City lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak brings out Wuhan's best and worst

Stuck in Wuhan after the Chinese authorities closed it off on Jan 23, Wuhan native Scarlett Li shares her experience of life in a city under lockdown.

Meal deliveries for medical workers, free rides to hospital, and even mass singalongs from apartment windows - the lockdown of Wuhan city has brought out a certain esprit de corps among its people, who have tried to cope the best they can.

In the wee hours last Saturday, the first day of Chinese New Year, Madam Qiu Beiwen lay wide awake. Like much of Wuhan, the 28-year-old fashion merchandiser has slept fitfully since a mysterious Sars-like virus surfaced in the city, initially infecting what health officials said were dozens, before numbers suddenly spiked, prompting the government to put the metropolis under an unprecedented lockdown.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 02, 2020, with the headline 'City lockdown brings out Wuhan's best and worst'. Subscribe