Day 11 of Shanghai Lockdown
I'm... Free? Official announcements said today the city's neighborhoods would be categorized into lockdown (14 more days), control (7 more days), and prevention (free to move about the area), and somehow, with much luck, my little neighborhood is on the prevention area list. I'm free. And I don't how to process this feeling. I went out for a walk with the poor dog who's been stuck at home this whole time. The streets were nearly empty, except for a handful of delivery scooters, trucks, and some security guards. The birds sounded loud.
One guy asked from his second floor balcony, "how did you get out???" I said my neighborhood got lucky, and he told me to enjoy my walk. This was one of the city's busiest shopping streets... Which was quiet enough for us to have this conversation across the street without really raising our voices. Many places in the world had lockdown for much longer than 10 days, and the time at home isn’t the challenge. It’s the complete halt on all deliveries since day 1, when 25 million people were told to prep for less than a week. A roaring gray market has emerged, and people are spending hours in group chats trying to collect enough orders in their communities to bulk buy goods.
My neighborhood has no group chat, and have organized no bulk purchases, but we did receive a bag of rice just this morning. I walked around the block and found zero shops open. Then I spotted a lady standing outside of a convenience store, asking about their stock. "Can you buy stuff from them??" I asked. "Yeah, just tell them to bring it to the door." THEM? Have "they" been sleeping in the shop this whole time???? Day 7-8 were rough, a lot of crazy news stories circulating, and therefore a lot of anxious and angry people discharging their emotions online, in group chats, in WeChat articles (most of which have since been censored). A petition for an animal quarantine center in Shanghai has sprung up, with tens of thousands of signatures collected in a day. In the midst of all this intensity, my little stroll around the block felt surreal, almost illegitimate. I felt like I won the lottery, but that if I'm not careful, it'll be taken away from me again. Or I'll be punished for gloating too much. Foreboding joy, anyone?
[Edit: I came back to find my community gate locked again]
#COVIDCatLady Day 793, Lockdown Day 11