Not An Outsider EP5 | Italian KOL: "I want to make China's anti-epidemic efforts known by the whole world"
A cup of traditional Italian espresso and a slice of buttered Dabing (Northeastern Chinese pancake): That's how Mario Cavolo, an Italian American living in China for 20 years, starts his ordinary morning. "I start my day in the blended culture," Cavolo said, with a sip of the hometown taste in the distant, oriental land.
When Cavolo started to recall his 20 years' experience living in China, he concluded, "It just happens naturally." From his arrival at Chengdu, Sichuan in 1999, where he participated in the international trade promotion activities before China's accession to the WTO, to his current residence in Shenyang, Liaoning, where he has witnessed China's hard-fought yet rewarding anti-epidemic efforts, Cavolo currently as a senior researcher at the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), has deeply fallen in love with the captivating Chinese culture. Having witnessed everything in person during his 20 years in China, he dares to speak up for China in various international settings.
"I totally agree with the traditional Chinese virtue of 'family', and after living in China for 20 years, China is my home and Chinese people are my family. With such a serious epidemic crisis here, I felt very frustrated and sad. In the meantime, there were some ridiculous rumors and misunderstandings about the epidemic out there, so I have to defend my 'family'," Cavolo said.
In Shenyang where Cavolo lives, there was once a small outbreak with 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases in just a few days, and then the health officials immediately showed up at their apartment buildings and arranged for everyone to get tested for the coronavirus. Within two to three days, the entire city containing nearly 8 million people was tested. The whole process was well-organized, which is remarkable and made him understand how and why China has been able to control the pandemic so well.
Therefore, Cavolo published his book, Something's Not Right Here Folks, in Hong Kong. This bilingual collection of stories and commentary, published in both traditional Chinese and English, chronicles his personal experiences during the outbreak of COVID-19, as well as his reflections and factual comments. The book serves as a powerful reaction against misconceptions about the pandemic situation in China, and he wants to explain to the world about the reality of China's anti-epidemic efforts which is a significant lesson worth learning for all countries over the world. The book was a huge success and received countless positive feedback.
"I feel safe here and the Chinese government is managing clearly and efficiently, handling things in a responsible way. Meanwhile, every citizen is cooperating and there is a great sense of security, which is something people don't have in the West," Cavolo said. He is still promoting cross-cultural communication, and will continue to tell the real Chinese stories to the world through various channels such as book publication and social media in the future.