JING, 36, China
Jing Hu is a 36-year-old published translator from China who lives with cerebral palsy. Having worked behind the computer screen for 15 years, she now hopes to combine her two identities, one with cerebral palsy and one without, into a new pronounced representation of disability and ability.
In her video, Jing talks about isolation under lockdown in China, what non-disabled people should understand, and shares her favorite COVID-19 joke.
COVID-19 Video Transcript
Hi, my name is Jing. I am 36 years old, and I live with my parents in the northwestern part of China. Three months after I was born, I became a severe case of cerebral palsy. I got better over time but I still cannot use my hands for most tasks in life. I have been working as a freelance translator for 15 years now. I work online, and it’s not easy for me to go out on my own. So this lockdown in my city doesn’t affect me much. But I do enjoy face-to-face chats with my friends, and I had to cancel a couple of visits from my friends during the lockdown. I spend most of my days working at the computer. It’s a bit gloomy, and I feel more isolated than ever.
It’s hard for non-disabled people to imagine a life where you need someone to get dressed, to eat, to drink, and to go to the bathroom. As I said, I live with my parents, and they are my only caretakers. But they are getting on in years. What could I do if I could not get the help I needed? I could die in a week without help whether I got infected by the coronavirus or not. During crises like this, I always feel vulnerable because I don’t have as many means and resources available to make things work for me. For example, I cannot take blood pressure tests because of the spasms in my arms. It’s also hard for me to get conventional medical treatments because of my conditions. People like me are often neglected simply because we don’t go out very often, and we cannot make our voices heard.
Coping with COVID
When we feel lonely and isolated, we can practice meditation. I meditate regularly, and I find it very helpful to relieve my negative emotions. We need to maintain a healthy mentality to fight the pandemic.
This is my favorite COVID-19 joke. What can the coronavirus do that the government can’t? To stop all traffic jams!