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COVID Cat Lady Day 785, Day 3 of Shanghai Puxi Lockdown

The hardest parts about isolation? Not being able to explain to my friend's dog Mocha (covid foster, my friend is in hotel quarantine) that it's ok to go to the bathroom indoors, and the Internet.

I did a Turning Red Zoom viewing party last night with a group of friends, and a lunchtime (what is time? what is lunch?) Zoom workout. I can't help but notice the contrast between the people online lamenting the food shortage (there isn't one, but the stores were definitely overwhelmed and understaffed because many workers were under lockdown), the chaotic quarantine measures, and the virtual face-to-face conversations of cooking, eating, exercising.

It seems like whenever people get together these days, in person or in Zoom, we talk about how the world has gone crazy... But the world that we're discussing seem to mostly exist online?

I'm not denying the realities of hardship. But like in 2020, I am again wondering how many of us share and consume moving, charming, joyous sentiments online as opposed to angry ranting opinions.

There's privilege there, for sure. And luck. I happen to rent in a wealthier district in Shanghai, where the recent pandemic measures have surfaced some seriously classist attitudes and resource disparities. Some neighborhoods have plenty of staff and resources, others are massive or old residential compounds with too many residents and not enough volunteers. The medical system in Shanghai is overwhelmed with asymptomatic Omicron positive people who are "taking up beds while scrolling on their phones" as one often cited online comment said, while unable to provide treatment for those in need.

Last night, folks starting reposting a "promise," which states that they will not stigmatize or ostracize neighbors who test positive, and will support at-home quarantine. This might seem odd to folks outside of China, but understand that until a couple of weeks ago, we had resides in a massive covid bubble. While most people have recovered from and lost loved ones to covid, we were sheltered. The city went from a handful of imported cases to thousands in the matter of weeks.

Now it seems like the public sentiment is shifting. Hopefully we'll see policies shifting along with that, too.


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