The family, however, has been forced to break with tradition this year. With COVID-19 spreading like wildfire in China, they felt gathering over the holiday would be too dangerous. “It was a hard decision to make,” Wen told Sixth Tone. “It’s the first time the reunion has been canceled since I can remember.”
This year’s holiday is taking place amid unprecedented uncertainty. Just weeks ago, China abandoned its strict “zero-COVID” policy, and ordered local authorities to get rid of restrictions on intercity travel. For millions of people, this means they’re now free to visit their hometowns over the Spring Festival for the first time in years. But many are hesitating over whether to do so, fearing they might accidentally expose elderly relatives to the virus.