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By Alexandrea He
GUEST WRITER SPECIAL TO THE OSN
Driving along the streets of Qingdao, a coastal city from the Shandong province, I see masks on the faces of every pedestrian. Months after the outbreak in China, it seems as though people are now so used to wearing masks that it feels weird to not have one on. As shopping malls and athletic centers are starting to reopen around me, I started going out a bit during breaks of my online lessons, though I can be quite hesitant sometimes as the atmosphere here is still a bit tense. I considered scheduling a practice at one of the nearby athletic centers, but with the consideration of the fact that this athletic center uses a central air circulation system, I decided not to and worked out in more open areas instead.
Thousands of stores and businesses are still temporarily forced closed globally, including restaurants, cinemas and workout centers. Pharmacies remain open, but workers fear they could also be struck by the virus.
I interviewed a local pharmacy owner from Weifang, China who didn’t feel comfortable giving their name.
“As a local pharmacy, we are trying to secure the supply of protective equipment for the residents nearby. Though the demand for these equipment has increased dramatically in the past month, because of their relatively low prices and the fact that demand in other medicines has seen a huge drop, we are not making much profits.” the pharmacy owner told me.
The owner also said that their pharmacy has remain opened since the outbreak in China so that the local residents have access to protective equipment.
When asked the prospect of her pharmacy in the upcoming months, this owner believes that “things are gradually going back to normal”.
“As things are starting to ease up domestically, we’ve seen a gradual decrease in the demand of protective equipment, while sales of other medicines are increasing.”
As the epidemic situation is starting to lighten up in China, governments are encouraging firms to reopen businesses and consumers to increase consumption. The Shandong government is distributing shopping coupons to the locals on a first-come-first-serve basis, as what many other Chinese governments are doing. Despite these governmental efforts, many are still taking precautions and keeping out of public places in fear of a second wave of outbreak.