onsdag 1. april 2020

A lockdown brings together a Chinese student wary of the government and his parents, devoted to it.

Under normal circumstances, Patrick Wu, a college student from Anhui Province in China’s east, knows better than to talk to his parents about politics. Mr. Wu, a senior at a university in Beijing, is a self-described skeptic of the Chinese government. His parents are local government officials. But recent months have been anything but normal. The coronavirus outbreak, and its political implications, have been all that Mr. Wu, 21, thinks about. And for months, after traveling to their hometown in January for the Lunar New Year, he has been stuck there.

Which was how Mr. Wu, in recent weeks, found himself debating politics over the dinner table with the only two people he was allowed to see in person, committing perhaps the prime faux pas of prolonged isolation. “You can spend 12 hours online talking to your friends every day,” Mr. Wu said. “But you are angry 24 hours every day. So sometimes, your anger just can’t be held back anymore.”