(Yicai Global) June 2 -- The Chinese city hit hardest by the novel coronavirus outbreak is slowly recovering. For the people who live in Wuhan, its reopening is far more complicated than just clicking a ‘Restart’ button. The process is bound to be difficult.
YiMagazine recently spoke with people in Wuhan. A few fragments of life in the capital of Hubei province are presented here for readers to understand the city’s progress in recovering from the impact of the contagion.
Wuhan native Yi Fan, who works in Shanghai, returned to his hometown during the May Day holiday nearly a month after the city lifted the virus-induced lockdown.
Yi stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel because he didn’t want to bother his parents to clean up a room at home for him. Room rates at the five-star hotel in downtown Wuhan were as low as that of budget hotels during the holiday -- just CNY300 (USD42.23) a day.
Before booking he called to ask if the hotel’s cafeteria was open. Its reception desk explained about its own initiative. It was accommodating medical staff during the outbreak, but disinfection procedures were thorough, staff assured him. “I was stunned by the message,” Yi said.
For the trip from the airport to the hotel, Yi ordered a ride-hailing car. The driver was excited, telling Yi he was his first customer since the outbreak began. Wuhan’s public transport gradually restarted from the end of March, but ride-hailing services did not start until April 30.
Yi’s first impression of his hometown post-lockdown left an “empty” feeling. The catering industry is an important indicator of the extent of a city’s recovery. Eating out is an indication that people are lowering their defenses. There are signs of a gradual lifting of the mood, and the popularity of open-air barbecues is on the up-and-up.
But on May 10, six new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in a community in Wuhan’s Dongxihu district, causing residents to realize that it will take time for everyday life to recover fully.
The very day after the new cases were confirmed, Wuhan announced that it would test all residents within 10 days. All residents interviewed by YiMagazine were in favor. Indeed, they believe it should have done this earlier.
Huge plastic panels line Wuhan’s sidewalks. They were used to wall up shops and door openings on streets during the outbreak and are now piled up on the roadside. People know these boards have not been abandoned. They will be quickly erected again if any infections are found in nearby buildings.
This article was originally published on YiMagazine.
Editor: Peter Thomas