Three years after Wuhan went into lockdown, over what was at the time a mysterious virus, its residents seem intent on moving forward. They have expressed hope for the future as they were celebrating the start of the new year, while remembering those who were not so lucky in their fight against COVID.
Wuhan was ground-zero in 2020 for the COVID-19 virus.
The city was cut-off from the world for 76 days to control the spread of the virus 3 years ago.
COVID-19 spread nevertheless, killing millions globally and devastating economies.
At the beginning of this Chinese New Year, Wuhan’s residents are celebrating differently.
Wuhan is located in Hubei province, where people have their own traditions.
"I have friends and family who passed away during this time. Our custom in Hubei is to go to their homes after midnight on New Year’s Eve to burn incense and offer flowers. Mr. Zhang, told AFP while buying chrysanthemums for passed loved ones.
It is a new reality in Wuhan after the lifting of COVID restrictions.
Wuhan’s residents welcomed their city’s return to normal.
They braved cold temperatures and packed busy markets.
"It’s not been easy doing anything these few years. Everyone has been facing different levels of hardship in work and life." said Liang Feicheng, a delivery driver from Jiangxi.
Another Wuhan resident Yan Dongju told AFP "The new year will of course be better. We’re not afraid of the virus now. We don't have that fear in our heart anymore, as long as we protect ourselves and wear our masks."
Despite the recent surge in COVID cases in China, Wuhan residents are turning the page.
Horrifying scenes of packed hospitals and lockdowns are finally a memory of the past.