A new shopping frenzy is taking place in China as Beijing Finally modifies its hard-line “zero-COVID” policies.

As Chinese media Xin Tan Ren reported, Chinese residents are emptying shelves of canned peaches, popularly seen in desserts and sweets, as they believe it can help them boost their immune system. Even pharmacies are loading up their stores with the commodity.

So what happened? While Chinese citizens are relieved that the regime finally gave up on “zero-COVID” to a certain degree, there is a mounting fear that more people will get caught by the virus.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, the country’s hospitals are poorly resourced, whereas the older population is not widely vaccinated against the coronavirus. Aware of these facts, Chinese citizens are constantly hoarding cough medicine, flu drugs, masks, and related products. 

And according to Xin Tan Ren, among them are canned peaches, a folklore sickness reliever in Northeastern China. A person from Northeast China said, “I don’t know why I eat canned peaches, but I do feel better after eating it.”

The internet is also full of praise for the treat, “We all know that going to the hospital to visit patients, you have to bring canned food.”

According to state media Global Times, virologist Chang Rongshan said that canned peaches could not replace medicine. But fruits rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C, D, and E, can help relieve symptoms like headaches and nausea.

Still, most people insisted from their personal experiences that the sweetened fruit is mysteriously helpful.

This online user said her fever went away after eating the canned fruit, “My husband didn’t believe it, but his whole body hurt, and the pain disappeared after eating.”

Another person said, “I find it useful. The next day after drinking, dry mouth, tongue, and weakness are very uncomfortable. A bowl of canned yellow peaches immediately relieves the symptoms.”
According to Xin Tan Ren, in ancient Chinese culture, peach branches are said to ward off evil spirits. The fruit itself implies “health and longevity.” This is because “peach” and “escape” are similarly pronounced as tao. Therefore, this has resulted in a saying that eating peaches can help “escape disaster,” or tao guo yi jie .

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