Before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (later to become known as Covid-19) in December 2019, life in Wuhan was ticking along normally. There were many people in public spaces, hospitals, markets and restaurants. I had lived in Wuhan for a year and a half under a scholarship programme, majoring in medical science in Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
I first received Covid-19 news in late December at the start of the outbreak. At first, I wasn’t particularly worried as only four or five people were reported to be infected. The local authorities had advised the residents of Wuhan to take precautions by wearing masks in order to prevent the spread, even before we realised human-to-human transmission was possible.
We were told that patient zero was thought to have become infected from a live animal in a fish market in Wuhan. Since I did not completely understand what the virus was, I did not pay much attention to the issue at first.