Qin Chen

Qin Chen

Qin is a multimedia producer at Inkstone. Most recently, she was a senior video producer for The New Yorker’s video team. Prior to that she was at CNBC, making short documentaries and writing about ho

w technology shapes lives.

Czechs dust off the sewing machine as government orders mandatory face coverings
The Czech Republic has become the first nation in Europe to implement a national emergency measure that makes it mandatory for all citizens to cover their face with some sort of protective gear when in public to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Effective on March 19, all people in Czechia are required to cover their nose and mouth when outside, health authorities said. Those who fail to comply are subject to fines up to $815. By mandating the use of face coverings, the central European country of 10 million people has adopted a strategy more commonly seen in Asian countries, but less popular in the rest of Europe and in the United States. “The obligation to wear mouth and nose protecti
What happens when schooling goes online: China’s experience 
The number of children not attending school has soared as governments seek to contain the coronavirus pandemic by keeping down crowds. Unesco estimates that 1.2 billion students – nearly three-quarters of the world’s student population – are being affected by national or local closures, school postponements or schools that continue under special circumstances. A large portion of those affected students live in China, where the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus was first reported.  When the general public became aware of the outbreak in January, schools in China were on winter break. As the crisis grew, China began to implement extreme measures to fight the coronavirus and have closed most
No need to wear a mask? Experts urge health authorities to rethink mask policy
As the coronavirus has spread to more than 110 countries, the world can’t seem to agree on whether everyone should wear a face mask. While masks are a common sight in China and many other parts of East Asia, European and American authorities have advised only the ill to wear a mask when they go out. A review by Inkstone found that only three of the nine countries most affected by the coronavirus recommend people without respiratory symptoms to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus, especially in crowded places. As the spread of the virus accelerates outside East Asia, some experts have called on global health authorities to rethink the role of masking. In an article published in th
Bad mood, long hours, crying babies: China’s crash course on remote work
For nearly a month, millions of people in China have had no choice but to work from home as authorities have locked down cities and restricted traffic to contain the coronavirus outbreak. It has been a jarring transition in a country where remote work policy is a novelty in many businesses. Mercer, an American human resources consultancy, said about half of the 516 companies it surveyed in China asked their employees to work remotely after restarting operation this month. “For many companies in China, this is the first time they had to experience that, without a remote working policy already in place,” said Renee McGowan, CEO of Mercer Asia. This has resulted in something of a shock experim
Voices from China: The citizen volunteers keeping Wuhan alive
It’s a story that repeats itself over and over in the month since the central Chinese city of Wuhan went into lockdown. As the city’s infrastructure crumbled under the weight of an epidemic the country’s leader called the “most difficult” to control, civilians sprang into action to help one another. They are ordinary citizens except for the fact that they decided to act. They are volunteers who have no experience in organizing. They have little in common besides a shared sense of purpose. Inkstone interviewed several people who are making it their mission to save Wuhan. Here are their voices. ‘It was miserable reading the news every day. We had to do something.’  Han Qing, 35, social worker
The secret links between Chinese and Thai food
Chinese and Thai cultures are linked for more than just their love of food. They have also been trading cooking styles and ingredients for generations. Traders from both regions often traveled between the two countries, bringing spices and cooking techniques to the other. You can taste it in Thai cooking today. We meet a Thai food expert in Bangkok to find out where these links come from and the Chinese culinary traditions hidden in plain sight in Thailand.
These apps want to beat China’s censorship by turning words into a mess
Chinese people angered at the authorities’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak are trying to speak their minds online by obfuscating their messages.  Social media posts composed of dashes and dots as well as out-of-order words have cropped up on the Chinese internet after the death of Dr Li Wenliang. The doctor was chided by Chinese police in December for alerting others to a possible outbreak. His death from the virus has become a symbol of the Chinese government’s botched response to early reports of the disease now known as Covid-19. “The epidemic exposed the harm caused by censorship of speech to the people and the country,” Shu Song, a California-based Chinese developer who created a w
Voices from China: How many ‘really died’ from coronavirus and how survivors live
The march of the coronavirus has shown little signs of stopping. The virus has sickened at least 64,440 people and killed 1,380 worldwide since the outbreak was first reported in late December. But while the disease’s footprint has spread to over 24 countries, its toll has been concentrated in mainland China, where all except 3 deaths have been reported. For many people living in the heart of the epidemic, fending off the virus remains a priority. As whole cities are sealed off and public transportation shut down, millions of people have no choice but to stay home, wondering how much more damage the coronavirus will cause before it ends – if it ends. Their experience is almost without preced
Voices from China: What people at the center of coronavirus outbreak want you to know
Isolated, and sometimes shunned, the central Chinese province of Hubei is the ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak. It accounts for some 74% of more than 43,000 people sickened globally by a disease that causes fever and cough and, in severe cases, pneumonia or death. For those who have contracted the coronavirus, they wake each day hoping it’s their turn for treatment in a public health system inundated by patients and staffed with exhausted doctors and nurses. For healthy families, staying home has become the best defense. Every outside contact seems potentially deadly. About one in 20 people who tested positive for the virus in the provincial capital of Wuhan has died. Every outdoor tr
‘Do you understand?’: The police letter that tried to silence coronavirus whistle-blower
The death of Dr Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who alerted others to a possible coronavirus outbreak before it spread and killed hundreds of people, has put China’s handling of the epidemic under scrutiny. At the center of the controversy is an early decision by the police to silence Li, who on December 30 told others in a group message about patients who fell ill with a respiratory condition similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or Sars, which killed 774 people in the early 2000s. On January 3, the police at the central city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported, summoned Li and reprimanded him for “spreading rumors.”  In a letter Li shared on social media, the city’s polic