It was supposed to be a quick get-to-know-you — but a snap COVID lockdown forced a Chinese woman to stay with her blind date at his house for days on end.
The 30-year-old woman, identified only by her surname Wang, went to meet her blind date for a home-cooked dinner on January 6 in her hometown of Zhengzhou, a city in central China grappling with a coronavirus outbreak.
“I’m getting old now, my family introduced me to 10 matches,” she said in a video on social media.
“The fifth date wanted to show off his cooking skills and invited me over to his house for dinner.”
Just when Wang was about to go home after the meal, she found out the whole neighbourhood had gone into a swift lockdown, she said.
China regularly seals off communities after Covid infections are detected among residents.
These sudden lockdowns — along with mass testing and extensive quarantine — are part of the country’s stringent zero-Covid strategy to quickly stamp out local outbreaks.
Unable to leave, Wang was stuck at her date’s house for days. She posted videos of her unexpected co-living experience on social media, showing her date cooking meals for her, sweeping the floor and working on his laptop.
The videos quickly went viral, with Wang’s encounter becoming a top trending topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
Wang had returned to Zhengzhou from the southern city of Guangzhou recently ahead of the Lunar New Year, and spent a week meeting potential suitors her family had set up for her, she told state-run news outlet The Paper on Tuesday.
“During quarantine, I feel that apart from him being reticent like a wooden mannequin, everything else about him is pretty good.
He cooks, cleans the house and works. Although his cooking isn’t very good, he’s still willing to spend time in the kitchen, I think that’s great,” she told The Paper.
‘I hope the pandemic will end soon’
In Wang’s videos, her date is seen serving stir-fry meals such as tomato and scrambled eggs – a popular dish in China.
Wang said in a post Monday that she had hidden her original video from her account after it went viral.
“Right now I’m still at the man’s house. He’s an inarticulate, honest person and he doesn’t talk much. After my video became trending (on Weibo), some friends started calling him – I think it has affected his life. That’s why I removed it,” she said.
“Thanks everyone for your attention … I hope the pandemic will end soon and that single girls can find a relationship soon.”
As of Thursday, it is unclear whether Wang is still living at her date’s house.
Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, has reported more than 100 COVID-19 cases in its ongoing outbreak.
Authorities on Tuesday shut all non-essential businesses, such as beauty salons, banned dine-in at restaurants and suspended buses and taxis in higher risk areas.