Under a bustling market counter in Yichang, Hubei province, a "study room" had been created for a 7-year-old girl with cardboard as a cushion, two paper boxes stacked as a desk, a lamp and a secondhand laptop. Above the "study room", her parents were chopping braised vegetables and meat for sale to make a living. Under the counter, Ke Enya was curled up and taking classes online due to the shutdown of her school during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The family of three lived a life considered normal in the market until April 29, when Ke's teacher visited the stall. The teacher was touched by the scene and posted pictures of the girl's "study room" on her WeChat moments, which went viral.
A deluge of posted comments encouraged the girl to work hard.
Zhao Weiwei, the girl's mother told Hangzhou-based newspaper City Express that it was common for store owners in the market to care for their children at the stalls. The only difference was that her stall was much smaller.
According to the Changjiang Daily, a newspaper in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Monday, a local communication company opened up broadband access for free at Zhao's stall to help the girl stream her online classes more smoothly.
On Wednesday, Zhao posted an article on her Sina Weibo account saying that she didn't expect so much attention from across the country and that she felt sorry for her daughter.