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The remarkably short slide from me worrying about relatives in Wuhan to them worrying about me

The anxiety of worrying about the safety of my family was replaced with anger at the lack of preparedness in the UK

By Rebecca Liu   July 2020

Citizens stroll around the Baocheng road night market stall in Wuhan, which has recently reopened © Photo by YFC / Costfoto/Sipa USA)

I first heard of it in a phone call with my father a few days into the new year. A mysterious illness was cropping up in the city, he said, infecting a few dozen people. Within a matter of weeks, the coronavirus’s rampage across Wuhan made global news.

It is hard to describe what it feels like to see your hometown—and the hometown of your father and mother, and generations of fathers and mothers long before you—become an international punchline, a metonym for a crisis that has taken so many. It is even harder to describe the anxiety I…

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