Wuhan bustles on the surface like a city that has never undergone a paralyzing 76-day lockdown. Market vendors are busily unloading new fruits and vegetables at dawn. Office employees fill up famous restaurants during their lunch break. As dusk falls, older couples descend into the parks of the area, performing dance moves along the Yangtze River. In anticipation of the Lunar New Year celebrations, red lanterns have been erected around the city.

A year has passed since the 11 million-strong central Chinese city was put under the world’s first coronavirus lockdown on the 23rd of January. At least 3,869 people of Wuhan ultimately died from the virus, which has claimed over two million lives across the globe since then. As planes, trains, and buses leaving Wuhan were canceled, highways were blocked and individuals were ordered to remain in their homes, relying on officials and volunteers for everyday necessities, the world was shocked. Initially, it was hard to access hospitals for patients, families, and even some healthcare staff. But those drastic steps have now been heralded by the Chinese government as critical to curbing the initial outbreak, and similar measures have now been implemented in countries around the world, with even lockdowns being carried out in some cities outside China. In that sense, in taming the virus, Wuhan has become a success story. A local coronavirus infection has not been reported for months.