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Day 12 of Shanghai Lockdown

Infographic by SmartShanghai

So my freedom was short-lived. Turns out many communities have taken it upon themselves to "control" the "prevention/precautionary" areas (which have had been COVID negative for 14 days or more) the same way they control the "control" areas (COVID negative for 7 days)... If you think that's a mouthful, I hear ya.

My compound's gates remain locked, but at least I'm now allowed to walk around in the yard and get some sun. It was quite the fake-out.

Shanghai "normally" is a ridiculously convenient city. I can get American, Taiwanese, Turkish, Danish, Indian, Japanese food any day of the week. I can order groceries to be delivered in 30 minutes. But today, I have about 3 days' worth of drinking water left. I'm faced with the reality of... No shops open, none of the normal online channels are operating "normally." Things are sold in bulk, and sold out in minutes when stores open online.

My boyfriend, who's in lockdown in his own apartment (plus 2 cats. You have to understand that we didn't think doing lockdown in a one-bedroom with 4 cats and a dog would be wise...), managed to order a truck full of water for his building. 50 boxes, each containing 20 liters, some of which he distributed to neighbors in his building who joined in on his "group purchase," really the only way to secure daily essentials these day.

We live 3 blocks from each other. And at this moment, we have no way of sharing that water. He's already been given a real talking to in his neighborhood for that order, as they're still under "lockdown," no leaving your front door version.

Luckily, my favorite hole-in-the-wall beef noodle shop is running a lively delivery service now with an ever-expanding "menu." People in their group chat have asked for drinking water, toilet paper, cigarettes, beer, or flat out ask if they'd sell some of their cooking oil. I've managed to order from them once, and the bag of food had to be squeezed through the chain-locked gates... Only for my (very kind and smiley) security guard to tell me, "you know, I could have opened that gate for you."

And there in lies the trouble with covid restrictions in Shanghai... The rules are top down and executed at the neighborhood level, where the enforcement is as good and as bad as the mood and character of the person in charge. So on top of the classist nature of resource distribution amongst districts, you've got the neighborhood level politics to deal with.


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