After stepping onto the world stage for the worst reason possible in early 2020 and following 10 weeks in lockdown, Wuhan, China is beginning to return to life post-Coronavirus.

The largest lockdown in human history for sure, but with flights, trains and highway tolls back in action, residents are finally able to leave and travel to other parts of the country.

Keith Zhai tweet

Since the lockdown and restrictions have been lifted, thousands of Wuhan citizens joined long lines at the airport as well as at bus and train stations. Many were anxious to return to their homes and jobs.

Elementary school students
[School children return to class in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on April 7, 2020; STR/AFP]

Consider how lucky Canada has been so far to at least be able to head outside to the grocery store and pharmacy on an as-needed basis! Wuhan’s population couldn’t even leave their homes to do just that (many apartment buildings were locked from the outside).

While I’m certain that Wuhan is breathing a collective sigh of relief, there are likely millions of memories that will haunt this period in their history for years to come.

Dr. Li Wen Liang

The saddest tale to recall is that of 34-year-old Dr. Li Wen Liang, who tried to warn China about the Coronavirus, but was accused by police of “spreading rumours”. He later died of the virus. Residents paid their tributes to him last week following end of the lockdown.

For now though, streets are beginning to fill up with masked shoppers since the city of 11 million citizens has only registered 32 new cases (all overseas arrivals).

Shoppers in Wuhan, China

They can head out via the use of a mandatory smartphone app that combines data tracking and government surveillance, showing that they’re healthy and have not come in contact with anyone that’s been confirmed to have COVID-19.

With those time frames in mind, that hopefully translates to life back to normal sometime towards end of May, if Canadians continue to abide by hygiene and physical-distancing measures of course.

Current stats (per April 8, 2020): Mainland China: 81,740 infections | 3,331 deaths

Top image courtesy of Yohann Agnelot on Flickr.

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