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Covid-19 ‘enclosure’ affects women the most – Researcher

Anthropologist Loretta Lou stated to Lusa that the ‘enclosure’ experienced in Macau due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus appears to be affecting women more and may aggravate family conflicts.

“What we know now is that women seem to be more affected by home enclosure than men, as they are solely responsible for cooking and home schooling,” said the University of Macau researcher, specializing in the environment, well-being, social movements, morality, and ethics.

As for possible family conflicts, Lou stressed that “although staying at home may mean happier and quality time for some families, couples who struggle in their marital relationship will have difficulty staying in a small apartment 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.

The professor, an Oxford PhD and who focuses in China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, recalled that in this scenario conflicts are not limited to husband and wife, “but also between children and parents, with in-laws, etc”.

Something that is very interested in monitoring when the epidemic is under control, in order to be able to answer, for example, the question of whether the extended stay of families at home precipitated the phenomenon of domestic violence, although no cases have been reported in the media” and the fact that ” in Macau, as elsewhere, domestic violence is considered a ‘domestic shame’ that should not be disclosed,” she said.

One of the first measures of the Macau Government to combat the risk of contagion was to suspend classes, send thousands of students and civil servants home.

The closing of the casinos and the economic paralysis ‘pushed’ the overwhelming majority of people to their apartments, with the authorities even closing parks, public gardens, and hiking trails, unfolding in appeals for the population to stay at home.

There are currently five cases in Macau of people infected with the new coronavirus, after many others have been discharged.

The death toll from the new coronavirus in mainland China has now risen to 1,770 in mainland China and the number of infected has reached 70,548.

Of the 105 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, 100 occurred in Hubei.

In addition to 1,770 dead in mainland China, there is one dead in the Chinese region of Hong Kong, one in the Philippines, one in Japan and one in France.

Chinese authorities have isolated several cities in the province, located in central China, to try to control the epidemic, a measure that covers about 60 million people.