A Chinese Doctor’s Message to the World

Dear Friends

My name is Rosalee and I am a Chinese doctor who trained with INPP. I want to share something with all of the INPP family, who can read this letter.

Last December and this January, we heard that a new type of pneumonia could be found in Wuhan, Hubei, China. We knew that it was viral but we did not know what the virus was. Is it serious? Is the disease contagious? No answer at all.

China is a country with big population, so, every decision should be based on evidence or panic and rumor would be a disaster. In the middle of January, our government and scientists announced that the pneumonia was infected by a new corona-virus never known before. Now everyone knows its name as COVID-19. The medical system quickly became overloaded. Chinese scientists knew nothing about the disease at that time and patients faced the same situation.

At first, people did not worry too much about it. We had the spring festival holiday at that time, and a lot of people went back to their hometowns around China, had parties together, visited relatives and friends……that was the start of the tragedy. Fortunately, our government told us home quarantine should be carried out.   It was simple.  Every Chinese person, if you wanted to survive the contagion, just obey the rule. The virus did not discriminate but took life equally, no matter whether you were rich or poor. As the situation of contagion became worse and worse, first Wuhan city, then the Hubei province, followed by the whole of China, locked down. Imagine, about 1.435 billion people staying at home to fight the virus’s ability to spread, except for those on duty.

The virus was relentless in its spread and its hold and a lot of people died in this period. As a doctor, I was on duty all the time. At first, there was a shortage of PPE and infection and exhaustion amongst doctors and nurses was a big problem in Hubei province, but many people from different places helped Hubei. The first battlefield was the hospital where our soldiers are the medical workers. More than 40,000 doctors and nurses from other provinces went to Hubei to fight the war.  Only now can I tell you the story, no, it’s the truth. At that time, anxiety and fear filled me every day—-I do think a lot of Chinese had similar fears during that period. The hard time lasted about two months, now it seems that everything is under control.

We Chinese survived the virus, so I want to share with you all our experience.

First of all, quarantine. Athough mild cases of infection can display no symptoms at all, and most patients just experience symptoms like “flu”, the fatality rate is much higher than any “flu” we have known before. Please pay attention to the fatality rates of Italy and Spain especially because the medical systems in these countries are much better than the Chinese medical system. Why?  Because in China with a large population, the medical system is overloaded. If we do not want to be infected, the only way is to stay at home.  This is the only way you can help severe cases and the doctors and nurses treating them.

Secondly, protection. Try to reduce the frequency of going out. If you must go out, be sure to keep a distance from others of at least two metres. If you do not have have PPE, gloves (can be replaced by plastic bags), face masks and glasses can all provide some measure of protection around the mucous membranes, which are the main portals of entry for the virus into the body. If you do not have these things, try to keep a distance from others, and do not touch your face or body before you can wash your hands. Never ever attend a party! Never ever join crowds! Never ever try to challenge the virus in public! Without life we can do nothing.

Thirdly, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Healthy foods, regular exercise, regular, sufficient sleep, all of these are important to strengthen the body’s resistance to disease. Better lifestyle also means a better mood and better immunity. Healthy habits help to ward off disease.

Today, with the spread of the pandemic, it has become an unprecedented global war, and mankind is facing the same enemy, the COVID-19. The NIH of US announced that the virus comes from nature. No matter the source or the power of nature we, as human beings, should help each other to survive and overcome the crisis.  This is an entirely new disease, and China was the first to suffer from the pandemic. It was a tragedy to witness some countries repeating our mistake.  We did not know what we were fighting.  Based on our experience, you do. Please, please listen to the voice from China.

There is a sentence in the novel The Three Body Problem – weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is. This pandemic is a common challenge faced by mankind in the age of globalization. At this moment, sharing resources, experiences and lessons, regardless of who you are, is our only chance to win. The real remedy for this pandemic is not isolation, but cooperation. This war has just begun.

Take care, my friends!

Best regards


Published: 31st March 2020
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

Grandma’s Covid 19 Notebook

Week 1

This sudden change in the ways that we will have to live our lives brings enormous challenges to us all.  The adaptations needed are no respecter of age, income, or culture.  All of us will have to make changes, beginning with children at home.

While the internet and visual technology will be a saviour in acting as the medium for communication, work and source of education, entertainment and communication, constant use of screen technology can be visually tiring and stressful.  Remember that this is also an opportunity to nurture some of the things that as former busy parents and grandparents, or children restricted by a national curriculum, we have not had time to attend to.

Audio books and being read a story encourage the development of a very different imaginary world from the one provided by films and visual entertainment.  When we read or listen to a story, we form our own mental pictures of what characters look like, the scenery in which they live.   Reading not a just a short bedtime story to your children, but a story that can be picked up from day to day and continued, can help develop a love of reading in your children and is also relaxed time spent together.

As a small child growing up in the early 1960’s, I suffered from recurrent bouts of bronchial asthma and missed an entire year of schooling when I was nine.  I became a voracious reader but also spent many hours engaged in imaginary play, often based on some of the books that I had read.  These were surprisingly happy, not lonely hours.  I was also lucky enough to have a weekly history lesson with someone who taught me at home for two hours a week.  My love of history began with the history stories she told to me and which we drew and wrote about together.

When my father retired and lived alone for  many years after my mother had died, he decided that his day would be entirely dictated by the weather.  If the sun was shining he would go for a walk or work in the garden for as many hours as it continued to shine.  This is a dictum I have longed to follow during the course of a busy working life, and on days off, have partly succeeded, but for children facing many weeks out of school, it is one way of ensuring fresh air and exercise.

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, use it not only as a place to play or relax, but a place they can help you to cultivate.  While it is probable that we will soon face further restrictions on how far we can roam, make the most of the sun while you can.

The generation that survived the second world war became highly adept at developing economical and nutritious meals.  Societies of plenty tend to have become greedy and wasteful, and this is an opportunity to teach our children (and remind ourselves)  how to live differently:  How to shop for essentials; to make meals from what is available and not to throw away anything that can be used again.  Involve your children in these decisions and processes.

Ironically, those subjects that have tended to be squeezed out of the national curriculum – art, music, dance etc. – are the very ones that lend themselves to remote teaching.  We are hoping to start with my partner, who is an artist, providing painting lessons via Skype to my grandchildren.

From a professional perspective, if parents want something more specific that they can do at home on a daily basis for about 10 minutes per day with children aged 3 – 6 years, the narrated stories, songs and suggested movements contained within my book, Movement.  Your Child’s First Language,  have been designed to develop children’s physical readiness for school.

Several schools in South Yorkshire have used the songs and stories with children from 4 – 6 years as a class-based activity and reported not only significant improvements in children’s balance and coordination, but also in their vocabulary and use of language.  This was designed as an informal play-based programme to help develop the underlying vocabulary of brain and body to support all aspects of later learning.  While atthe moment it is only available in book form containing two audio CD’s, I will be discussing with the publisher whether an on-line format could also be made available.  Irrespective of the medium, it is a shared parent and child activity.

Finally, as adults, be kind to yourselves.  This is our second week in isolation after my partner developed a chest infection.  The first week was depressing and extremely stressful for several reasons: a sense of loss of the life I was used to; imposed helplessness because it was impossible to access online shopping for nearly three weeks, to get through to telephone banking or a pharmacy,  and anxiety for my partner. Without the kindness of neighbours, we would have struggled accessing some of the basics.  These feelings of loss, disorientation and rising panic are normal during a period of adaptation and it is important to acknowledge this distress.   Find joy in the little things and remember that, at the moment, we are the lucky ones.



Published: 21st March 2020
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

World Book Day.

World Book Day


Meet Dizzy the Daisy, Wenna the Woodlouse and a host of other characters for children from “A Day in the Garden”.



Published: 5th March 2020
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

Review of Movement. Your Child’s First Language by “It’s all about stories”


Published: 2nd March 2020
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe