January 23 marks the anniversary of the closure of Wuhan faced with the rise of a new disease, the coronavirus. At the gates of the Chinese New Year, one of the most important festivals in the country, the unthinkable happened, everything stopped before an infectious disease so that nobody was prepared. Millions of people have been infected around the world, a wave of death and despair has flooded the planet in various waves that could not be avoided. A year later, Wuhan wakes up with a very different situation than a year ago.
Life in Wuhan, the ground zero of the coronavirus, does not stop
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Wuhan is the place where the coronavirus was first detected at the end of 2019. A few weeks later and coinciding with the holidays, there was the first confinement in history due to illness. Millions of people would be deprived of their freedom in order to save their lives. Like any infectious disease, contact between people is what causes its rapid spread.
Official figures, which may not fully reflect reality, speak of more than 50,000 cases and more than 3,800 deaths throughout the pandemic. If we consider that it is a city of several million inhabitants, it seems that they managed to do a good job together by staying home for a few weeks. In Wuhan they decided to bet on a harsh confinement, from this January 23 until June, nobody went out on the street except for exceptions of major cause.
These 11 million people were the first to experience confinement and see this virus face to face. The hospitals were full and it was well known how to control this disease. A total of 16 hospitals arose out of nowhere. Wuhan was prepared with more than 8,000 medical workers brought in from across the country. In these places 12,000 patients with mild symptoms were treated, according to Chinese media. A very intense month of February, with a harsh confinement, led to the closure of some of these hospitals in March.
One year later life is apparently ‘normal’, but the psychological effects of everything lived are still very present. As if a war had taken place, few speak of what they saw or happened, it has been forgotten, returning to the routine. There is a greater group connection and happiness in being able to regain the life that they thought they would never have again. Everything is still open and they are aware that those months without being able to do anything, locked up at home, were key.
Wuhan wakes up wanting to work and make up for lost time. The pandemic has left its mark and there is still fear that it will return. The great hope of the vaccine gives them wings to think that they will never go through the same thing again. Wuhan was ground zero, the first to explode, the crater still exists and the fear of a possible second wave is capable of paralyzing this city of millions of inhabitants.