What go the “new normal” look prefer after strictly 76-day lockdown in Wuhan, China?

A longitudinal study following life ~ lockdown in Wuhan, China, yields evidence of optimistic, albeit slow, innovation in well-being and also mental wellness within the an initial 2 months after the 76-day lockdown restrictions were lifted.

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"... Psychological outcomes appear to be more positive overall for those who interact in active problem solving, who are able to seek help and support, and who experience less disturbances in their day-to-day routines."

Tong Zhou

Department of Psychology, The college of Psychology and also Cognitive Science, eastern China common University

Tong Zhou

Department that Psychology, The college of Psychology and Cognitive Science, eastern China normal University

Thuy-vy Nguyen

Department the Psychology, college of Durham

On January 23rd, 2020, after Wuhan, China was identified as the epicenter that the novel coronavirus disease, the totality city went under lockdown with the many severe restrictions. Every public transportation was cancelled, and also no one was enabled to leaving their houses without permission native authorities. Throughout this time, all residents’ movements were extremely monitored to identify households that to buy cold medicines, and only one member per household was enabled to go out for grocery shopping. According to the Xinhuanet, the best media company in China, by the finish of the lockdown, 50,340 COVID-19 situations were evidenced in Wuhan, of i m sorry 3,869 died.

On April 8th, the Chinese government

finished the lockdown in Wuhan and also gradually permitted residents to travel external of the city limits and go back to work. It has been a worry whether financial recession and the an adverse effects the lockdown restrictions had actually on mental health might continue to stop life to return to normalcy after ~ lockdown was lifted. Further, even though the reduction of cases suggests that the city appears to have brought the outbreak under control, many world are tho anxious around the 2nd wave of epidemic in absence of a vaccine and around the threats of contracting the virus v asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers. To understand the mental experiences of those in Wuhan after ~ lockdown to be lifted, the day prior to lockdown ending, we recruited more than 300 adult residing in the city the Wuhan with the WeChat application – a famous social media application widely used in China.

The findings of our study, which published last mainly in Royal society Open Science, proved slow enhancements in well-being and also mental health after lockdown to be lifted. Some of those transforms make intuitive feeling to us. For example, while an inspiration for self-isolating stays high in this sample, an ideas appears to it is in driven much more by individuals’ seeing the health benefits in self-isolating quite than fearing consequences from the government. Nonetheless, over the an initial 2 months, we view that people end up being less and also less encouraged to self-isolate at home. In ~ the exact same time, us observe that our participants significantly see their life as returning to normalcy; through the end of the an initial 2 months after lockdown was lifted, as soon as asked just how much of their life has actually returned to normalcy, participants approximated that around 75% that pre-pandemic life has been recovered.


Graph depicting the price of life returning to normality in ~ the very first two months after lockdown.

For psychological health, to our surprise, we did no observe a fall in wellness nor a rise in psychological health threats in our participants after lockdown was lifted. Our study said a slight development in those actions over time. We compared these results with two other longitudinal data sets in the joined States and also the unified Kingdom with representative samples, and saw regular evidence mirroring encouraging indicators of psychological resilience transparent the pandemic.

However, because we supplied WeChat application as a recruiting tool, it can be the instance that our sample represents a details group of citizens in Wuhan who are familiar with society media, and may usage this app to reach out to their neighborhood for support throughout the lockdown, such as to seek social support and also get aid with daily activities. Indeed, our results display that the more people interact in active problem-solving and also help-seeking during lockdown, the lower mental health dangers they screen by the finish of lockdown. Disruptions in continuing with everyday tasks remain the many common source of tension for the attendees in ours sample, conversely, financial stress or health anxiety walk not issue as much. This is various from what us predicted, based on a ahead registered report in Royal society Open Science the showed health anxiety to it is in the key stressor at the start of lockdown in the UK.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, researchers and world citizens alike will proceed to it is in uncertain about what our life will come to be after more countries background lockdown restrictions. As such, us think the is essential to conduct further longitudinal studies to get a more complete photo of people’s emotional experiences during and after lockdown. For now, our data suggested that there is a slow advancement of well-being and also mental wellness after lockdown to be lifted in Wuhan, and psychological outcomes show up to be more positive as whole for those who engage in active problem solving, who room able to seek help and support, and also who experience less disturbances in their everyday routines.

This study was led by 1st year phd student Tong Zhou at east China typical University in cooperation with Dr. Thuy-vy Nguyen at college of Durham. This work-related was supported by the an essential Research Funds because that the main Universities to Dr. Junsheng Liu at east China regular University.

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Royal culture Open Science is seek submissions of Registered Reports pertinent to any type of aspect the COVID-19 from any type of field. Find out an ext about the submission procedure for Registered Reports ~ above the journal page.


1. The very first day of a kindergarten in Wuhan after ~ lockdown to be lifted (image kindly listed by study participant.)

2. Publicly park ~ lockdown in Wuhan(image kindly detailed by examine participant.)

3.Graph portraying the price of life returning to normality within the very first two months after lockdown. Number 2 indigenous Zhou et al.A COVID-19 descriptive research of life after ~ lockdown in Wuhan, China. 2020. Royal culture Open Science