BEIJING — As the city of Wuhan remains in lockdown, the Chinese Internet has exploded with videos and memes in support of the besieged residents.
One of the latest is a flashy video called “Wuhan don't panic, we will wait for you.”
The two-minute clip, made by Shanghai Media Group and shared hundreds of thousands of times on Chinese social media on Tuesday, starts with a somber bird's eye view of Wuhan — a city of 11 million straddling the Yangtze River. Landmarks, from the Yellow Crane Tower, Happy Valley amusement park, the main bus terminal that houses nearly 5,000 vehicles, the gigantic Wuhan railway station, to the mile-long Chuhan pedestrian street, lay virtually deserted in broad daylight during a traditionally busy and festive holiday — the Lunar New Year.
“Deprived of hubbub and traffic, Wuhan at 7 p.m. feels like 2 a.m., as if someone had pushed a pause button on the city,” a woman narrated softly in the background as the video cuts from sealed road tunnels, closed bridges, an empty night market, to the lonely building of the Provincial Library. The few people who venture out are all expressionless, wearing masks, and staying as far from others as possible.
“How much longer would it be until we can take off masks and greet each other with a simple ‘Did you eat?’” In the next scenes, volunteers, soldiers, doctors, and construction workers are seen working nonstop to “bring Wuhan back to us and bring us back to Wuhan.”
Recovered patients, accompanied by doctors and nurses in mask, goggle and protective suit, express their heartfelt gratitude upon being discharged from hospital.
“Don’t fear, and hang in there a little longer,” said the narration, accompanied by archive footage of running traffic and city skyline, “until this city pushes the play button again, until we can’t get past crowds into the subway train, until our voices get drowned in the din of roadside food stalls, until visitors outnumber cherry blossoms in Wuhan University, until someone else takes the last bowl of hot-dry noodles before you do, until the queue of cars on the Second Bridge stretches farther than you can see … Wuhan, we’ll be waiting for you. And please, everyone, please wait for Wuhan.”
The video ended with an illuminated night landscape of the city, with multiple voices in the background using the Chinese saying for “Go get ‘em” (literally “add oil.”)