On Chinese state media, the only permitted narrative is one of heroic struggle; of undoubtedly brave doctors working long hours treating COVID-19 patients; of hospitals built in days; of people anonymously donating money and supplies.
Interviews with people in Hubei, the province that is still the centre of the coronavirus epidemic, show a more complicated story – one of grief, boredom, despair.
The father of Mr Peng, a Wuhan resident, was taken ill at the end of January. His family begged the authorities for help.
“I feel very powerless and helpless,” he told me over the phone.
“We had to contact different places for help from the very beginning. It might sound horrible but letting a very sick person stay at an isolation point without any medical care means letting the person wait for his own death.”
There was no hospital bed available and Mr Peng’s father fell into a coma at the isolation point. He lay there unattended for three days.
On 10 February, an ambulance eventually came but it was too late.
His brother went upstairs to check on him and “found my father’s hands and feet cold”. He called for a doctor but Mr Peng’s father had died.
He doesn’t know what has happened to his body.
Mr Peng said: “[The government] can’t just shout out slogans and say positive things like ‘leave no one behind’ in the news without actually doing anything.
“We just want some sort of explanation. It doesn’t matter if it’s financial compensation or consolation. It will make us feel better. After all my father was only 60. He had not reached the age to enjoy the bliss of our big family.”
Wuhan remains in total lockdown.
Maya is confined to her flat with her mother and young child; a guard is at the compound door.
Her daughter hasn’t left the house since 20 January – more than five weeks. Yet she doesn’t resent the lockdown, just how long it took for authorities to act.
She said: “By the end of December, or the beginning of January, because I studied nursing as my major, I had some friends there working in a hospital.
“I asked them, they were telling me that this is not good. But they didn’t want to tell me more. So I’m thinking, this is definitely something serious.”
I asked why they couldn’t tell her more.
She replied: “I can only guess that maybe they cannot say anything about it. In China sometimes it’s very hard to talk about this kind of crisis.
“Even us people living in Wuhan, we didn’t realise how serious it was. Because we didn’t receive any warning, like you should definitely wear a mask on the street. “That you cannot go to certain places. So life was quite normal for us for basically the whole of January.”
She and her family are simply trying to stay healthy, and she is more concerned about others.
She added: “For my friends who are working in the hospital, working on the frontline, we worry about their families as well. Because the working pressure is very big. And they cannot back off.”
The lockdown has also left many who were just visiting Wuhan stranded.
Mr Li drove 1000km (621 miles) from Hebei province to visit his grandmother for Lunar New Year. Then the travel ban was put in place. His street is now physically barricaded.
He said: “So seven of us have to sleep in two rooms. Actually, it’s only one room and there’s a small wall between them.
“Me and my wife sleep in one room and the others sleep in another room. All the beds are temporary. Two people share a single bed. So the living conditions are very uncomfortable.”
He’s nearly run out of supplies like toothpaste and soap, and the family is living off rice alone.
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“Rice is enough, we won’t starve,” he said. “But as for meat, vegetables, and other food, including cooking ingredients, we don’t have any.”
His family are not taking baths for fear of catching a cold – and being sent to a quarantine centre. And the longer Mr Li is stuck in Hubei, the longer he is away from his job.
He said: “I work in Hebei. My company opens very soon. So I’m very worried. I’m worried if it’s a long time that I don’t go to work then I will be laid off.
“I just want more people to pay attention to people trapped in Hubei. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Hubei doesn’t let us leave and Hebei doesn’t accept us either.
“I feel I’m an orphan.”