A Selection of Woeser’s Coronavirus Related Instagram Posts


High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a selection of Woeser’s Instagram posts since January 2020 that are related to Coronavirus. 
Since the virus was first discovered, it has been causing anxiety amongst Tibetans. Read a previous post that covers online responses: https://highpeakspureearth.com/2020/masks-mantras-and-the-black-9-pill-thubten-phuntsok-and-tibetan-netizens-on-coronavirus-and-tibetan-medicine/
Woeser actively posts on her Instagram account most days, follow her here: https://www.instagram.com/tsering_woeser/
You can also follow High Peaks Pure Earth on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/hpeaks/
A translation note, as most of these posts were published prior to the World Health Organisation’s official change of name from Coronavirus to COVID-19, we have stuck to using the word Coronavirus in English.
January 2020


January 23, 2020
At the end of April 2003, during the time of SARS, Wang Lixiong and I visited Beijing’s Jietai temple. Masks looked like this back then. The walls of Jietai temple show traces of the Cultural Revolution–Mao Zedong quotes. #beijing #SARS


January 24, 2020
Forwarded from a Tibetan: For ordinary Tibetans, they make the registration to enter Tibet watertight, the safety checks ring incessantly, “duang duang,” after you enter the city, they follow you, even on the phone; but those that should really register and be isolated get away with it, they just walk around town unrestrained; all you can do is “LOL”! 😢 (Tibetans on WeChat forwarded this video: two women who arrived in Lhasa from Wuhan on the 23rd…) #china #tibet #lhasa


January 24, 2020
Passing the red wall surrounding Xinhua Gate. This mask is really too tight. #beijing


January 26, 2020
I took this photo just after 10pm. Downstairs from where I live. Almost no cars.

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ཐེའུ་རང་གིས་ “གློ་བའི་ཚ་ནད་གསར་པ་ནགས་ལ་མེ་ཤོར་པ་བཞིན། ཞིང་ཆེན་ནས་ཞིང་ཆེན། རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ནས་རྒྱལ་ཁབ། གླིང་ཆེན་ནས་གླིང་ཆེན་ལ་ཁྱབ་བཞིན་པའི་ཛ་དྲག་གི་དུས་སྐབས་འདིར། སྔོན་འགོག་གི་ཐབས་ལམ་ཡག་ཤོས་ནི། མི་ཚོགས་ཆེ་སར་མི་འགྲོ་བ་དང་། ཁ་ཐུམ་རྒྱག་པ། ལག་པ་བཀྲུ་བ་སོགས་ལས་གཞན་མེད་པས། མི་རིང་བར་བོད་ཡུལ་ལུང་པ་སོ་སོར་འཚོག་འགྱུར་གྱི་སྨོན་ལམ་སོགས་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཀྱི་བྱེད་སྒོ་དང་། ཡུལ་སྲོལ་བྱེད་སྒོ། རིག་རྩལ་བྱེད་སྒོ་སོགས་ཀྱང་དོན་ཆུང་ནང་གི་དོན་ཆུང་དུ་སེམས་པས། ས་གནས་སོ་སོའི་བླ་སྤྲུལ་དང་ཁ་མགོ་བ་ཚོས་འདིིའི་ཐད་ལ་ཐུགས་འདང་བརྒྱག་རྒྱུ་གལ་ཆེན་པོ་རེད་སྙམ་མོ།། གཞན་ཡང་། བླ་སྤྲུལ་ཚོས་ནད་དུག་སྔོན་འགོག་སྐོར་ནས་ཚན་རིག་དང་མཐུན་པའི་གསུང་བཤད་རེ་གནང་ན་ཕན་ས་རེད་དེ། རང་རེའི་མང་ཚོགས་ལ་སྔོན་འགོག་གི་འདུ་ཤེས་ཞན་པ་དང་། ས་གནས་ལ་ནད་བཅོས་ཀྱི་ཆ་རྐྱེན་ཞན་པས། བོད་ཡུལ་ལུང་པ་སོ་སོར་བསླེབ་ཚེ། བསམ་ཡུལ་ལས་འདས་པའི་ཉེན་ཁར་འཕྲད་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་པ་བརྒྱ་ཆ་བརྒྱ་རེད། ནད་འདིའི་དོན་དངོས་ཀྱི་གནས་ཚུལ། ང་ཚོས་དྲྭ་རྒྱ་སོགས་ལས་མཐོང་པ་ལས་ཀྱང་ལྡབ་མང་པོའི་ཚབས་ཆེན་ཡིན་པ་ཁོ་ཐག་རེད།” ཤིན་ཏུ་མད་པར་སེམས་སོ། __ གངས་ཉི། #tibet #冠状病毒肺炎

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Theurang – “The new Coronavirus is like a forest fire. In this time of crisis where it spreads from province to province, country to country, continent to continent, the best method of prevention is to avoid large gatherings, to wear a facial mask, to wash your hands regularly. There’s not much else to be done. For the time being, in our land of Tibet, prayer festivals, religious events, local traditional events and cultural events are not of great importance. It is important for local Lamas, Trulkus and leaders to make efforts on this matter. Moreover, it would be helpful if Lamas and Trulkus would make speeches on preventative measures in a manner accordant with science. our response as a people is lacking, and our regional medical infrastructure lacking, the disease will reach our own Tibetan land. We are 100% facing a danger that is beyond our imagination. The real situation is several times more serious than what we see on the internet and other media.” What Theurang has said couldn’t be more true – SnowSun #tibet #coronavirus


January 27, 2020
Forwarded from a Tibetan: Everyone knows that you should wear a mask when you leave the house, but they are all sold out!


January 29, 2020
It is not hazy today. Clear blue sky. So we drove towards Pinggu. It is the first time that me and my good friend went out after “voluntarily being isolated” at home for ten days; Wang Lixiong was braver, he continued going for his walks every day. The petrol and service stations along the road are all closed down. Restaurants are also more or less closed. The village entrances are all sealed with red banners and guarded by people wearing red armbands. There is hardly anyone on the road and they all wear masks. Farmers without masks probably couldn’t get hold of any. We originally planned to go to a lake to relax a bit; but it is also closed. The smoking guy with the red armband in the military uniform asks us “where did you guys come from? Where are you heading?” Of course, we are heading home.


January 30, 2020
A friend from Lhasa says: you cannot even buy masks anymore in Lhasa. Many people cannot properly protect themselves; infections cannot be controlled. Plus, the medical standards in Lhasa and the Tibetan areas are quite low, they won’t be able to contain this epidemic. Me and my daughter are all panic-stricken; I am not worried about getting infected myself, but I am worried about Tibet. They still propagate that “Tibet is the last clean spot,” when I think about the virus coming here from far away, I just want to cry 😭 #lhasa


January 31, 2020
A video about someone with pneumonia on the train from Wuhan to Lhasa. #lhasa #tibetan #coronavirus


January 31, 2020
There are thousands of artists from all across China living and working in Songzhuang, Tongzhou (Beijing). It is said that in Songzhuang’s Xiaobao village there was a case of Coronavirus who had been in close contact with eight people. Apparently, after the village sealed off its road it also blocked its entrance with huge containers. (video forwarded from WeChat Moments. The photo was taken the day before yesterday when I was passing by).


February 2020
February 1, 2020
Facing the Coronavirus epidemic, facing the shortage in supplies across the entire Tibetan region, Lhasa people are reacting with all sorts of humour; for example, this video of someone speaking to a mask: “dear mask, yesterday I put you in the sun, gave you a good bask in the sunshine; today, I am afraid, we have to go out; you know, dear mask, nowadays you are even more precious than tsampa, I really have to take good care of you. Thank you dear mask.”… I just watched it again and now have a sore nose. #lhasa #tibetan #coronavirus


February 1, 2020
The epidemic is getting more and more unpredictable; my hometown of Lhasa is also infected. The daughter of Lhasa is going home, but it’s not me, but a beautiful and beloved sister of mine. Her Tibetan Airways flight was supposed to leave yesterday, but has been delayed until today. Is it because there are not enough passengers? No explanation, but good that her flight has not been cancelled. Beijing’s Capital Airport, regardless of whether it’s domestic or international departures, is not as busy as usual. Everyone is wearing masks, or even massive protective eyepieces or motorcycle helmets, everyone is of course looking concerned. I watched her rushing in, my eyes filled with tears….have a safe trip home. I hope that your hometown and all living beings are safe and sound 🙏


February 2, 2020
The WeChat internet police seem to be even busier than doctors. An article about the real situation of the virus has been deleted, any related comments cannot be posted. The battle against blocks is just too difficult. I can only take a photo of today’s snow in Beijing; that should be ok to post, right?!

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今天的拉萨街头,这么空。#lhasa #coronavirus

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February 2, 2020
The streets of Lhasa today. Empty. #lhasa #coronavirus


February 2, 2020
Forwarded: There are early written records in Tibetan medical texts, saying that bats are toxic and cannot be eaten. The part highlighted in red says that the viruses from bats transform. #tibet #coronavirus


February 3, 2020
When I saw her face, his face, her face, his face, her face, his face… tears were streaming down my face. These are the faces of Bodhisattvas. 🙏 #coronaviruses


February 3, 2020
Look at the majestic protector deity on the ground slowly dancing, but also wearing a light blue N95 medical mask with a valve slowly dropping down like a big man’s empty mouth… #tibet #coronavirus


February 4, 2020
Stupid as always, they censor faster than the epidemic can spread. #china #coronavirus

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宅在家里,度母心咒和金刚铠甲心咒是要念的,其他与往日也没什么不同:读书,写作,翻墙,怼老大哥,等等。戒指是要戴的,香水也是要有的。这枚香水,是去年夏天东北边境游经过哈尔滨,网购了一个俄罗斯裔女子写的《哈尔滨档案》,从中读到这段话:“‘红色莫斯科’…十月革命胜利之前,为了向罗曼诺夫王朝表示敬意而研制的这款香水,1925年被赋予新的名字,变成苏联妇女长期以来特别喜爱的香水品牌。”我就很可笑地向往了这款香水,而神奇的某宝居然也很可笑地有这款香水:无论包装和气味,都果然具有苏联风格。#coronavirus

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February 5, 2020
I am hanging around at home, I am reading the Tara mantra and the Vajra protector mantra aloud; other than that everything is just as always: reading, writing, jumping the firewall, cursing Big Brother etc. Of course, rings and perfume have to still be worn. I bought this perfume last summer on my trip to the northeast in Harbin; I bought something written by a woman of Russian descent online called “The Harbin File.” I came across the following passage: “‘Red Moscow’…before the successful October Revolution, they created this perfume as a sign of respect to the Royal House of Romanov; in 1925, it was given a new name and became very popular among Soviet women for many years.” I had a ridiculous craving for this perfume; it has a ridiculous magical aura: regardless of its packaging or smell, it really has a Soviet style. #coronavirus


February 6, 2020
Image forwarded from WeChat Moments. In a village of a county in Kardze Autonomous Prefecture: “Doctors of our local clinic are rushing around in the early morning, making everyone feel worried. The entrance has been blocked, they measure your temperature when you enter.” What this shows is: at this point, there are 12 cases in Kardze Prefecture, including seven local Tibetans. #tibet #coronavirus


February 7, 2020
Images forwarded from WeChat Moments: At first glance, I thought these were shots from a movie. Of course, what these photos wish to portray is that under the guidance of the Party (with the red flag as the key symbol), Tibetans are fighting the new coronavirus. But in reality, infections in the Tibetan regions are quite severe, what we know so far is: TAR: one case; Sichuan Province: 17 cases in Kardze Prefecture, one in Ngaba Prefecture; Gansu Province Kanlho Prefecture three cases (one suspected case); Qinghai Province Qingbei Prefecture three cases. Kardze is the most heavily affected prefecture in Tibet! With so far 12 cases, Tawu County of Kardze Prefecture may well be the most heavily affected county in the whole country!


February 7, 2020
Palyul County in Golog Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province is also extremely empty and quiet as people are dealing with the epidemic; here we only see a little yak and the photographer in the streets; but the full moon is beautiful. #tibet #coronavirus


February 7, 2020
Under the guidance of the Party, the “People’s war” with Chinese characteristics against the epidemic has also begun in Kham (Muli Tibetan Autonomous County, Kardze Prefecture, Sichuan Province). #tibet #coronavirus


February 7, 2020
A dark night has befallen the imperial capital, the moon on the 16th day of the 1st month is looking a bit strange. I need a new phone to be able to take decent night shots. But the bad news is, the iPhone factory has stopped production… #beijing #coronavirus


February 12, 2020
Honestly, this black and white Chinese Tibetan couplet looks odd… not only is there no tradition of putting up couplets in Tibet, in Chinese tradition, black and white couplets are actually elegiac couplets… #coronaviruschina #coronavírus #tibet


February 16, 2020
Six new cases in Tawu County of Kardze Autonomous Prefecture. There are a total of 50 cases now in Kardze, including 45 in Tawu. The oldest person is 77 years old, the youngest three. 298 people who had close contact with infected people have been hospitalised for further examination. The 33 new cases over the past six days since February 10 are all local Tawu people. The situation is bad. The number is increasing on a daily basis; the one hospital on the plateau cannot cope! #coronaviruschina #tibet‬

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