Observations on Wuhan Residents’ Diaries
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The COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed explosive production of diaries characterized by first-person, spontaneous expressions and contents filled with daily experiences in the context marking the virus as the new norm. The city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus infection first emerged and robust medical practices were first implemented, is no exception in this regard. During the 76-day Wuhan quarantine, numerous diaries of various presentation forms were created on Chinese social media platforms by Wuhan ordinary residents, forming a unique set of data for scholarly consultation from a micro perspective. This essay argues for the necessity of examining this particular body of literature, and on this premise, offers reflections and observations through both existing scholarship and evidence found in those diaries. An overlapping relationship between the ordinary and the extraordinary, created by the quotidian everyday life and the exceptionality of the situation in Wuhan respectively, is particularly noted and carried along to showcase the “slow violence” caused by the pandemic and quarantine policy to Wuhan residents’ daily life. Critically, this essay also argues that the activity of creating diaries per se functions as an outlet of “dis-ease” emotions via communication between diary producers and audience in a shared temporality.
KeywordsCoronavirus Diary Social media Wuhan
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