While Wuhan, China emerged as ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic—and subsequently underwent the world’s first, and perhaps most severe lockdown—it appears the city is returning back to normal.
This past weekend, the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was crowded with partygoers standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the water, while pools were packed with people floating in inflatable inner tubes. Photos show thousands of people gathering at the open-air water park for an electronic music festival, with essentially no one wearing face masks or practicing social distancing measures.
While the U.S., Brazil, and India are still struggling with rising COVID-19 cases, Wuhan has steadily returned back to normal, following a 76-day lockdown. It seems that the city of 11 million in Hubei province has been free of new virus cases since mid-May.
The Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park resumed operations in late June, but over a month of seasonal rain dissuaded crowds from coming out. Now, the water park sees an average of 15,000 daily visitors during the weekends, Hubei Daily reports.
On Jan. 23, Wuhan was cut off from the rest of the world as the state imposed a lockdown to contain the virus. Flights, trains, and buses were canceled, and highway entrances were blocked off. The city shut down public transit and residents were prohibited from leaving their communities, even for food. The measures affected over 60 million people in Hubei and seemed to work until COVID-19's short-lived reemergence in mid-May.
Coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan last December and became the epicenter of the outbreak. According to CNN, infections in Wuhan accounted for almost 60 percent of China’s 84,000 total confirmed cases.