"Wuhan Wuhan", life for 'proles' in China a few weeks after the coronavirus pandemic had started in 2020

On Monday, July 11, 2022, PBS POV aired the documentary film Wuhan Wuhan, directed by Yung Chang.  It is also available for rent on Amazon Prime (Stripes).  At 90 minutes, it seemed slightly abridged by PBS.  It also has a theatrical release from Gravitas Ventures.

The film shows the progress of daily life of several citizens in the City (11 million people, called China’s “Chicago”) starting in mid- February 2020, a month or more into the SARS_CoV2 COVID19 pandemic.  It does not show (as do a few other similar films) the controversy over the first few weeks, as we know China delayed somewhat in reacting publicly to the danger until after the Chinese New Year, and the whole world paid. “a heavy price”. Bad choices, others pay the consequences as well as you.  At about this time, Italy was going through its shocking crisis and lockdowns, and New York City would soon follow.

The most visible characters are Chuning Yin, a factory worker ('prole') and volunteer medical driver (during the emergency), with his very pregnant wife Xingli Xu.  In an early scene, she chides him about his convenient inattentiveness.  Much of the film later will portray the discomfort of her delivery hospitalization in March, and the haggard looking baby is shown taking his first breaths. 

Other characters include Xiannian Zheng (ER chief), Susu Wang (a psychologist), and Gioqing Zhang, a nurse. 

Films set in large Chinese cities always impress us with the Times-Square-like colors at night and modernity.  China seems like an alien civilization with somewhat different social and political values on this planet.  Right now, the biggest controversy is the Zero Covid policy which can trap anyone in a large city in a long and dangerous lockdown.  What does China know, that they aren’t telling us?  Is the West about to find out over the years that most of its adult citizens slowly become disabled?  That sounds like science fiction (and a premise in my 15-year-old novel document 'Angel's Brother', held for now because it too closely predicted the pandemic (I even have the idea of a spike protein, which I knew about in 2003 after the first outbreak of SARS1, contains mini black holes to carry personal life memories on the BH surface from one person to another infected person).

If you want to see a detailed writeup from a private citizen (a data scientist) about the future of COVOD as of March 11, 2020 (the day the world changed), look at Mike Donnelly’s Medium piece. I do recommend following his Twitter threads about monkeypox and getting vaccinated (especially active gay men).

(Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 10 AM EDT by John W. Boushka)