Wuhan nightlife back with a vengeance
As the rest of the world continues to grapple with lockdowns and soaring infections, young people in the city, once the epicentre of the novel coronavirus, are enjoying their hard-earned freedom. In Super Monkey – a huge nightclub in the city center – there is no dress code or VIP list. What is obligatory, at least to get through the door, is a mask and a temperature check – any higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius and bouncers can turn prospective partygoers away. Inside, where clubbers let loose on the dancefloor amid the deafening sound of techno and a blinding laser show, the rules are not always so strictly followed. While masks are obligatory at the door, DJs and partygoers take them off to chat with friends, dance, or smoke. Many are just happy to find themselves out on the town after last year’s gruelling quarantine, imposed to battle what was then a mysterious new virus. “I was stuck inside for two or three months... the country fought the virus very well, and now I can go out in complete tranquility,” a man in his thirties, who identified himself as Xu, told AFP. The hedonistic vibes and champagne on ice are far from the austerity preached by authorities in Beijing. But Chen Qiang, a man in his 20s, praised the Communist Party for having practically eliminated the epidemic, despite a recent surge in cases in other parts of the country in the past few days. “The Chinese government is good. The Chinese government does everything for its people, and the people are supreme. It is different from foreign countries,” he said. Beijing’s state media has hammered home the failure of Western governments to tackle the virus, contrasting the chaos abroad with China’s return to normal. It touts that success as evidence of the superiority of Beijing’s authoritarian political model. Business as usual?