Love wins out despite lockdowns, quarantine

By Zhao Yimeng | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-02 10:00
A couple ties the knot in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Valentine's Day. The outbreak means marriage registration ceremonies have been moved to an outdoor space. [Photo/Xinhua]

Poems and patients

Most hospitals in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, have canceled visiting hours as a way of containing the coronavirus. However, the ban hasn't stopped Huang Guoqi from visiting Sun Nianjie, her 90-year-old husband, in the intensive care unit of the Hangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Huang, an 84-year-old patient in the hospital's geriatrics department, shows up at the ICU at 2 pm every day, carrying kiwi fruit, a favorite of Sun's, and a love letter scribbled on a slip of paper.

Li Liuyan, the nurse who takes care of Sun, said that before the epidemic Huang often visited Sun and helped him eat the fruit, while the seniors chatted about their medical conditions. Sometimes, they practiced calligraphy together.

"Grandpa Sun has mild Alzheimer's disease, which sometimes resulted in confusion and agitation, but he quickly became quiet after his wife began visiting regularly," Li said.

Anti-virus regulations mean the seniors are unable to meet face to face, so Huang has arranged for Li to deliver the kiwi fruit and the notes in which she expresses her feelings.

At Lantern Festival last month, Huang copied out some classical poems and sent them to Sun along with a note: "Dear husband, 'As the bright moon shines over the sea, you share this moment with me from far away.' I send you my love through these ancient poems in the hope you won't be anxious and will feel relaxed enough to receive treatment as usual. Maintaining your physical strength is a good way of boosting your immune system. Stay strong, my dear husband, Guoqi."

Sun read each sentence and poem carefully, sometimes putting down the note to think for a while. Then, he folded the sheet of paper elaborately, holding it in his hands as if it would disappear.

Those "clumsy" actions perfectly illustrated his love, according to Li.

Instead of quoting a poem in reply, the 90-year-old sat at a desk and wrote: "My wife, you are so tired. Go back and have a rest, and I will go back to bed, too. See you tomorrow (let's meet at 4 pm), Nianjie."

Though the word "love" didn't appear in the letters, the depth of emotion was conveyed through every word the couple wrote.

Further afield, a video of a police officer on duty at a remote checkpoint in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, gained great traction on social media recently.

The footage showed the officer's wife arriving at the secluded spot to deliver a meal to her husband, who hadn't been home for several days.

"Why did you come at this time? Just leave the things here and go back directly," the officer told his wife on a video chat as she drove toward him.

As he continued to "blame" her for the risky course of action, he suddenly cried out "Oh! I see you!" in a delighted voice as the car approached.

The video shows the woman getting out of the car and calling, "Darling, I will put it here", as she placed boxes of food on the ground. As the officer walked toward his wife he asked, "Are you mad, to come such a long way?"

He added: "I have missed you so much but we can't meet. What should I do?" When the wife asked if they could hug, the officer paused for a second, and then urged his wife to go home and stay there.

The video ended with the couple turning round to face opposite directions.

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