The city of 11 million people, which was the epicenter of the outbreak, lifted its lockdown in mid-April

By Benjamin VanHoose
August 18, 2020 01:22 PM
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This photo taken on August 15, 2020, shows people watching a performance as they cool off in a swimming pool in Wuhan, China.
| Credit: STR/AFP via Getty

Wuhan, China — the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak — saw large-scale festivities over the weekend.

The Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park (which typically welcomes 15,000 daily visitors) hosted hundreds of people on Saturday for a giant pool party and concert with no apparent social distancing or mask protocols. Wuhan lifted its strict lockdown in April, and reported only around 200 COVID-19 cases in early June after testing nearly all 11 million residents, according to The New York Times.

After the 76-day shutdown, healthy residents and visitors were finally permitted to leave the reemerging city, with some protocols still in place. Wuhan went under lockdown on Jan. 23, in what, at the time, was an unprecedented move to stop the spread of the virus.

Credit: STR/AFP via Getty
Credit: STR/AFP via Getty
Credit: STR/AFP via Getty

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The New York Times previously reported that nearly 94 percent of businesses in the city — which amounts to about 11,000 — had resumed their operations by mid-April. While the city tries to heal economically from the outbreak, its residents will also need time to heal emotionally from the experience, as a major portion of China's COVID-19 deaths came from Wuhan alone.

“Wuhan people experienced it firsthand,” Yan Hui, a Wuhan native in her 50s who recovered from the coronavirus told the Times. “Their friends got sick. Their friends and friends’ relatives died. Right before their eyes, one by one, they left us. Their understanding of this disaster is deeper compared to people in other cities.”

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As the United States continues to grapple with stopping the spread of the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned earlier this month that an attempt at reaching herd immunity could lead to an "enormous" death toll.

"If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms ... a lot of people are going to die," Fauci said in an Instagram conversation with Matthew McConaughey. "You look at the United States of America with our epidemic of obesity as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes."

"If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable," he explained.

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