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This Happened

This Happened—January 23: The First COVID Lockdown

On this day three years ago, the Chinese government imposed a lockdown in Wuhan in what marked the unofficial beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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When was the first lockdown in Wuhan?

As a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, the first lockdown was put into place on January 23, 2020 and lasted for 76 days ending on April 8, 2020.

What were the restrictions during the Wuhan lockdown?

During the lockdown, residents were not allowed to leave their homes or neighborhoods, and all public transportation was suspended. Movement within the city was also restricted, and all non-essential businesses were closed.

Did the Wuhan lockdown work?

The lockdown, along with other measures implemented in China, was effective in slowing the spread of the virus. However, the virus quickly spread to other countries, leading to a global pandemic.

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Society

Protests Derailed: A History Of Polish Railways Getting Political

Polish state railways have been accused of deliberately keeping protestors from reaching the capital for an anti-government protest march. This is not the first controversy the railways have faced.

Photo of trains in the Warszawa RembertĂłw Station, Warsaw, Poland.

Warszawa RembertĂłw Station.

Piotr Stanisławski via Wikimedia Commons

Last June, Polish opposition leader and former President of the EU Commission Donald Tusk called on Polish citizens to protest against the “authoritarian” steps taken by the ruling party, PiS. Estimates by state organizers approximate that 500,000 participants marched in Warsaw, with smaller marches occurring in other Polish cities.

“Do you have enough of [PiS’s] lies, theft and corruption?” Tusk asked in a video published on his Facebook page. "Then come to Warsaw on the 4th of June… we will show them our might”.

In the days leading up to the protest and on the day of the event itself, passengers and groups of demonstrators blamed state railways for delayed train permits, inaccessibility for those with disabilities and a deficit in the train's ability to transport participants to the capital.

“This is how rail functions in Poland,” an anonymous passenger told Gazeta Wyborcza, “It is impossible to get to Warsaw for the March at 12pm from Szczecin.” The same passenger told Wyborcza they were “speechless” at the realization, adding that “it’s an outright exclusion of rail communication”.

This is not the first time that the state-run rail lines have come under fire for allegedly political acts.

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