobs would fetch around 12 yuan - a paltry daily income.