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Viral Week Ep. 235

Statue castrated, tourist sites reopen, disinfectant kills wildlife, and cold murder cracked—China slowly returns to life amid coronavirus

Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about.

This week, several areas in China show signs of stirring after the COVID-19 outbreak, but the deadly disease continues to claim not just human lives. Meanwhile, a stone lion is castrated, and a Go champion seeks an easy A:

Ticket for one

After 27 days of closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Anhui’s Huangshan Mountain Scenic Area reopened for business on Friday and drew a total of one (yes, one) tourist on its first day.

Wedding postponed

On February 20, Peng Yinhua, a respiratory doctor working in Wuhan, passed away from COVID-19 after putting off his wedding in order to join the disease relief effort.

Prison outbreak

Five prisons in three provinces of China are under investigation for outbreaks of COVID-19 among their inmates and staff. One prison director in the city of Wuhan has been dismissed for poor disease-prevention measures.

Chemical catastrophe

The deaths of 135 wild animals in Chongqing, including wild boars, yellow weasels, and blackbirds, have been linked to chemicals from disinfectants. To combat the spread of the coronavirus, authorities have been spraying whole areas of the city, including forests, nature reserves, and other wildlife habitats.

Sick days

man in Suzhou was detained for 10 days for pretending his daughter had contracted COVID-19 in order to avoid going back to work while claiming full pay.

A Miss Ma in Tianjin also rang the police 16 times to report that her boyfriend had symptoms of the virus. Police later discovered that the couple had argued, and Ma had made up her boyfriend’s symptoms to “teach him a lesson.”

Cold case cracked

Nanjing police have arrested a suspect of the rape and murder of a female student on the campus of the former Nanjing Medical Academy in 1992, using DNA matched with a relative of the suspect.

This announcement has revived interest in another gruesome cold murder involving a female student of Nanjing University in 1996, whose body was cut into 2,000 pieces and discarded all over Nanjing. So far the two cases appear unrelated.

Castrated lion

While most students in Beijing remain at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a landmark stone lion statue on the Peking University campus had its private parts removed, puzzling university staff as to when and how it happened.

Go to class

China’s top Go player (and AlphaGo opponent) Ke Jie, now a freshman at Tsinghua University, has signed up for a Go class as his elective. Some netizens have accused Ke of trying to get an easy pass, while others wonder, “How will any teacher teach Ke Jie to play Go?”

Cover image from VCG


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