August 27, 2020
In a recent New York Times article, we all got a peek at what life is looking like in China, where the virus started ... and it's looking pretty close to normal. In major cities like Beijing, thousands of students are headed to campus to start school in the fall, and Shanghai is seeing crowds in restaurants. According to the article, "life in many parts of China has in recent weeks become strikingly normal. Cities have relaxed social-distancing rules and mask mandates, and crowds are again filling tourist sites, movie theaters, and gyms." It's been a long journey however — when the outbreaks first hit the nation, China responded swiftly with strict quarantine measures that had thousands and thousands on total lockdown.
Now, case numbers are extremely low ("on Sunday, China reported no new locally transmitted cases for the seventh consecutive day. The 12 new infections it reported were all imported"). Per 100,000 people, the number of active cases in China has been in the 0.0-0.1 range for weeks. By comparison, the United States is currently reporting 770+ active cases per 100,000.
While many tourist attractions have been open for months and new allowances are permitted (select movie theaters just opened last month), there are still precautions in place. Temperature checks are required at certain locations before entering, and China is still utilizing an app to help with contact tracing (which lets citizens know if they've been in close contact with an infected individual). Perhaps one of the most stringent prevention measures is still in place, however, with no word on it being lifted: foreigners are still not allowed in.
Experts warn that the country could experience another surge in cases, especially with cooler weather coming which has people spending more time indoors. But we are hopeful that enough parameters are in place to see life continue as normal (and hopefully allow the country to open back up to foreigners again).
Read more here.