China’s ‘National Day of Mourning’ Is An Act of Deception

By Mary Hong
Mary Hong
Mary Hong
Mary Hong has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2020. She has reported on Chinese human rights issues and politics.
April 15, 2020 Updated: April 15, 2020
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In Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus pandemic, people have been suffering horribly for more than 70 days, and locals believe that officials have been underreporting death tolls by a magnitude of at least ten times in order to save face. When the regime recently held a National Day of Mourning on April 4, Mr. Gao, a Hubei resident, shared his thoughts with The Epoch Times.

Mr. Gao: “They pretend to honor life. It’s a tactic to fool people.”

Reporter: “What do the people think?”

Mr. Gao: “In fact, many people are apathetic. They really don’t care. Most people are numb. Who cares about the day of mourning, the sirens of grief? No one does.”

Mr. Gao: “It’s not just happening now. It’s been going on for several decades. As long as life goes on, they don’t care as long as the tragedy doesn’t hurt their own interests. At least 90 percent of the people in the countryside live their lives like this. That’s the scary part of an autocracy. This morning I was telling my brother to be careful when he’s out there. He’s a taxi driver. I told him to be sure to use a mask and hand sanitizer. But he doesn’t care. He’s completely ignorant of it. What can you do?”

Reporter: “Those who have symptoms will be careful, and people will take note of that too. But, there are also asymptomatic patients.”

Mr. Gao: “Right, it’s terrifying. Whenever I think of the body of the child that suddenly died on Jan. 28, who had no symptoms whatsoever before his death, I just feel creepy. It’s horrifying. There are posts on the web saying there’s no way to protect yourself from those who are asymptomatic. They also don’t have a noticeable progression of their illness, they just suddenly drop dead. It’s frightening.”

Reporter: “What do you think about Li Wenliang being honored as the official martyr?”

Mr. Gao: “In an autocracy, the top officials also have to compromise and find a balance on certain sensitive issues that the public strongly expresses their disapproval about. But the tyrants will need some scapegoats.Actually, to the people, many of the people are just like us, we know what an autocracy is all about. We know it by heart: it’s always about deception.”

Mr. Gao: ” Simple-minded people believe that there are always bad people, and it’s not necessarily the autocracy [doing bad things]. They think the communist party still does good things. Indeed, it fools some people to a degree. This Day of National Mourning serves the same purpose. It’s bogus. It’s done to fool the simple-minded and make them believe that there’s still hope that the regime is looking out for them.”

Mr. Gao: “People from Hubei Province are not allowed to go to Beijing. Shanghai and Guangzhou also have a [travel] prevention measure in place, but Hubei people can still go to these two cities. However, Beijing, the center of the totalitarian leadership, is closed to us. What does that mean? It means they are safeguarding the lives of the regime leaders. It’s such a stark contrast. But people are told that it will be over soon, and that the infection rate is down to zero now. People are not paying attention to the [danger of] asymptomatic infection. They only wear masks when going into town. The so-called prevention measure is superficial—a formality. That’s scary.”

Mr. Gao: “The claim of zero infection, the call of returning to work, and the statement of prevention and containment, all serve to fool people. The purpose is to resume production and to ensure political correctness. But as for the regime itself, Hubei residents are banned from going to Beijing. So, it’s not about people’s lives; it’s about the regime. The regime makes an all-out effort in protection and prevention for its own self.”

Mary Hong
Mary Hong has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2020. She has reported on Chinese human rights issues and politics.