A global, novel coronavirus that keeps us locked in our homes, maybe for months is already shaping our lives, to the outside world, even to each other. Many countries have declared restrictive measures, such as lockdown, shelter in place, or stay at home orders, to contain the pandemic at a local level. These lockdowns meant confining millions of citizens to their homes, shutting down businesses and ceasing almost all economic activity.

At the moment, many countries have taken measures, some of them stringent to slow down the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. While the birthplace of this virus is partying in pools after the Chinese government opened the lockdown. The first known cases of COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan late last year, a city of 11 million people, before the virus spread across the world. The lockdown was lifted in April, and there have been no new domestically transmitted cases officially reported in Hubei province, where Wuhan is keen to party as the city edges back to normal life.

Image Credit: NBC News

Thousands of partygoers jam into Wuhan water park for a post-lockdown concert, packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year. The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people having fun for an electronic music festival on 15 August 2020. The water park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually opened up after lockdown. The park, which local media says has topped attendance at 50 per cent of normal capacity, is giving half-price discounts for female visitors. A performer in a stage show waved at the crowd and people waving their arms back, some snapping photos on phones protected in plastic bags around their necks. Next performer on a water jet board attracted his audience by gliding above them with sparks shooting from his back. Some of the crowd had put on life jackets, but none of the tightly-packed partygoers were seen to be wearing face masks or safety gear and without any alertness for a potential second wave of infections.

Image Credit: Euronews

China has largely brought its domestic pandemic under control, but periodic outbreaks and summer of serious flooding have worsened the economic fallout. And the pandemic devasted the other nation’s economies too. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is expected to shrink by over 3 per cent in 2020, the steepest slowdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

To try and boost the local economy, the Hubei government has been offering free entry to 400 tourist sites across the province. Now scientists and the rest of the world are watching closely to see whether easing the intense measures to keep people apart results in an emergence of new cases.

(Source - CNN /Times Now News/ The Indian Express)