Lockdown is Over- Covid-19 Update 20200428

It seems that the lockdown for Guiyang is over. On April 24 I discovered that no cell phone scans or body heat checks were required upon entry to my apartment complex. More convincingly, the back door to the apartment complex was usable. Even though I had a combination to that door, the Chinese had wired the door shut so you couldn’t use the door.  Today, that wire has been removed and I can enter through the back door shortcut. I did get a cell phone scan in a taxi, and the face mask and cell phone scan is still required on the bus, but for all practical purposes, it is over.  It has been reported that, although Wuhan is clean, there are still lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing, at least for some neighborhoods.  Chinese contact tracers are working full time on some returnees near the north border with Russia, and apparently there are a few other hot spots, but for me, its over.

For myself, I would mark the beginning of the lockdown at January 23 for Wuhan and January 30 for Guiyang.  It took a little less than three months to complete the task. Current status, we essentially have full access to the city, although face masks are still very prominent.  Many people though don’t wear them except for going into public buildings and public transportation. This would suggest 85 days total, but it seems more like 60 days. Traffic jams, shopping centers, and public parks all seemed available, but a little nervous about April first.  To the best of my knowledge, I think the movie theaters are still closed, and perhaps other unique high risk stuff, like spectator sports, but I am not sure.

It was interesting because I need two combinations to get into my apartment tower. The main gate needs a numberic combinatin, and then the door to my apartment tower also needs a combination.  I hadn’t used those for over sixty days and I had forgotten one of them.  For almost 3 months I had had an official “greeter”, neighborhood watch kind of a guy. These “greeters had heat guns and scan cards to make sure you had a temperature check before entering the apartment complex, plus a cell phone scan. Tonight I had to go find a greeter (security person) to help me figure out my apartment tower combination. For three months there had been enough security around that the left the doors open and they checked everybody. Tonight was different.

Dining outside is common, and people don’t wear masks. Traffic is still not as great as prior to the virus. Taxi driver complain that their business volume is about half of what it was prior. The Ma and Pa shop across the street has business at the same level as prior to the virus. The primary school are not certain about an opening date.  Middle school and high schools have a target opening date for just after the May holiday, May 3 or 4.  Normal working hours are expected to follow the school openings.  Perhaps the middle to end of May will see schools resume normal operation.

Apparent outbreaks in the future can change this schedule and local governments have the power to decide for themselves, however, these decisions must be consistant with Central Government will. Any outbreak is expected to create an extreme reaction from the local government. After three months of experience, Chinese people seem to agree that the Chinese government has been handling this properly, especially compared with other countries.