CHINA Anti-epidemic stories of foreigners in Hainan


Anti-epidemic stories of foreigners in Hainan

People's Daily app

09:54, February 19, 2020

At the beginning of this year, due to the outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus, people have to stay at home including foreigners living in Hainan. During this period, they enjoy themselves and discover the real essence of life. In addition, they try their best to fight against the virus with local people, which works like a warm flow in this anti-epidemic war.

“I get more time to observe this city”

During the epidemic period, most of the people stay at home, as a result, everyone has more time to communicate with their family members and find out the meaning of life.

Lara, an English teacher from South Africa, said that something trivial in life turned out to be quite meaningful during this period. For example, going to the supermarket is the highlight of Lara’s life. Buying fresh ingredients from supermarket, Lara usually cooks food for herself at home.

“Now I have more time to cook meals at home and I can make sure the ingredients are clean and cooked in a healthy way,” said Lara with a smile.

Other foreigners who live in Hainan have the same idea with Lara. Jessica and Stefan, a couple also from South Africa, live a unique lifestyle in Haikou during this emergency period.

“The exciting part is going to the grocery store to see what has been unpacked on the shelves since you last made your courageous attempt at survival, driving on your E-bike and looking around, listening to the deafening sound of a silence at a city that nearly never sleeps,” said the couple who record their daily life by writing diaries during this period.

Apart from going to the supermarket and cooking meals, they also try to do something interesting to kill time. The couple created a game named “Battleships” which can take more than two hours to complete.

Charlie, a Canadian director, concentrates on creating films during this period. “The gym is closed. Everything is closed, so I have no excuse not to work on my film projects at home. My work requires a lot of creative energy, so I need a ton of caffeine to get anything done. Since Starbucks closed, I’ve been making my own green tea,” said him.

In addition, Charlie also studies Chinese when he is free. Josh who comes from New Zealand, and Join Sinskie who are from America also spend their free time in studying Chinese at their home, which makes life more meaningful.

“We try to do what we can do”

During this period, Laura broke through her creative bottleneck. She was inspired from the news that someone gave her extra mask to an old lady who could not take a bus because she did not have a mask. Touched by this story, she wrote the English poem "Unmasked" and recorded a video. She hopes that through this poem, more people will know that in this special period of fighting the epidemic, we must first take care of and protect ourselves so that we can better take care of and care for others.


Laura creates and records a video to encourage people. 

For the majority of ordinary citizens, staying at home and trying not to go out is the best anti-epidemic action. But some people choose to go out and help more people.

At the end of January, the supply of masks in Haikou was tight, and many citizens ran to several pharmacies and could not buy them. At this time, David from the United States, who opened a restaurant in Haikou, bought about 6,000 masks with the help of his friends from South Korea, and distributed them to Haikou citizens for free.

"At the beginning, I could not find the source to buy masks in China, but later I bought it from South Korea, but I encountered difficulties in transportation. According to regulations, as an individual, I can only send up to 200 masks to Haikou. In the end with the help of my friends, I asked the courier company for help, and then the batch of masks are sent to Haikou smoothly, "he said.

During the distribution of masks, David also carefully printed out the correct mask wearing method and handed it over to volunteers to help more citizens know how to wear masks and protect them.


The masks distribution activity organized by David.

"We want to do what we can to control the epidemic, and hope to overcome it as soon as possible," he said.

Foreign English teacher Sarah is one of the volunteers who distributed a mask for David. She said that she loves Hainan very much, especially the people in Hainan. The reason why she participated in this activity is that she hopes everyone living in Hainan will be safe, healthy, and survive this difficult time.

Marian Rosenberg, from the United States, has been working and living in Hainan for 14 years. For her, Hainan is her second hometown. When preparing to travel to Thailand for the Spring Festival holiday, news of the novel coronavirus in China started to spread, which made her worried about the people in Hainan and her foreign friends in Hainan. According to Marian, she started the regular updates while she was waiting for the flights, trains or in line at Customs. Every day she translates at least 10 pieces of news about the novel coronavirus, and the maximum was more than 20 pieces in a day.


Marian Rosenberg enjoys her life in Haikou, Hainan.

“We will overcome the epidemic!”

Josh said: “I’d like to thank all the medical professionals and the Chinese government for their hard work to prevent the virus. I hope everything in China will come back to normal.”

To do a good job of epidemic prevention and control for foreigners in Hainan, Hainan International Media Center and have translated the Hainan epidemic news promptly every day, covering the latest epidemic situation in China and Hainan, authoritative prevention and control measures and related policies,and information of the designated medical institutions in various cities and counties, as well as flights, trains, and port traffic information. HIMC is making full use of big data, financial media and other technical means to do a good job in epidemic information sharing, prevention and control guidance, and service for the majority of foreigners in Hainan.

"I check the latest situation of Hainan's fight against the epidemic through every day," said Nicki Johnson, an American friend who works as the English editor of

“As a foreigner in Haikou, I applaud the great efforts made to provide sanitary walking facilities,” said Norbert Sporns from Canada.

"During recent special moments, China has shown the world its strong sense of responsibility and solidarity. This is the point that should be most proud of and praised," Lara said.

“Stay strong Hainan!” said Alex Whitton,who has lived in Hainan for one year and a half. During this time, he saw that everyone around him was working together to fight the epidemic, which reflected the strong solidarity of the Chinese people.


Alex's cat accompanies him during the epidemic period.

“Our condolences to those families who have lost victims of this virus! We all stand with you China; this unfortunate situation will be overcome with these rigorous attempts in recovery!” said Jessica and Stefan.

Hainan Internatinal Media Center (HIMC) contributed to the story.

Related Stories

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue