TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An image of a decidedly unhygienic sign admonishing bus passengers in China to practice good hygiene by spitting outside the window has gone viral on English language social media as the Wuhan coronavirus rages.
The photo was originally captured by a Chinese netizen on March 3, 2018 while taking the 176 Bus in Nanchang City, the capital of Communist China's Jiangxi Province. The netizen was shocked at the sign and felt compelled to take a photo of it and post it on the web.
The sign reads, "Be hygienic, prevent the flu. Please spit out the window" (講衛生 防流感 請把痰吐窗外). The netizen wrote, "I looked at it carefully, and it really shocked me. How could such a slogan appear? At the time, there were many other passengers in the bus talking about the sign, so I took a picture with my mobile phone,"
He felt that because the sign is open for all the pubic to see, including students and children, it could have a negative influence. "Spittling phlegm out of the window is an uncivilized and unsanitary action. I don't know how such a slogan appeared on the bus," wrote the netizen.
As the Wuhan Coronavirus is believed to have started in a typical Chinese wet market where hygiene and sanitation standards are notoriously poor, many netizens have begun to criticize the low level of hygiene endemic to the country. On Feb. 25 of this year, the photo resurfaced on the social media site Reddit, where it soon gained 131 upvotes and 36 comments:
"Well, it won't be long before people are getting hit with loogies in the face while waiting for the bus."
"I'm told that they see it as an excretory function. Which I kind of get, but if you need to spit, you do it into a garbage can, or better still, in a bathroom, like other excretory functions."
"I had an older gentleman in a window seat next to me on a plane straight up spit on the floor after landing. At some point basic decency and manners should supersede one's "need" to spit."
"10 years ago, took the bus from Xi'an station to Bingmayong. Bus driver opened window, spat out to the left. Ticketing lady spat out the door to the right simultaneously. Doors closed and bus drove off..."
(Chinese internet image)