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World One year after lockdown, Wuhan clubbers hit the dancefloor

12:36  22 january  2021
12:36  22 january  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Glow-in-the-dark rabbit ears, pulsating beats, and a flexible attitude to masks: nightlife in China's Wuhan is back with a vengeance almost a year after a lockdown brought life to a standstill in the city of 11 million.

" Wuhan had a tough year in 2020," Wang Chen, a 20- year -old resident, told AFP outside the exhibition, adding that China "handled the crisis very well." On Friday, a state-sponsored documentary "Days and Nights in Wuhan " is due to hit cinemas, with hundreds of free screenings planned across the

Glow-in-the-dark rabbit ears, pulsating beats, and a flexible attitude to masks: nightlife in China's Wuhan is back with a vengeance almost a year after a lockdown brought life to a standstill in the city of 11 million.

a group of people in a dark room: A year since Wuhan entered the world's first coronavirus lockdown, clubbers in the Chinese city, some with cigarettes in hand and others wearing bunny ears, dance to pulsating beats at a nightclub called © Leo RAMIREZ A year since Wuhan entered the world's first coronavirus lockdown, clubbers in the Chinese city, some with cigarettes in hand and others wearing bunny ears, dance to pulsating beats at a nightclub called "Super Monkey". a man standing on a stage in front of a crowd: The virus has hit Wuhan's nightlife hard, with one insider telling AFP consumption is down © Hector RETAMAL The virus has hit Wuhan's nightlife hard, with one insider telling AFP consumption is down "about 60 to 70 percent"

As the rest of the world continues to grapple with lockdowns and soaring infections, young people in the city, once the epicentre of the novel coronavirus, are enjoying their hard-earned freedom.

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Moment when man decided to take a dump at nightclub. Bouncers remove the man from the club.

Saturday marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan At the Wuhan exhibition hall, China's virus story gets an extravagant retelling. Visitors are transported back to early last year, when tributes flowed to the medics, army and authorities who were battling the virus at its ground zero.

In Super Monkey -- a huge nightclub in the city centre -- there is no dress code or VIP list.

What is obligatory, at least to get through the door, is a mask and a temperature check -- any higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius and bouncers can turn prospective partygoers away.

Inside, where clubbers let loose on the dancefloor amid the deafening sound of techno and a blinding laser show, the rules are not always so strictly followed.

While masks are obligatory at the door, DJs and partygoers take them off to chat with friends, dance, or smoke.

Many are just happy to find themselves out on the town after last year's gruelling quarantine, imposed to battle what was then a mysterious new virus.

a group of people standing in front of a stage: One year on, Wuhanites are happy to find themselves out on the town after last year’s grueling quarantine, imposed to battle what was then a mysterious new virus © Hector RETAMAL One year on, Wuhanites are happy to find themselves out on the town after last year’s grueling quarantine, imposed to battle what was then a mysterious new virus

"I was stuck inside for two or three months... the country fought the virus very well, and now I can go out in complete tranquility," a man in his thirties, who identified himself as Xu, told AFP.

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Two months have passed since # Wuhan , once the hardest- hit city by the #coronavirus, ended its 76-day lockdown . How is life going on there?

But just as Wuhan 's lockdown predicted the path for hundreds of cities around the world, its More than two weeks after the lockdown ended, restaurants still are only allowed to sell takeaway food US citizen Christopher Suzanne, who has been living in Wuhan for at least 10 years with his Chinese

The hedonistic vibes and champagne on ice are far from the austerity preached by authorities in Beijing.

But Chen Qiang, a man in his 20s, praised the Communist Party for having practically eliminated the epidemic, despite a recent surge in cases in other parts of the country in the past few days.

a group of people standing on a stage: While masks are obligatory on the door, DJs and party goers take them off to chat with friends, dance, or to smoke, and social distancing is rare © Hector RETAMAL While masks are obligatory on the door, DJs and party goers take them off to chat with friends, dance, or to smoke, and social distancing is rare

"The Chinese government is good. The Chinese government does everything for its people, and the people are supreme. It is different from foreign countries," he said.

To get into the © Hector RETAMAL To get into the "Super Monkey" club, partygoers need to wear a mask and have their temperature checked

Beijing's state media has hammered home the failure of Western governments to tackle the virus, contrasting the chaos abroad with China's return to normal.

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  China triumphant one year after Wuhan lockdown "People Supremacy, Life Supremacy" reads the sign at a Wuhan exhibition, where visitors are greeted by a paean to China's triumph over the pandemic and the agility of its communist leadership in a crisis. At the Wuhan exhibition hall, China's virus story gets an extravagant retelling. Visitors are transported back to early last year, when tributes flowed to the medics, army and authorities who were battling the virus at its ground zero. © Hector RETAMAL China reported 2.

Life in Wuhan has mostly returned to normal after the city was subjected to a severe lockdown lasting more than 70 days. In fact, December 31, 2020 marked the first time in the 116- year history of the traditional ‘ball drop’ that Times Square was closed to spectators during the holiday.

Empty no longer: The dancefloor at a new club, Alzar, awaits customers before opening. A group orders Champagne, taking swigs straight from the bottle before one of them stumbles out onto the dancefloor to a Osaka was hit hard by the renewed drive and many clubs shuttered as a result.

It touts that success as evidence of the superiority of Beijing's authoritarian political model.

- Business as usual? -

But while many are keen to get back to a semblance of normality, Chen recognised that the virus has changed things.

In the club, there are fewer people than before the pandemic, he said.

Nightclub brand manager Li Bo said the virus had hit his industry hard.

"Compared with other lockdowns in other countries, our country is at least half open, but the consumers still have the feeling of unease," he told AFP, estimating that nightlife in Wuhan had dropped about 60 to 70 percent.

The strict rules applied by some establishments do not help, with attendee numbers limited and reservations required.

Users must also show a tracking app proving they have a clean bill of health.

Even that is not always enough to get in.

Several AFP journalists were refused entry into the Imhan club because their apps revealed they had come from Beijing.

One southern neighbourhood of China's capital has reported an infectious variant of the virus which originated in the UK.

Despite the uncertainty, Wuhanites are thrilled that their city is no longer the ghost town that shocked the world a year ago.

Last summer, images of a mega-party at a water park in the city were met with shock by internet users in the rest of the world, where the coronavirus continued to wreak havoc.

Partygoer Xu said he now sees last spring's lockdown as a "once in a lifetime experience".

"I felt lucky that I wasn't (infected with Covid-19). Now it is back to normal, I feel very relaxed and happy."

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