Health

One year on, Wuhan tries to forget wounds of Covid lockdown

Javier Garcia

Wuhan, China, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Wuhan, the central Chinese city that last year suddenly found itself isolated and locked down after becoming the first epicenter for the virus that has since taken over the world, is still trying to recover from traumatic wounds that will take time to overcome.

At 10am on January 23, 2020, the city of 11 million inhabitants woke up under total lockdown, with its entry points closed, its streets deserted and its people confined to their homes, amidst the dread of a disease about which very little was known.

In those early moments of lockdown, some were still able to go out to buy food in the few stores that remained open, but soon these were also closed and no one moved from their four walls for weeks.

The worst days were still to come: the sick multiplied and the hospitals, lacking sufficient means or enough personnel to fight the new, mystery virus, could not cope.

Many were sent home without a clear diagnosis; some died in hospital without even knowing what they were suffering from; others suffered alone and in silence from the disease, with hardly any information about its extent or its possible after-effects.

The fear of the unknown and the lack of food were the main concerns of the people of Wuhan during those first weeks, according to testimonies gathered by Efe.

In the early stages, with supermarkets closed and everyone locked down, the authorities had still got to grips with the enormous logistical operation of delivering food to every home in the city. Many people remember going to sleep hungry.

On top of that, they were the first to be confronted with a deadly new virus.

“People had no information, they didn’t know what exactly the virus was or how they could contract it, and that generated a lot of anxiety,” psychologist Li Geng, who worked tirelessly during the lockdown with the Wuhanese population, told Efe.

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