The 11 million people in the city of Wuhan embraced rebirth Wednesday after 76 days of stringent lockdown amid a national fight against the coronavirus.
History will remember how a prosperous and vibrant metropolis came to a virtual standstill, how people had to face enormous changes to their daily life and how they bore the grief of losing their loved ones.
History will remember how the battle of Wuhan has changed the dangerous course of the virus’s quick spread and prevented hundreds of thousands of infections. The sacrifices shall not have been made in vain.
History will also remember how the people showed the highest degree of discipline and self-sacrifice, stayed in their separate homes, but stood united, all of which characterize the spirit of this city and this country.
If there is any central lesson Wuhan offers to the world, it is a strong spirit of solidarity and being unconquerable, not for one but for all.
The unprecedented measures of social distancing China took may not be able to be copied in other countries because they have different conditions and social systems. However, a convincing lesson is that solidarity is the most powerful weapon against the global pandemic.
While the coronavirus can transcend borders and ethnicities, so can such a spirit. Wuhan saw it firsthand.
The city sees solidarity in the overwhelming concern for people’s lives and health above all other considerations from day one of the fight against the outbreak.
The city sees solidarity in a collective and proactive response from the people to the decisive measures — a classic case of a people’s war.
The city sees solidarity in so many people from across the country gathering here passionately to save lives, men and women, young and old.
Solidarity is seen in scientists around the world who have knocked down the barriers that hinder knowledge exchange and shared results without reservation with a single aim to provide an ultimate answer to our current predicament.
The city also sees solidarity in the assistance, support and expressions of friendship from the international community at the most difficult moment. China has done and will continue to do its utmost to repay such kindness.
There was a time when the coronavirus struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity, and at the same time, the city’s lockdown received doubts, ridicule, accusations of human rights violations and even racist attacks.
But finally, a city that suffered the inhuman smearing of the “Wuhan virus” turns out to be a “Wuhan option” of an answer to the most challenging test faced by the whole world.
It is the solidarity that saved this city and this country. It will also save the world.
A global war against the coronavirus is going on. It will be an arduous struggle that needs tremendous sacrifices. There is nowhere to retreat. Hesitation, slow action and division will cost more lives.
No country alone can overcome the virus. Even when Wuhan has eased its travel restrictions, it does not mark the final victory. China must make sure the epidemic does not resurge and caution against imported cases.
In the era of economic globalization, there cannot be victory over the virus in one, or some, countries alone. Victory can only be won for all.
That is why China has been sharing information about the epidemic in a timely manner, why planes loaded with masks, ventilators and other critical medical supplies have been flown from China to Rome, Belgrade, London and New York, why Chinese medical experts have gone to other countries to share their experience and why China has donated money to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help poor countries improve their public health systems.
Those who claim such efforts as propaganda and attempts to expand geopolitical power are sowing seeds of suspicion and confrontation. Such acrimony will only undercut the global resolution, action and cooperation.
It is not the time for finger-pointing and zero-sum games. Using the tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic, with all the deaths, illness and suffering that ensued, to attack other countries’ governance and institutions for selfish political or economic gains is nothing short of a disgrace to human dignity.
It is time for the international community to be more resolute, swift and collective in response in all respects, including information sharing, the building of a global network of control and treatment, and macro-economic policy coordination. It will not be easy to manage such mechanisms. But it is worth the effort. And all countries should take pride in doing so.