Wedding preparations resume in Wuhan as coronavirus lockdown lifts
WUHAN: Peng Jing stifles a laugh as she looks into the eyes of her tuxedo-clad fiancee, Yao Bin, who is in turn trying not to step on the long train of her white wedding dress.
“Smile!”, shouts the photographer as he snaps away.
Weddings, birthdays and celebrations have been cancelled around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic but in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first appeared, they are finally resuming as authorities relax a strict lockdown that separated families, friends and lovers for over two months.
Peng, a 24-year-old receptionist and airport worker Yao, 28, had been looking forward to getting married and carrying out wedding tasks including an elaborate photo shoot, when the epidemic abruptly put their plans on hold.
“We were supposed to register our marriage on Feb. 20, 2020” she said, referring to what was supposed to be one of the country’s most popular wedding dates thanks to the incidence of number “2” and its connotations with couplehood.
The city’s lockdown on Jan. 23 put a halt to that, and prompted marriage registration bureaux across China to shut amid efforts to curb the virus. More than 50,000 people have been infected in Wuhan and 2,579 have died from the virus.
“I sent her home and the next day the lockdown happened,” Yao said, recalling how abrupt it was. “I was very unhappy.”
While Yao’s job meant that he was allowed to continue to leave the house for work, the couple avoided seeing each other, only managing to talk, or sometimes argue, through games or messaging app WeChat. – Reuters