Hilariously aggressive Covid-19 propaganda banners in China - SupChina
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All the hilariously aggressive coronavirus propaganda banners found in China

If you hang out in public today / Grass will grow on your grave next year

 

Illustration by Derek Zheng for SupChina

 

China is grappling with a coronavirus outbreak that has so far caused more than a thousand deaths and infected more than 43,000 people worldwide (42,670 within mainland China). To curb its spread, the Chinese government has been using everything at its disposal to keep the virus at bay. Methods have included, you might have heard, quarantining multiple cites and employing drones to berate people without masks.

Local officials, however, have tapped into simpler, more traditional means to get their message across — such as red banners with aggressive slogans, the kind that originated during the Mao era.

As a crucial element of China’s political and cultural life, “slogans,” or biāoyǔ (标语), have been around for decades, featuring a wide range of themes such as the importance of family planning and the governing mottos of presidents. The slogans that have emerged during the current epidemic are generally direct and clear — even if they are a little threatening, bombastic, and on-the-nose.

Online, many of them have caused an unexpected reaction: laughter. Here are some of our favorite:

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带病回乡不孝儿郎,dài bìng huí xiāng bú xiào ér láng
传染爹娘丧尽天良  chuán rǎn diē niáng sàng jìn tiān liáng

Returning home with your disease will not make your parents pleased,
Infecting mom and dad proves you have no conscience

Screen Shot 2020 02 07 at 2.33.36 PM copy

发烧不说的人,fā shāo bú shuō de rén
都是潜伏在人民群众中的阶级敌人 dōu shì qián fú zài rén mín qún zhòng zhōng de jiē jí dí rén

Those who don’t report their fever
Are class enemies hiding among the people

Screen Shot 2020 02 07 at 2.33.47 PM copy

老实在家防感染,lǎo shí zài jiā fáng gǎn rǎn
丈人来了也得撵 zhàng rén lái le yě dé niǎn

Stay at home to prevent infection,
Turn your in-laws out if they come visit

Screen Shot 2020 02 07 at 2.34.09 PM copy

省小钱不戴口罩,shěng xiǎo qián bú dài kǒu zhào
花大钱卧床治病 huā dà qián wò chuáng zhì bìng

Save pennies not wearing a mask,
Spend a fortune getting treatment on your sickbed

Screen Shot 2020 02 07 at 2.34.21 PM copy

口罩还是呼吸机,kǒu zhào hái shì hū xī jī
您老看着二选一 nín lǎo kàn zhe èr xuǎn yī

A surgical mask or a breathing tube,
It’s your call

Screen Shot 2020 02 07 at 2.33.22 PM copy

今年过年不串门,jīn nián guò nián bú chuàn mén
来串门的是敌人,lái chuàn mén de shì dí rén
敌人来了不开门 dí rén lái le bú kāi mén

No visits for the Chinese New Year this year,
Those who come visit you are enemies.
Don’t open the door for enemies

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养老金能拿多久,yǎng lǎo jīn néng ná duō jiǔ
取决于你最近出门的次数 qǔ jué yú nǐ zuì jìn chū mén de cì shù

Please avoid going to crowded places as much as possible,
How much pension you will receive at retirement depends on how much you go out recently

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不聚餐是为了以后还能吃饭,bú jù cān shì wéi le yǐ hòu hái néng chī fàn
不串门是为了以后还有亲人 bú chuàn mén shì wéi le yǐ hòu hái yǒu qīn rén

Not gathering for a feast is so you can eat in the future,
Not visiting others is so you still have relatives in the future

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串门就是互相残杀,chuàn mén jiù shì hù xiàng cán shā
聚会就是自寻短见 jù huì jiù shì zì xún duǎn jiàn

Visiting friends and relatives is a mutual slaughter,
Partying is looking for death

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今天沾一口野味,jīn tiān zhān yī kǒu yě wèi
明天地府相会 míng tiān dì fǔ xiàng huì

A bite of wild animals today,
See you in hell tomorrow

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少吃一顿饭,shǎo chī yī dùn fàn
亲情不会淡 qīn qíng bú huì dàn

Skipping one meal won’t harm family love

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出来聚会的是无耻之辈,chū lái jù huì de shì wú chǐ zhī bèi
一起打麻将的是亡命之徒 yī qǐ dǎ má jiāng de shì wáng mìng zhī tú

Those who go out for gatherings are shameless people,
Those who play mahjong with others are putting their lives on the line

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这个时候你在路上遇到的所有人都是向你索命的孤魂野鬼 zhè gè shí hòu nǐ zài lù shàng yù dào de suǒ yǒu rén dōu shì xiàng nǐ suǒ mìng de gū hún yě guǐ

Everyone you encounter on the streets now is a wild ghost seeking to take your life

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神仙也要戴口罩,shén xiān yě yào dài kǒu zhào
疫情不是开玩笑 yì qíng bú shì kāi wán xiào

Even Chinese gods have to wear masks,
The epidemic is no joke

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只要家里有根葱,zhī yào jiā lǐ yǒu gēn cōng
坚决不往超市冲 jiān jué bú wǎng chāo shì chōng

Never ever go to grocery stores as long as you have a scallion at home

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在病毒面前心存侥幸,zài bìng dú miàn qián xīn cún yáo xìng
下一个倒下的就是你 xià yī gè dǎo xià de jiù shì nǐ

You are the next one to get sick if you wing it in the face of the virus

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今天到处乱跑,jīn tiān dào chù luàn pǎo
明年坟上长草 míng nián fén shàng zhǎng cǎo

If you hang out in public today,
Grass will grow on your grave next year

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出门打断腿,chū mén dǎ duàn tuǐ
还嘴打掉牙 huán zuǐ dǎ diào yá

I’ll break your legs if you insist on going out,
I’ll wreck your teeth if you challenge me

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不戴口罩就出门,bú dài kǒu zhào jiù chū mén
这个杂种不是人 zhè gè zá zhǒng bú shì rén

You are a piece of garbage if you go out without wearing a mask

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今天野味吃得饱,jīn tiān yě wèi chī dé bǎo
明天病床要躺好 míng tiān bìng chuáng yào tǎng hǎo

Eat lots of wild animals today
Rest well in hospital bed tomorrow

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在家待着不要乱串,zài jiā dāi zhe bú yào luàn chuàn
空调 电视 wifi相伴 kōng diào diàn shì wifi xiàng bàn

Stay in and don’t wander around,
You have AC, television, and wifi as your friends

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野生动物不要碰,yě shēng dòng wù bú yào pèng
病毒随时往你身上蹦 bìng dú suí shí wǎng nǐ shēn shàng bèng

Don’t touch wild animals,
Viruses can jump up on you any time.

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儿女如何算孝顺?ér nǚ rú hé suàn xiào shùn ?
看住爸妈不出门!kàn zhù bà mā bú chū mén !

How to show your filial piety?
By having your parents grounded!

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举报爹妈去麻将馆,jǔ bào diē mā qù má jiàng guǎn
就如当年他们举报黑网吧 jiù rú dāng nián tā men jǔ bào hēi wǎng ba

Report mahjong houses that your parents go to,
Just like how they reported illegal internet cafes years ago

bc4a3a67gy1gbo1bqf1yrj21400t8k0u

出村如自杀,chū cūn rú zì shā
居家最安全 jū jiā zuì ān quán

Leaving the village is like committing suicide,
Staying in is the safest choice you can make

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戴口罩总比带呼吸机好,dài kǒu zhào zǒng bǐ dài hū xī jī hǎo
躺家里总比躺ICU强 tǎng jiā lǐ zǒng bǐ tǎng ICU qiáng

Wearing a mask is undeniably better than being hooked up to a breathing tube,
Lying at home is better than being placed in the ICU

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我们隔离的是病毒,wǒ men gé lí de shì bìng dú
不是湖北同胞 bú shì hú běi tóng bāo

What we put in quarantine are not our fellows in Hubei,
But the virus

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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

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