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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/15/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I've been trying to sort out my return to Kunming. It has been much in my mind as I have read reports and speculations. This post is just me thinking out loud. Not sure if anyone else is in a similar boat. Local grocery store shelves here are getting low on canned goods and paper products (NE Texas) and the Walmart parking lot is full of cars and pickups. In the last few days, more TV and print news has been focused on this epidemic here in the US, although actual cases still seem to be few. Most of my living the last 8 or 10 years has been in Kunming. It's my home and it's where my heart is. Would very much like to go back and I even have a plane ticket for the middle of April. Guess I will need to try and stay on top of the situation and make adjustments as that date comes closer. The days when I was able to say, "Damn the torpedoes, I'll just go where I want, when I want" seem to be over. Not easy. Lots of uncertainty. The situation requires sober reflection.
  2. 4 points
    One thing that worries me about the "herd immunity strategy" is that we don't really know whether or not a significant percentage of those who recover from the disease will be left with permanent issues, e.g. reduced lung function. I've only scratched the surface of the research, but here's a 2006 paper that looked at kids who had been infected with SARS. Not to say that this has any transferability to this virus (although this is certainly worrying), but the British strategy seems like one hell of a bet to make. Here in Norway, cities are slowly closing down. We are now the country in Europe with the second highest infection rate. Most of those who can (including myself and my wife, thankfully) are working for home. Hair dressers and other non-critical professions who work with people are temporarily banned from working. The economy is tanking hard, a huge amount of layoffs are expected. It's absurd how things have changed so quickly. We came back from China on 3 February and I started in new job on 10 February. After five years as a public servant I've moved on to the private sector, from "qualitative case work" to IT. Bad timing.The company I work for has already taken a heavy blow as a result of the quarantines, and it's only expected to get worse. As in a 50 percent loss in turnover. As the newest hire, I expect I'd be the first to be let go if push comes to shove... And I don't expect it to be easy to find a new job under the current conditions. Luckily, we have a pretty decent safety net where I'd be guaranteed 60 percent of my former income if I'm laid off (and the government is considering increasing the amount to cope with the situation). Fingers crossed it won't come to that though.
  3. 4 points
    "Mini-immersion" -- recommended! I used to set the GPS in my car to give me navigation instructions in Chinese even though I was in the US. It was a built in feature that just needed to be enabled. I got language practice while driving. The vocabulary was repetitious enough that most of it eventually sunk in.
  4. 3 points
    Austria today tightened measures (link in German), but they don't want to call it a curfew: No one is to leave their house, except for three reasons: - professional work that cannot be postponed - necessary shopping like food and medicine - aiding another person Going for a walk will be allowed, but only 一个人, or with someone who lives in your household, and only in urgent cases. Meetings of more than five people are not be allowed. Police will hand out high fines (€2,180-3,600) if these rules are breached, but can also use physical force (this was a specific parliament move of today). In Germany, one federal state after another is putting more strict measures into place, but it is pretty chaotic. For example, Berlin announced that they will close nightlife bars and clubs from next Tuesday on, and then changed their mind and closed them immediately. Other states like Nordrhein-Westfalen and Bavaria will, from tomorrow on, close all shops except groceries, banks and pharmacies. Bavaria announced they might take steps like Austria.
  5. 3 points
    I got a nice little language learner's surprise today. Carrefour Shopping Center was giving away free Bluetooth earphones today if your purchase is over a certain amount. Normally Bluetooth earphones have little voice messages in english that tell you when you turn off, turn on, or connect to your phone correctly. This pair of earphones has all the audio messages in CHINESE! I understood "device on", "connection successful", and "device off" in Chinese. I sheepishly admit connecting and disconnecting a few times just to hear these three messages because I enjoyed it so much. It was kind of like an immersion experience..... hearing the same message that Chinese people hear. : ) : ) Now I'll hear it any time I connect to listen to my podcasts. Guess what my new favorite earphones are?
  6. 3 points
    You may have dodged the metaphorical bullet both ways if you return in April, missing the worst of it China by being in Texas and then returning to China as it begins to bite in the states. One thing about being in China is they now have a way of dealing with any other waves and can implement them at the drop of a hat. Having said that age and health problems if any need to be taken in to consideration, but with your medical background you know the risks and can make your own well informed decisions. As I know your enormous love for Kunming and China, I really hope you can and will return to enjoy the delights of cooking and the cultural pleasures once again. All the best abcdefg.
  7. 3 points
    You're not alone, @abcdefg. I sort-of started a new job teaching in Hangzhou a few weeks back, but have been teaching online because my (overseas) employers won't let me go back to China until it's considered safe, according to government travel advice. Right now I'm staying with my mother in the UK, and the irony is that just as China seems to be reaching the end of the outbreak, it's kicking off in UK and the rest of Europe. So I'm likely to be on the other end of a travel ban from the Chinese end. I guess there must be many others in the same situation. Doesn't feel like much we can do right now apart from stay informed and support each other.
  8. 2 points
    A cup of tea is always a good idea! Now is a good time to take out your Chinese tea set and brew up some of the good stuff from scratch.
  9. 2 points
    I don't think they think kids are immune, just that they don't suffer badly. My worry is the snotty little dirty handed scruffs are going to infect everyone else. Also if the kids are off school it will probably fall to the grandparents or other older extended family to care for them, not good either. I think that it won't be long before we (the UK ) will also be on lock down. I am seriously considering closing the shop for a couple of weeks. As we are in the entertainment business it won't be long before clubs, pubs, venues etc will closed and then there is no work for us. Not worried about funds, there are grants to apply for, started the ball rolling already. I am in the vulnerable group, I am not risking being open for 1 or 2 customers a day, nothing we do is urgent or important. I have plenty to keep me busy, so an enforced stay at home is not a problem. As we live above the shop and we don't have many reasons to go out anyway normally, it won't be hard. Security wise we will be on the premisses so can keep an eye on things, this was one problem some one brought up, lots of empty shops. So shopping online, and battening down the hatches for the duration and bring on the Dunkirk spirit - put the kettle on and keep calm.
  10. 2 points
    Some of my friends leave wechat verbal messages. I often listen to them again & again for the same reason.
  11. 2 points
    I'd like to see the whole way US healthcare is funded ripped apart. The insurance based means of payment is a disaster when it's the main method of payment. Countries will have to reallocate more of their funds to healthcare. Human behaviour will dictate 20 years down the line, countries will become complacent again and then the cycle will return.
  12. 2 points
    I saw that too (it was on Chinese news). To be fair, this whole thing is kind of China's fault in the first place (unless the conspiracy theories about the US military are to be believed), so there probably should be helping out. Still, Western countries could have sent more help in February. One country which did offer a lot of help (especially in terms of supplies) was actually Japan. If there is one good thing to come out of this, then it's the improved Sino-Japanese relations. I've heard that many Chinese TV stations even took the 抗日 TV dramas off the air. Yeah China has sent a team of 9 doctors and supplies to Italy last week (which in the current climate is quite something, regardless of whether its been paid for or not really). It's been really appreciated in Italy and it's on all the newspapers, hopefully it will change the way the Italians see Chinese immigrants, who are too often discriminated in my opinion. As far as I know Italy didn't provide special support in February but I've been told that there were a number of initiatives by privates and communities (e.g. there is a huge group of people from wenzhou living in Tuscany) who sent supplies.
  13. 2 points
    If you liked my original work, "Quarantined in the City of Snow and Ice", then you'll love the upcoming sequel in the Coronavirus trilogy, "Infected with the London Herd" Although I haven't got any info about HiT specifically, I did watch an interview with someone at the Education Department yesterday, who said that the top priority for going back to school are 中三 and 高三 students (due to their upcoming exams), and the last to be allowed back to school will be the university students (due to the fact that so many of them study in cities away from their hometowns, raising the risk of cross-province infections). He didn't give a timescale, but at least it will give you an idea of the process. Speaking of Germany, I read that Merkel mentioned a 70% infection rate too. Is their any indication that the German government is pursuing a strategy similar to the British one? I'm fascinated by it on an intellectual level too, and would be fully in favour if I wasn't due back in the UK early next month 😬
  14. 2 points
    This will probably be my last update from Harbin, as things seem to be much more "interesting" in Europe now. I went outside of my apartment complex on Thursday for the first time in over 2 weeks (not due to being scared about catching the virus, it's just such a hassle signing in and out etc). Harbin finally opened up the big shopping malls, and even some smaller shops have opened too. Hopefully they will begin to do away with the constant temperature checks and name signing over the next couple of weeks. There is a fair bit of traffic now, although still much less than usual. Crossing the road is a little dangerous again: I took the opportunity to take a long walk outside. I'm in a modern apartment complex where all they had to do was lock some gates and put extra people on guard duty, but I always wondered what they did about the traditional apartment buildings. As you walk around you begin to realise that you need to stick to the main roads, as the small ones all have makeshift fencing to control the flow of people: There was quite a long queue outside this supermarket, and I was impressed by the distance being kept between each person (maybe not quite 1.5 m, but much better than usual). The supermarket in the mall next to my apartment didn't have any queues at all, and was just normal busy: I finally got to eat a meal not made by my own hands (some jiaozi, which I have never made before). Although the restaurants were open, it was take-out only. All the other stores in the mall seems to be open, but only a handful of customers. I've got another 3-4 weeks before I have to go back to the UK. I hope to be able to get some normal-style living in before jumping into a yet another quarantine-like situation back home.
  15. 1 point
    Even though Chinese and English are so different in most aspects, every now and then I find expressions that are surprisingly similar. Here is one: 拉我的腿了 = pulling my leg 不要拉我的腿了 or 别拉我的腿了 or 甭拉我的腿了啊 = stop pulling my leg I find it interesting, because there is no equivalent expression in German, which is so much closer to English than Chinese is... Please add more similar expressions if you know any. I will use this thread to do the same.
  16. 1 point
    This is a great point. It is too short-sighted to look at mortality rate. And the notion that children are immune to coronavirus is equally untrue as you rightly point out.
  17. 1 point
    Everything is moving so quickly. Reports now that from Thursday Hong Kong will impose 14-day home quarantine on everyone coming from the US and the UK.
  18. 1 point
    According to reports the quarantine means in a "centralised" government-designated facility, with costs to be charged to the visitor. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china/health https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3075288/international-travellers-beijing-pay-14-days-coronavirus
  19. 1 point
    Beijing announced any new arrivals to be quarantined in a quarantine facility for the 14 days. This includes Chinese nationals and foreigners. I assume this means hotels. It says there are exceptions but doesn’t say what.
  20. 1 point
    Beijing announced anyone arriving (from March 13) will be quarantined for 14 days in a quarantine facility at their expense. Advisable to check if any city you fly into to has their own quarantine regulations.
  21. 1 point
    Like here? https://www.ximalaya.com/waiyu/29337370/ And 3 pages of HSK4 audio stuff https://www.ximalaya.com/search/album/HSK4/p1 Have fun!
  22. 1 point
    See on news Yunnan has gone 23 days with no new cases.
  23. 1 point
    Sounds like you can't wait for your original date of return. Going back sooner is definitely something to consider especially as information about the US situation with lack of testing is even less than in China.
  24. 1 point
    To me, the major problem with returning is leaving again if there were some development -- having nothing to do with the virus -- requiring you to head back. It's not just quarantine on the US end, but flying back when you'll have to transit places that may bar those who've recently been in China. On the other hand, if you don't head back to Kunming soon soon, you face the increasing risk China will ban recent travellers from the US. Tough choice.
  25. 1 point
    China likely now has some of the best controls in the world. I mentioned in another post that a news report said China is producing 116 million masks/day. Everyone is wearing them. Although cases of the virus will return to China, it will likely have difficultly having sustained transmission. China & South Korea seem the best prepared right now. In addition, should China need to restart mass medical support, they can because they've already done so (and they likely learned much in the process). In contrast, Italy is struggling with this. (I think the US likely will as well, particularly considering that Trump doesn't seem to care who he gets the virus from or gives it to). Hence, I think your decision to return sounds very reasonable, particularly since you see Kunming as your home. A few Chinese friends in the US are considering returning to China because they think it will be safer.
  26. 1 point
    My wife just starting watching a show called 安家. She suggested I watch it, so I'm going to give it a go. Has anyone else watched this?
  27. 1 point
    that’s fine for now, but once they all go back to business as usual and no one has immunity, all it takes is a few foreigners without symptoms to spread it again. or else they maintain semi-quarantine for months and lose a tenth of a percentage of gdp for every month at partial capacity personally i think the scariest thing that came out of all of this is the revelation that the CDC is a laughing stock, and that the medical systems of the US and Europe are incapable of even a worthwhile attempt at controlling this virus. they all just throw their hands up and say “it’s easier just to let it run it’s course.” well ok, i’m glad then that it’s not a more aggressive illness. but what if it were?
  28. 1 point
    Herd immunity requires ~80% of the population to have immunity. In China, only a fraction of this were infected (fortunately). This is why in the US, we're seeing disease outbreaks with vaccine-preventable diseases despite that "most" people are vaccinated. There are enough unvaccinated to sustain transmission. China has strong practices in place to protect people Friends in both Beijing & Wuxi get masks from their employers everyday. Some offices have 1/2 the people show up everyday. Hence, even if the virus is reintroduced, it's unlikely to propagate far. I had read that China is making 116 million masks/day (and this # is probably out of date). The key is introducing enough measures to push the R- or R0 value below 1, meaning the average person communicates the disease to <1 person. When this happens, the disease dies out. However, for Covid-19 to disappear, the R-value in the whole world would need to go below 1.
  29. 1 point
    That would be douban.com
  30. 1 point
    Quick thoughts from pandemic central (Northern Italy, got stuck while visiting my elderly parents and am now both worried for them and unable to leave). The approach of different governments makes for some interesting game theory. Here businesses are under massive stress. Foreign importers are cancelling orders, or asking for "proof" that widgets are free of coronavirus, whatever that means. German and UK competitors are likely to benefit. Domestic consumers cannot consume, and employers are under massive stress to ensure employee safety – especially smaller companies that do not have the resources or the staying power to close all stores for two weeks and redo the factory floors. Italy is particularly vulnerable given the very large proportion of SMEs. So the gamble of our neighbours looks at least partly motivated by thoughts of the economic endgame. China is big and centralised enough that someone can isolate Hubei for the greater good and order Shanghai doctors to go over and help. Europe alas is 一盘散沙 and I'm looking forward to seeing German doctors helping out in Milan (the sight of that would do more for the future of the continent than 70 years of European treaties). As risk management is a large part of what I do professionally, I'm terrified any time someone shows me a model, makes a forecast, and forgets to discuss what will happen if the model is wrong. Exponential growth is counterintuitive: Italy may have 90% of all cases, but if infections grow 30% per day, the rest of the world gets there less than 10 days later. I think I can objectively say that Milan's health care system is among the best in Europe: it's very unlikely anyone else can cope much better, although at the beginning, luck helps. So I think the odds are good that Europe's "beggar thy neighbour" phase won't last very long. If building herd immunity was so easy, China would have been in a good position to try.
  31. 1 point
    There does not appear to be a way to do it, which is an oversight because the feature is there on other platforms so it seems I forgot to hook up the keypress on mac. It'll go in to the next release.
  32. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Every young lady is a flower Wherever it blooms, cow poop will be there Every dude has a phrase Don’t know whether or not to say it to a girl Hey girl, where're you off to? I haven’t finished saying what I want to say Hey girl, are you going to come back? When you get back, let’s finish our conversation So girl, when you’re thirsty do you drink water? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl, when you’re hungry do you eat? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl, does your long hair hang over your shoulders? Me too, this must be fate Girl, do you like to wear your hair in braids? Me too, this must be fate Fate grows wings, it will fly Without you realizing it, it flies to your side Fate grows legs, it will run If you don’t catch him, he’ll be out of sight So girl, where're you off to? I haven’t finished saying what I want to say Hey girl, are you going to come back? When you get back, let’s finish our conversation Hey girl, when you’re tired do you sleep? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl, when you wake up do you get out of bed? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl, do you like listening to this song? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl, do you want another one? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl girl, when you’re thirsty do you drink water? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl girl, when you're hungry do you eat? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl girl, does your long hair hang over your shoulders? Me too, this must be fate Hey girl girl, do you like to wear your hair in braids? Me too, this must be fate clip.mp3 Answer
  33. 1 point
    From a moral standpoint, the let everyone get infected approach just doesn't sit right. My sister is heavily pregnant right now and her due date is only a few weeks away. Does the category of 'everyone' include people with special health conditions like pregnancies, the elderly, etc.? If so, youre basically telling an at-risk group to expose themselves to the virus for some greater (economic?) good. If it doesnt include them, then how does the gov propose to control who is or isnt exposed? The strategy makes no sense, and people will die when they wouldn't have of they were in China. And most importantly, the virus won't die, it will just 'be here' for good apparently. Seems like noone over here took anything from the important lessons on sars that many Asian countries learnt the hard way
  34. 1 point
    if they really want to flatten the peak, mass events would have been stopped earlier! you need a proactive approach with COVID 19, not a reactive approach. The evidence was there to see from other countries but the economy was prioritised, the gamble failed and some stupid BS excuse about letting people get mild doses of virus (how can we control what’s mild dose is anyway? - virus is not a frigging petrol pump). As noted earlier, this virus is infectious before symptoms start. It is really sneaky as it doesn’t kill people immediately. It kills more than flu but not quite enough to make people sit up and notice.
  35. 1 point
    This is an amazing video tracking Cantonese sound changes since 1782 and even predicts future ones! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoutpVh_HFU
  36. 1 point
    I'm curious as to why you would want to do this. Movies are such a great source of audio, with dialogue created by and for native Chinese speakers. The perfect learning resource. Why have TTS butcher the audio? I would recommend instead using Subs2SRS to create flashcards with sentences extracted from the movie/TV show, then use Imron's Chinese Text Analyzer to add definitions/pinyin of unknown words, as described here.
  37. 1 point
    For Mandarin speakers, many Cantonese terms commonly used in Hong Kong are difficult to understand. Here are some - 黑超 = 深色太陽眼鏡 慳 = 節省 煲碟 = 不眠不休地看影碟(上的日劇/韓劇 etc) I will add more later.
  38. 1 point
    If you would like to be able to read a newspaper and listen to the news, here is what you have to do. 1) Read newspapers. 2) Listen to the news. It's both that simple and that difficult. What you should be doing everyday: Find a newspaper (either buy a paper version, or visit one online). Find an article/several articles that look interesting to you. Read through the article, highlighting/underlining any words that you don't know. Stop when you get to about 10 words (note this is words, not necessarily characters, e.g. if you don't know either of the characters in the word 嫌疑, it counts as one word, not two). Look these words up in a dictionary/add them to a flashcard program/write them down in a notebook. etc. Re-read the article again, and keep re-reading it until you don't need to stop and think what all the underlined words mean (you may need to read it several times). You can keep reading past the 10 underlined words if you like, but really only concentrate on learning those 10 words. It's important to go at a sustainable pace otherwise you'll burn out. You're not trying to learn as many words as you can in a single day, rather you're trying to go at a pace you can maintain over a long period, with time then acting as a multiplier. Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint. Find a news podcast that has transcripts (e.g. 锵锵三人行 - transcripts for each episode appear in the sidebar to the right of the video player). Listen through the podcast/part of the podcast without looking at the transcript. Go through the transcript, doing the same thing you did for the newspaper articles. Listen to the podcast again. Load the podcast into an audio editor such as Audacity Highlight small portions of the podcast that you have difficulty following (maybe a sentence or two at a time). Listen to the small portion over and over until you can follow it. Repeat for the rest of the podcast. Adjust all of the above to the amount of new vocabulary you can reasonably handle a day without burning out (10 words from the newspaper + 10 from the news podcast = 20 new words a day). Repeat every day. Use a tool such as http://dontbreakthechain.com or my own 100% to keep track of progress. If you do this every day for a year, I guarantee you will be able to read newspapers and listen to the news (20 words x 365 days = 7,300 new words, on top of everything you know already). You'll probably start to notice real progress after about a month. Three months in you'll be amazed at how much progress you've made. Basically, if you want to learn a certain skill, you should practice that skill. The difficult part comes in doing it everyday.
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