Wuhan, China was ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic, but now the city has moved on. Over the weekend, Wuhan hosted a massive pool party without any attendees wearing masks or social distancing. COVID-19 concerns have receded in the area, following its very strict 76-day lockdown.
Notably, Wuhan — which boasts a population of about 21 million people — has not reported any new cases of coronavirus since mid-May. This seems to have made it possible for large crowds to gather and enjoy a big water party, complete with an EDM performance, at the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park. CNN notes that the water park initially reopened in June and that it has been averaging around 15,000 visitors a day on the weekends. This is a huge shift from the city that was first identified as the epicenter for COVID-19, and went into a deep, stringent lockdown on Jan. 23.
.@CNNTravel: It was ground zero in the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Wuhan appears to have moved on from the virus, as thousands gathered in an open air water park for a music festival – without any masks or social distancing in sight. @Nectar_Gan has more. https://t.co/77AqanVWyI— CNN Asia Pacific (@cnnasiapr) August 18, 2020
While Wuhan is getting back to normal, here in the United States coronavirus cases have topped 5 million, and there have been nearly 170,000 deaths, per the CDC. Recently, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, spoke to reporters and shared what she wishes the nation would have done in the beginning. "I wish that when we went into lockdown (in March), we looked like Italy," she said, per CNN. "When Italy locked down, I mean, people weren't allowed out of their houses (without a pass). Americans don't react well to that kind of prohibition."
Birx later went on to praise the state of Arizona for its approach to lockdown measures, which allowed residents to still get out and do things, but kept places like bars and gyms closed. The state also mandated mask-wearing, and prohibited gatherings of 10 or more people. "People were interacting, people were out, but people, by just not doing those careful things, were able to drop the cases significantly, probably by more than 80%," she said. Birx added, "Tens of thousands of lives can be saved if we wear masks, and we don't have parties in our backyards ... taking those masks off."