Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 25-35.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003297

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Emotional Effect of Cherry Blossoms in Wuhan during the COVID-19 Epidemic

Tenghui Xing1,2(), Xiaofeng Wang1,2()   

  1. 1.School of Geography and Tourism, Shananxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2.Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Tourism Informatics, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2020-06-09 Revised:2020-09-04 Online:2021-01-05 Published:2021-02-19
  • Contact: Xiaofeng Wang;


The COVID-19 interrupted the lives of Wuhan residents. This study attempted to understand the psychological loss and emotional changes in urban residents in this unusual period by exploring the relationship between city, residents, and landscape. By comparing the typicality of Wuhan's representative landscape during this period, we chose cherry blossoms as representative of the landscape of Wuhan. We then selected six cities as data sources for non-Wuhan regions (i.e., Beijing, Shenyang, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming). Using crawler software, we collected Sina micro-texts that contained Wuhan cherry blossoms and were published by residents of Wuhan and non-Wuhan areas. After eliminating the invalid text, using the big data text analysis tools ROST CM6 and Gephi, we obtained the key nodes in the micro-texts expression. Then, using coding analysis of grounded theory, we explored the emotional relationship between the urban representative landscape and the residents in different regions and identified the emotional effect of Wuhan cherry blossoms during the epidemic. The study reached the following conclusions: 1) There were many indications of scattered concern in the posts of cherry blossoms from local residents, which were closely related to the details of life and emotional changes during the epidemic. Non-natives had fewer concerns and were more focused, mainly expressing blessings for Wuhan and China. 2) The average emotion value of Wuhan residents' micro-texts was negatively correlated with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 during its rising period and positively correlated during its declining period, while the emotional value of non-Wuhan residents was negatively correlated with the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients. 3) The impact of the urban representative landscape on the emotions of residents in different regions was closely related to the development of the epidemic situation. In particular, the Wuhan cherry blossoms had an emotional support effect on Wuhan local residents during the epidemic, which gave people the power to face the epidemic positively, while at the same time, having an emotional cohesion effect on non-Wuhan residents during the epidemic, which prompted people to help Wuhan positively. (4) The epidemic changed the background of human emotions and landscape interpretation, giving the landscape new meaning. This new landscape meaning in turn affects human emotions and constitutes a closed emotional circuit. Based on the research conclusion, different emotional effects were discussed based on the theory of sense of place and national identity. The research conclusion had not only theoretical value but also practical significance. Finally, we suggest that anti-epidemic recovery work should pay more attention to residents' psychological problem and start with the emotional relationship between residents, the city, and the landscape to convey the idea of better urban life to Wuhan residents.

Key words: COVID-19, Wuhan cherry blossoms, landscape, emotional effect, urban residents' emotion

CLC Number: 

  • C912.6