July 14, 2024

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Photos: Vendors prepare for uncertainty ahead of China’s Year of the Ox celebrations | Lifestyles

Photos: Vendors prepare for uncertainty ahead of China’s Year of the Ox celebrations | Lifestyles

Photos: Vendors prepare for uncertainty ahead of China’s Year of the Ox celebrations | Lifestyles

She and her husband have operated a shop on the alley near Gong’s shop for about 20 years. Business is down for hotels and entertainment venues, their big-ticket customers, so orders for decorations are down, too, she said.

This year is worse for sales than last. Wuhan, the city that bore the brunt of the pandemic in China, was locked down just two days before the Lunar New Year in 2020. By then, most Year of the Rat items had already been sold.

But a few customers were coming in last week, after a brief virus scare in Wuhan kept people at home earlier this month.

“If the epidemic situation remains stable, and if there’s good weather, I believe they will all be sold out, within the last 10 or more days,” Wang said.

Business wasn’t the only thing on her mind. The Lunar New Year is when families reunite. For many migrant workers, who leave their hometowns for better-paying jobs, it is their one trip back every year.

Wang wondered if her 26-year-old daughter, who works in neighboring Hunan province, will miss New Year’s at home for the second year in a row.

The government hasn’t banned holiday travel but is strongly discouraging it. Many cities are requiring multiple negative COVID test results for people from outside, both before and after their arrival.