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New Social Norms that Worked in China

After talking with my parents in China I learnt tips that could be helpful to create new social codes and norms that worked.

Photo of Melody Song
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My parents had been living in Beijing under strict quarantine measures in the past few months and many tips from them can be helpful for the rest of the world.  These measures worked for people there and if a city with close to 20 million people can control cases to not over 500, the rest of us can do it too. 

Couriers: Couriers are lifelines of people in isolation.  In Beijing, they drop packages at the curb in front of the building and people will come to pick theirs up. This could be done easily in Germany as many of us in metropolitan areas are living in apartment buildings and have the ability to open lobby entrance remotely.  Instead of coming up and have face-to-face interaction. Couriers can drop all packages at the lobby after the entrance is opened remotely to reduce contact.

Clothing: Outside shoes and clothing need to be dis-infected or stored separately.  My parents remind me that outside clothing also touch many surfaces and should be hung somewhere ventilated and shoes left outside of the door.  This hasn't been done or mentioned outside of China. 

Services and stores: In Beijing, many stores and services are done in open-air instead of an enclosed space.  Merchandises were moved out to be sold.  In banks, people line up outside and go in one by one to reduce contact and be in close distance with each other.  

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

My parents' advice is valuable as they just lived through this and life is getting back to normal because of the swift action by government and citizens.

Did you share this information with your network?

  • Yes

In what ways did you share this information?

Facebook mainly

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • Local Government
  • National Government
  • News: Television
  • News: Digital
  • Social Media
  • Word of Mouth
  • SMS Alerts

What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?

There are too much information and overwhelming information as well as inaccurate information.  It's challenging to get the right info.  Every government has been doing things differently.  Which way is the right way?  

What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?

Nonprofit and charitable sectors are left out of government economic bailout and they are going to be hit quite hard.  We should include them in economic packages and not left them to their own means (which is already limited) to fundraise from people who are very limited in their donations as well.  This is especially true for arts and other causes not related to health.

What is your current profession?

Nonprofit consultant

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?



Join the conversation:

Photo of Cindy Thorngren

I've been doing a bit of this on my own, mostly leaving coat outside and turning clothes inside out as I take them off before washing them.

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