(TMU) — The Chinese government announced on Tuesday that it will lift the months-long lockdown on Central China’s Hubei Province, beginning Wednesday—two months after the region was plunged into complete isolation.
The provincial capital, Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, will be excluded from the initial lifting of travel restriction as health authorities hope to make further gains in the fight against the pandemic.
Health officials believe that transportation out of Wuhan could be set to restart by April 8, Bloomberg reports.
Wuhan, a city of roughly 11 million residents, had been heavily hit by the virus before China adopted an unprecedented set of decisive and draconian measures on January 23 that effectively restricted the movements of 60 million people throughout Hubei province.
Beijing’s heavy-handed moves initially faced criticism in Western media but have since been hailed as crucial in helping to control the spread of the nightmarish novel virus.
The tactical efficiency of China’s tough measures have seemingly been borne out by the statistics, with Hubei reporting that new infections have dropped to zero on March 19—signaling a dramatic reversal of fortunes after the coronavirus rampaged through the East Asian country, infecting over 80,000 Chinese and killed over 3,200.
With those who have faced quarantine expected to return to domestic megacities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and others, authorities will likely shift the focus of prevention and containment toward addressing domestic relapses and cases imported from abroad.
Meanwhile in the United States, coronavirus cases continue to surge as hospitals and clinics run low on crucial medical supplies including, masks, gloves, goggles, and hospital gowns, while many Americans simultaneously remain skeptical about the gravity of the health crisis and the need for self-quarantining or social distancing.
Skeptics include U.S. President Donald Trump, who announced Tuesday, “America will be open for business very soon,” suggesting that social distancing guidelines could be lifted prior to Easter Day, April 12, in the interests of boosting the struggling economy of the U.S.
The president, who suggested last week that the CoViD-19 crisis could endure through the entire summer, also expressed his belief—unsupported by much of the medical community—that the U.S. would turn a corner in the fight against the pandemic “a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. … We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
So far, there have been at least 46,724 confirmed cases across the U.S.
The comments from Trump about reopening the country for business also coincide with comments from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the U.S. could soon become the new flashpoint for the global pandemic. WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said:
“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential [to become the centre of the pandemic].”
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.