China is Running out of Masks
The viral epidemic sweeping China is continuing to infect more people, yet preventative care is becoming harder and harder to find.
I saw the true scale of the infection yesterday when I had to have an operation on my finger.
Every square inch of floor space in the hospital was crammed with beds, everyone suffering the same illness. It was truly horrifying, although not quite as horrifying as an operation without aesthetic, but I digress.
Today I had to go back out to hospital to have my wound re-dressed, and in doing so had to use my 6th remaining mask.
I now have 5 left, and am panicking about running out before my treatment is finished.
If I don’t finish treatment of my surgery wound, I risk the infection coming back and losing the finger.
Where are the masks?
Masks have run out across China, and so has Dettol (hand disinfectant). The government is enforcing a mandatory mask law during the days of high infection risk, so if I left my apartment without wearing one I’d risk more than disease, I’d risk being arrested.
Getting new masks isn’t as easy as going to the store, I have to go online and buy them from one of the retailers importing them.
As you can imagine, price gouging is an issue. Retailers are jumping on this chance to charge whatever they want for the masks we all need so badly. However what’s worse is that there’s a limit per customer, and they can easily track how many we’ve bought.
Local Chinese citizens have an ID card issued to them when they’re teenagers, and foreigners (like myself) have passports.
You need your national ID or your passport to get a sim card in China, so phone numbers are used for tracking movement and transactions in all sectors. It’s used to buy things, and it’s used to log into public WIFI’s among many other things.
There’s no getting around purchase limits, and there’s no way of getting them quickly. We’ve not been given an estimated date of arrival, we’ve just been told to wait.
Some friends and I have come together to order shipments of masks and Dettol, then we’ll pool our resources after they’ve arrived.
Masks will be allocated based on need (such as cleaning my wounds).
I feel like I’m in a post-apocalyptic movie, and maybe I am. Information from the top is sketchy at best.
Except for what I’ve witnessed, there’s no good way of really knowing how bad things are.
All the evidence I have are the empty subway cars and packed hospitals, and judging by that evidence, we’re all screwed.