The largest city in China sits on its central coast and is considered a global financial gateway for lots of commerce, national and international. Shanghai has a lot of scenery but an even bigger population. While the United States is actually leaning away from the COVID-19 lockdown era, opening up more than it has been since 2020, Shanghai is still at an all-time high with Covid outbreaks, marking this current lockdown as the city’s biggest-ever outbreak. With such a large population, the lockdown has been extended to the entire city and faces public anger and fear over this lockdown that has been in effect for over two weeks.
In an attempt to combat so many positive covid cases, however, they are taking preventative measures like mass mandatory testing to try and locate every case and isolate them. If a Shanghai resident tests positive, they are not allowed to isolate in their own home but rather get sent to isolation centers that are very crowded with below-average conditions. Most are also criticizing the decisions of the government with measures like removing children from the home of their parents if they test positive for covid. While they allow parents to go with children to isolation centers if all are positive, they are still separating parents who are negative from their covid bearing children.
Another fear of Shanghai residents is the lack of food. Because of strict lockdown rules, delivery services, grocery shop websites, and government supplies are all being overwhelmed and people are begging for delivery capacity to be increased as soon as possible. It is hard for most to get a delivery placed, and lots of families are running out of food or left stumped on what to do. Some Shanghai residents reportedly now understand for the first time what it is like to “go hungry” without any food at all. It has been reported that there is enough food to go around, but they are just lacking distribution channels.
With all of this information at hand, questions come into play on how to loosen restrictions just enough to open up delivery distribution while still attempting to eradicate the virus. There are also older citizens and less fortunate citizens who do not have access to delivery services: how are they getting their food? There are plans to open up supermarkets and let more delivery workers out of lockdown to help deliver food, but as of this blog, that has not happened yet. China has had successful lockdowns before in different cities but what makes this one different is that the spread of the Omricon variant is much higher than in previous outbreaks, and this is the largest city. Keeping millions of people in lockdown proves to be difficult in urban dense areas. While Shanghai still maintains strict rules and lockdown procedures, most other nations are just treating covid like the flu and are trying to live with the virus instead of getting rid of it. China has been known for its zero-covid strategy (which may be changing). Shanghai’s struggles are definitely hard on every inhabitant of the city including those trying to enforce it, and it is important again to realize the impact a pandemic can have on the world and those living in it.
Read More about it here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-61019975
How is China’s zero-Covid strategy changing? https://www.bbc.com/news/59882774