There are still many wounds to heal and the capital of Hubei is still far from the same as before
| 01/23/2021 | ionicons-v5-c10: 00 | . |
Wuhan.- Wuhan, the great city China that overnight found herself isolated and confined by surprise, after being the first to suffer the virus that still hangs over the world, is still trying to recover his life with great caution today, amid wounds that will take time to overcome.
At ten o’clock in the morning on January 23, 2020, this city of 11 million inhabitants woke up totally closed, with its entrances closed, the streets deserted and the people stuck in their houses, in the midst of the fear of a disease from which little was known.
In the first moments of the unprecedented isolation, some were still able to go out to buy food in the few stores that remained open, but soon these also closed and no one moved from their four walls in weeks.
The most terrible days arrived: the sick were multiplying and the hospitals, without means or sufficient personnel to fight against a virus almost unknown at the time, they could not cope with all the citizens who showed symptoms.
Many were returned home without a clear diagnosis and some died there without even knowing what, or suffered the disease alone and in silence, with little information about its scope or its eventual consequences.
THE PANIC OF THE UNKNOWN AND THE HUNGRY
The fear of the unknown and the lack of food were the main concern of the Wuhan people in those first weeks, according to the testimonies collected by Efe these days among dozens of inhabitants of the city.
In the early stages, with food stores closed and everyone confined, the authorities had not yet been able to organize the huge logistics operation of delivering food to every home in the city, so many people remember the hungry.
Furthermore, they were the first to face a virus new that was primed with them, with hardly any previous experiences other than that of Acute and Severe Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another disease also caused by a coronavirus that had affected China in 2003.
« People had no information, they didn’t know what exactly the virus nor how could it be contracted and that generated a lot of anxiety « , explains to Efe the psychologist Li Geng, who worked without rest voluntarily during the lockdown with the Wuhan.
« It was like facing something invisible and unpredictable, we did not know if suddenly we were going to get it all or if one day we could leave the house, » says Yu Xingwen, a young medical student who passed the lockdown with his family on the 23rd floor of one of the thousands of housing towers that populate Wuhan.
Among those who contracted the covid, the problem was another, explains the psychologist Li: « they were afraid of death or of the consequences that the disease could leave, unknown then, some still now. »
When you are admitted to a hospital, at least you have the company of health personnel and the confidence of knowing yourself in the hands of professionals, but when you are alone at home or – in the best of cases – with relatives, any strange symptoms are turns into a disturbing alert.
« MY FATHER DIED ALONE IN HIS HOUSE »
« My father died alone at home, I do not blame anyone, there were no beds in the hospitals and every day a doctor came to see him, they went out of their way to treat him but he was older and could not be, » Wei Douyong (fictitious name) tells Efe ), 45, one of the few people who dared to detail the suffering of those terrible days.
Wei’s mother had passed away two years earlier and his 78-year-old father lived alone in an apartment in Wuhan, although the son was looking for an alternative housing solution for months.
Those terrible moments lasted just over a week, the time it took China to build the Huoshenshan field hospital, one of the two built in record time in the city with prefabricated modules to alleviate the lack of hospital beds.
On February 2, when the construction of Huoshenshan was completed in ten days, the Chinese Army was already transporting supplies and medical personnel to Wuhan for opening the next day.
Then hundreds of doctors and health workers from several Chinese provinces, in addition to protective equipment, masks and necessary material for medical personnel, who in the first days worked tirelessly to eat or even to go to the toilet, due to the lack of replacement protective suits.
The psychologist tells us that when the lockdown ended, on April 8, some doctors and nurses were terrified to remember the terrible moments they had lived.
« It is common in a traumatic situation. Prefer not to remember and look ahead instead of back, » he explains.
You just need to chat with anyone on the streets of Wuhan to feel something similar: most of the people do not want to speak and the one who agrees immediately passes over the memories to highlight how « the city is doing well now », which the vast majority consider « the safest in the world ».
And there was one more category of psychological suffering, says Li: that of those who suffered the disease and were cured but fear being rejected, that people will not accept them or forever hang the stigma of the covid on them.
« We treat many of these cases during the quarantine, but also after and even some now, it is a persistent concern, » says the psychotherapist.
A SWIMMER THAT RELIED THE LOCKDOWN AT YANGTSÉ
From April 8, Wuhan It has been reborn little by little and now it is once again an almost normal city, with a lively cultural and night life, although no one takes off their mask and caution is palpable at every moment and every conversation.
There are still many wounds to heal and the capital of Hubei is still far from the same as before.
Still, many Wuhan people went out today, despite the cloudy skies, to browse the shopping streets or stroll along its beautiful river beaches along the river. Yangtze, where anglers were also seen.
Zou Liang, a 40-year-old Wuhan designer, who works in the municipal planning department, dared even this morning – when the thermometers showed 5 degrees – to plunge into the cold waters of the Yangtze and swim parallel to the shore for more than half an hour.
« I was swimming here every day during the lockdown, I circumvented the barriers and controls to come, I really like swimming, « he smiles at Efe as soon as he gets out of the water.
Zou is « happy that that happened » and is not afraid that the virus « can go back to Wuhan« , despite the current outbreaks in the north of the country, the worst since March 2020.
« China she is very prepared and is fighting them very well, « she says, before saying goodbye and diving back into the waters of the colossal river of Asia.