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Chinese Millennials Are Calling the Cops on Their Parents Because They Refuse to Take the Coronavirus Outbreak Seriously

The looming threat of the coronavirus has the younger generation trying to parent their parents.
January 28, 2020, 7:49am
old woman china
For illustrative purposes only. Photo by Chastagner Thierry on Unsplash

As of Tuesday, January 28, at least 106 people have died from the new coronavirus that started in Wuhan. There are now 4,559 confirmed cases across the world, with most in mainland China.

While many people are now worrying about how not to contract the virus, it turns out that some of those who are most at risk are taking it pretty lightly.

Viral on Chinese social media at the moment are young people sharing their frustrations about stubborn older relatives who refuse to take the epidemic seriously.


“My parents are driving me mad, going out to play cards at a time like this,” lamented one Weibo user. “They say that it’ll be fine because they’re all from the same village.”


Photo from Weibo

They are now finding themselves in weird situations as they try to parent their parents.

“To prevent my parents from going out to play cards, I’ve been playing mahjong at home with them for days. If the epidemic does not improve, I’m going to lose my underpants gambling with them,” shared a self-sacrificial gambler on Weibo.


Photo from Weibo

According to a viral video shared by the state-owned People's Daily, a woman in Sichuan even reported her parents to the local authorities for gambling at a teahouse after these establishments were ordered to cease operations to limit the spread of the coronavirus. It was a desperate attempt to get her parents to return home. According to the spokesperson of the district office involved, personnel from the local police station were immediately sent to the teahouse to investigate the case.

The incident has become a trending topic on Weibo, with many netizens lauding the daughter’s act.

“I understand and support these children, they are so concerned about their family’s safety. Many elderlies do not have sufficient knowledge of the epidemic and lack prevention awareness. I still see many elderlies without face masks on the street,” reads one comment.

“Children are probably reporting their parents out of desperation. Since many parents do not heed the advice of their children, children have to resort to using the government to warn their parents….”


Photo from Weibo

“The child is more sensible than the parent…” reads another.


Photo from Weibo

Several other netizens also revealed that they had called the cops on their relatives for congregating to gamble or feast.

“My dad wanted to go for a meal gathering today, but I’m a cruel person,” one Weibo user said, attaching a screenshot of her call history to the local police station.


Photo from Weibo

“My dad insisted on going to a relative’s house to play cards. After he left, I dialled 110 for the cops. The good thing is he was shocked by me and came back home. Parents these days are so hard to manage!”


Photo from Weibo

Some concerned children literally locked their parents at home.

“I can’t persuade them to wear face masks anymore. In order to convince my mum not to leave the house, I wracked my brains and this is all I’ve got. Bicycle locks are useful,” shared one Weibo user.


Photo from Weibo

Another harnessed the power of a loud voice.

“This morning my dad got a phone call inviting him to a gathering of seven to eight people. I walked up to my dad, took a deep breath and screamed at the phone: ‘You! Can’t! Go!'”


Photo from Weibo

“Middle-aged and senior citizens these days are too hard to manage…” one Weibo user commented.


Photo from Weibo

Little victories like successfully convincing a grandma to wear a face mask are also shared online.

“My 70-year-old grandma is finally scared. She always thought this virus only caused a cold and fever, she didn’t know that it could kill…”


Photo from Weibo

There are also Weibo users sharing images with catchy phrases to remind the elderly about practising good hygiene.

“Wear a mask, keep prosperity. Wash your hands when you are home, you will have wealth. Avoid eating wild animals, your luck will double. Exercise, you’ll be happy.”


According to one Weibo user, many parents seem to feel that their children are overreacting.

Her father’s response to the coronavirus outbreak? “Trust in the Party, trust in the government.”


Photo from Weibo

Unlike their children who are digital natives, the older generation gets their information about the coronavirus mostly through mainstream media. They also tend to have more faith in the government. According to netizens, older Chinese citizens are often reluctant to take serious precautions against the coronavirus outbreak unless instructed by authorities.