A 12 months Later, Wuhan, the First Submit Coronavirus Pandemic Metropolis
In official exhibitions and the media, Wuhan is celebrated as the “City of Heroes”, a triumph of the Chinese Communist Party.
Deaths are mentioned all over China.
Wuhan has not yet released statistics for cremations in the first quarter of last year, many months after they were normally reported. Writers and independent journalists who only slightly question the glowing official reports on Wuhan’s crisis have been slandered, jailed, or even imprisoned in Chinese media.
“It has always been like that in China. How many million people died in the Great Leap famine? How many in the Cultural Revolution? “Says Ai Xiaoming, a retired professor in Wuhan who, like some residents, kept an online diary of the lockdown. “In the course of time everything can be forgotten. They do not see, hear or report it. “
Many in Wuhan are now hailing the version of events offered by the Chinese government, saying that their “City of Heroes” has fought a proud battle against a virus that has spread to more humble, wealthier countries. Some residents see early failures in a more forgiving light after seeing the traces of disasters in the United States and other democracies.
“That’s not boastful either,” says Huang Qing, 55, who is sitting with her husband on a bench in East Lake Park sharing a small bottle of white wine. Last winter, before excursions were banned, residents gathered in the park to share their concerns. Now older couples and parents with small children are walking among the weeping willows and enjoying the sunshine.
“The Wuhan epidemic was treated well, really well,” she says. “It fully demonstrated the superiority of Chinese politics.”
All over Wuhan, people have relearned how to enjoy crowds and exhale after a year when breathing felt dangerous.
The Yitang Crawfish Restaurant, which specializes in the popular Wuhan dish, is full except for a table by the drafty front door. A marriage fair where angry parents exchange information about possible spouses for their unmarried adult children is brisk business again. At Happy Valley Wuhan theme park, people squeeze into rides and roller coasters.