Christian Playwright's Tip on How to Avoid Depression, Stress During Lockdown

Jiang Yuanlai, a Christian playwriter, gave a speech titled "The Great Art must be about Ultimate Concern" in February, 2022.
Jiang Yuanlai, a Christian playwriter, gave a speech titled "The Great Art must be about Ultimate Concern" in February, 2022.
By Ruth WangApril 28th, 2022

In March of this year, there were COVID-19 rebounds in Guangdong, Jilin, Shanghai, and other places, and many people had to face the reality of home quarantine or lockdown. Starting from April 1, Pudong and Puxi Districts have been locked down one after another. In such days, Christian playwright and music connoisseur Jiang Yuanlai was also asked, "How should I avoid lethargy and collapse, and how can I survive?"

To this question, Jiang, considered as one of the most important Christian playwrights in mainland China and also known as "the playwright who sleeps on the floor" answered, "Of course, believers are first suggested to pray and read the Bible (everyone can pray and read the Bible!). At this time, you can also practice prayer and pray for all those in need; then try your best to solve the minimum living needs such as arranging your own food. Even though I was quarantined at home, I tried my best to help those in special need (our brothers and sisters here asked volunteers to help a few people in need); then I had to be patient and read excellent literary works, such as Dostoyevski's House of the Dead, an essay "Peasant Malay", Tolstoy's War and Peace and so on."

"Try to read the classics and don't fall into the rubbish reading of the Internet, it will increase the mental pressure," the native of Shanghai added. At the same time, he returned to his "old idea": listening to European classical music, and now especially listening to works with heroic idealism. 

At the same time, many families will face some children's problems. Children who are quarantined at home will ask, "How can we avoid going crazy and survive the quarantine?" Jiang suggested that the classical music part can be replaced with soft play suitable for children and family background music, as well as some excellent literary works suitable for their age group.

Jiang Yuanlai, a native of Shanghai, went to the remote villages of Heilongjiang to "settle in the countryside" for more than three years. After graduating from university, Jiang has been engaged in the environmental planning of nature reserves and field environmental research in government and research institutes for a long time. He became a Christian in the 1980s and entered the field of Christian culture in the early 1990s. Jiang began his drama writing at the end of the 1990s and was recognized as one of the most important folk playwrights on the Chinese mainland by critics.

- Translated by Leo Liu

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