The World of Chinese
THE WUHAN LOCKDOWN
The Covid-19 lockdown in Wuhan at the start of 2020 brought a city of over 12 million to a standstill for one month and 16 days. Drawing from diaries posted online by a wide cast of characters (albeit mainly urban professionals), University of Pennsylvania sociologist Guobin Yang provides much-needed nuance to what's now a major event in modern world history. There is the compulsory unpacking of the bureaucratic mismanagement and draconian lockdown measures, but the diaries are the drawing point for this work. They reveal how people on the ground experienced those events, and how they wanted to present their ordeal to posterity. Their diaries are full of the raw emotions of a population left in the dark, unwittingly the first to experience what may become one of the 21st century's most significant historical events.