The Time of Contamination

Reads: 472  | Likes: 4  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 7

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Written for the Life in the Time of Coronavirus Story Project.

"This is going to be a World War III. The war between the world's money empire and the people!"

Mid Jan 2020, one of my Chinese friends, Jalin, told me the news about Coronavirus and the city Wuhang was going to be closed down due to the outbreak. My response was, "Seriously?" "You know me well, don't you?" Jalin replied. "Well, the Chinese New Year has begun, it will not be the only city that will get closed down but will be many many more." I sighed. She nodded and added above statement with her usual tone of confident nature. 

I have been living in a TV-free environment for a while, it was not because the TV was not available or affordable, but firstly, the motion pictures had never really attracted me for some reason since I was a kid; secondly, I had learned through my own experiences and my work that what drastic effects media could create; and thirdly, I fell asleep most of time when I was in front of a TV as I was too tired to watch it if I did have some spare time. With this reason, I have many "news reporters" to fill me in on what happened around the world and I made my own judgement to decide what topic I would plow more or believe in — sadly to say, mostly it was none. 

But this Corona certainly got my attention. 

As what Jalin and I expected, the virus did wildly spread, despite how we were both skeptical about the figures, we never knew it would spread that fast and has created an unprecedented global mass hysteria, boarder lockdown and the resulting finical destruction. Though the lockdown was ridiculous and was clearly a planned strategy for a hidden operation which I believe it was not the first time this planet had and it will not be the last time either. What started to catch my attention, however, was not the above phenomena but the sight I saw five weeks after Jalin told me about the news. 

On the Saturday morning, she came to knock my door with her eyes both swollen like a goldfish. She had been crying whole night. 

"Boyfriend?" I asked. 

She nodded. "He said he should go back to his county and so should I." "And?" "I asked him if it was because of the virus. He said..." Jalin nearly suffocated herself with her own tears by then. "...he said, 'You are the virus! Chinese bitch!'"  We both came to Australia to study and live and both have a partner of different nationality from our own. 

My husband doesn't believe anything the media says, he grumps and swears but still does all the precautions we can do to keep us safe and well. He tends to break the quarantine or isolation rules, I acted as a policeman to keep his actions on check. We turned all the gatherings, greetings or businesses to get done online. We found we have more time to be together, to know more of each other. We also have a lot more of personal time to do what we would like to do but had no time to do. 

While he stayed in his garage to wash and modify his "girlfriend", a silver car that I got jealous of from time to time. I sat in my cosy sofa sipping tea or coffee and indulged in the books which he said were crawling with "black worms". 

But the virus turned Jalin's boyfriend into an irrationally paranoid man. Apparently a virus found in China has contaminated certain people's minds into believing that every Chinese is a virus himself or herself. And they ARE the cause of this Covid-19 pandemic. Bullying, violence, discrimination, insulting were heard or seen now and then on Chinese students or immigrants throughout the world. Despite all the conspiracy I now gathered or figured out about this outbreak. Racism is creeping up from hell again, like a serpent's tongue sniffing for its next victim to "revenge", or to be a "hero" to save the world. 

I got Jalin into my house and let her cried at will against my shoulder. I looked at my husband sweating hard in his garage, singing with his "girlfriend", for the first time I was glad that he doesn't believe anything the media says. 

This world is sick. It is time for a serious decontamination. 

Submitted: April 03, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Derina Peng. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

Excellent spooky-truer, Derina!

Fri, April 3rd, 2020 6:52pm


Thank you very much, Mike!

Mon, April 6th, 2020 12:51pm

Serge Wlodarski

True in many ways.

Fri, April 3rd, 2020 7:07pm


Thank you! Serge.

Mon, April 6th, 2020 12:52pm

Vance Currie

You told this story very well, Derina. As in the case of war, a pandemic can bring out the best and worst in us. The news media doesn't help by placing too much emphasis on the bad news. That can be quite depressing, and a lot of it isn't even news--just opinion or speculation.

Fri, April 3rd, 2020 10:32pm


Yes, that is why I hardly watch news. Hope this is going away soon.

Mon, April 6th, 2020 12:53pm

tom mcmullen

People are freaking out Derina, they've never know anything like this, all the restrictions on their freedoms, it's gonna get worse...

Sat, April 4th, 2020 7:25am


I hope everything will go go away soon. Keep safe. Be alert but try not to freak out help.

Mon, April 6th, 2020 12:55pm


There are a lot of racists out there just looking for an excuse to target one race or another. To those, any reason will do, and if there isn't one they'll make one.
Well said.

Sat, April 4th, 2020 7:16pm


Yea, it seems to be the case, despite corona or not. Thank you, Hull!

Mon, April 6th, 2020 12:57pm

Jean Lagace

For the last 20 days, I didn't get out. Not even in the corridor of the building where I live, which for my wife is outside. All that gets in is desinfected and dispatched where it won'y be touched for a full week. At first, I thought it was a kind of fancy that would pass with time and she would get tired of the hullabaloo and fracas.Well, It won't. So, I stayed quiet and endure the nuisance. lol

Sun, April 5th, 2020 5:47pm


I can understand that, I have not been going out for about ten days now. It is kind of a challenge for sure. Stay well! Thank you for giving it a read. jean!

Mon, April 6th, 2020 12:59pm

Forrest Obzerveer

“You are the virus” is a strange concept to me. It doesn’t trike me as something people would say literally. But evidently this boyfriend meant it. But I’d say the shoe falls on the other foot. He is social virus of a fear monger. I bet he avoids corona beers like the plague too. Fingers crossed that’s his favorite...

Sat, April 11th, 2020 1:52pm


Ha, I hope so too. There are many people go irrational about unknown fears. Thank you very much for reading. Forrest.

Mon, April 13th, 2020 7:09pm

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