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Accepted Paper:

Experiences in a Chinese medicine clinic during the early COVID-19 period  


Yangzihan Wang (Newcastle University)

Paper short abstract:

Lessons learned from how a Chinese medicine clinic in London, as a representative and epitome of ethnic Chinese in the UK, fought against the COVID-19.

Paper long abstract:

Panic of COVID-19 started in China in the early January. Then, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of the viral pneumonia as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), the pandemic started to raging across the world. At this time, I had the opportunity to record the experiences of working in a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinic based in Chinatown, London. I took participant observation as the method to collect data in this study and recorded findings in written diaries.

This clinic exists at the settlement gathering a great number of the ethnic Chinese population and employs all Chinese staff, and thus it has high sensibility to the information from China. As early as the late January, the clinic noticed the epidemic from the social medias in China, and was aware that personnel exchange would cause global virus problem. The clinic required its staff to wear face masks and disposable gloves at as early as the end of January, and the clinic also sold the anti-viral goods. Then before the publication of the UK anti-pandemic guideline, the clinic prepared TCM remedies for “strengthening body condition and fighting the virus”. Though the effects of such actions remain unclear so far, the clinic preformed high level of alert, and helped some Chinese communities in the UK to prepare for the pandemic. It is of importance to learn lessons from how the clinic, as a representative and epitome of ethnic Chinese in the UK, fought against the COVID-19.

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