After returning from a reporting trip to Wuhan, I have been in strict self-isolation in my apartment in Beijing. Most days I get calls not just from Du but the local police station, perhaps checking the spelling of my name, someone from the health department asking about my travel history, or other representatives from the neighbourhood committee.
They send messages reminding me to cover my mouth when coughing and not to “spit wherever you please”. The calls and questions, politely made, are constant and after a few days I already feel harried. A pink slip of paper with hearts taped to my door alerts my neighbours how long my quarantine should last.