Saturday, May 7, 2022

Lockdown Diaries: More and More People Get to Go Out (a little bit)

A worker in white protective clothing (ie, baymax) feeds dogs in cages in Beicai. Screenshot from this video.

Posts about the covid outbreak in Shanghai, China:

On the Current Covid Outbreak in Shanghai (March 12)
I'm in Lockdown (March 16)
I'm Still in Lockdown (March 19)
I'm in Lockdown Again (March 25)
Now All of Pudong (East Shanghai) is in Lockdown (March 28)
Lockdown Diaries: Covid Case in Our Complex, and Free Veggies from the Government (March 31)
Lockdown Diaries: Antigen Self-Tests, and Children with Covid (April 3)
Lockdown Diaries: Dressing Up, Free Medicine, Free Rice (April 6)
Lockdown Diaries: I am Okay, Shanghai is Not (April 9)
Lockdown Diaries: Part of Shanghai is Out of Lockdown (April 12)
Lockdown Diaries: Dystopian Madness (April 15)
Lockdown Diaries: 3 Covid Deaths Reported in Shanghai (April 18)
Lockdown Diaries: More of the Same (April 22)
Lockdown Diaries: This is a Human-Made Disaster (April 26)
Lockdown Diaries: Exciting New Definition of "Society" (May 1)
Lockdown Diaries: Some People Can Go to the Grocery Store (May 3)


Here's the updated timeline:

March 16-21: First lockdown. 6 days.

March 23-now: Second lockdown. 46 days and counting.

Nucleic acid tests (conducted by baymax, ie, the workers in white hazmat suits): 23 times (March 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, April 4, 6, 9, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 29, May 2, 4, 6)

Antigen self-tests: 20 times (April 2, 3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 [twice], 15, 16, 22, 23, 25, 28 [twice], 30, May 1, 3, 5, 7)

(The above info is specific to our apartment complex. Other apartment complexes in Shanghai will have a similar situation but not exactly the same.)


More and more people get to go out

So last time I talked about how I'm starting to see that people in "precautionary areas" (防范区) are kinda-sorta occasionally allowed out of lockdown. There are a lot of rules about it, like, only 1 person per household can go out, twice a week, for 2 hours.

Well yes, more and more people have gotten the chance to go out, under those kinds of rules. I had a video call with some friends a few days ago, and several of them said they went out and rode a bike, but nothing is really open so there isn't much of a point to going out.

Our apartment complex has now been designated as a "precautionary area" (hooray) but they haven't announced any guidelines about being able to leave, so actually nothing has changed. Oh wait, one thing changed- they announced that we are now allowed to walk around in the complex, like to pick up packages, walk dogs, take out trash, etc. Honestly we were all doing that on the down low already, so... yeah nothing has changed.

But hey, hopefully within the next few days, they'll tell us what the rules are about being allowed to go out, and they'll give us our very official-looking passes.


Happy update about the pets in Beicai

So you may remember I mentioned Beicai in my April 18 and May 1 posts. This was the village in Shanghai where all residents were forced to pack up and leave so that their homes could be disinfected, because there had been a lot of covid cases in the area. 

They were told they had to leave their pets behind, and I was very concerned because we've seen news stories of pandemic workers killing pets in China (we all know about the pet corgi that was beaten to death in Shanghai). I said in my April 18 post, "Also I would trust the pandemic workers 0% with pets. I hope they are not killing people's pets, but they probably are."

Well, good news! They did not kill the pets. They got a team of vets to set up a pet quarantine area and take care of them. You can even see videos about it on Douyin. (Tiktok is the international version of Douyin.) Douyin user Agrass has posted a bunch of videos.

[Not sure if you'll be able to watch these if you're outside of China? They're extremely slow to load when I have my VPN on]

April 23 video where you can see the outside of the big shipping container (?) that they are using for the dog quarantine area, and then you go inside and see the dogs in cages

April 23 video showing the second shipping container with dogs in cages- except for an Alaskan malamute tied up outside- I guess they didn't have a big enough cage for it

April 23 video showing 2 birds (parakeets?) in a cage in someone's home- the volunteers are giving water to the birds

April 23 video of a cat hiding under a bed- also there is an automatic feeder and a bowl of water left there for the cat 

April 22 video of the baymaxes giving food and water to the dogs in small cages at the makeshift pet quarantine center

April 22 video showing volunteers taking care of an Alaskan malamute dog that had been left there

April 22 video showing how the volunteers feed the dogs- several dogs are crowded together in the cages

I mean, it still sucks, because they got all these dogs in small cages, which is not good. But at least they're going to be okay.

(Also, I love how they use the word 毛孩子 in the video captions. Literally means fur child.)


Hot pot

One fun thing was, a hot pot restaurant reopened- only for delivery, not for actually eating at the restaurant- and we were very excited to get a bunch of food delivered from there, and have hot pot at home. Hooray! We got it delivered and it was great.

Seems like stores and restaurants are kind of starting to reopen- but still, very few.


Overall, it's really hard

Being in lockdown is just really tough. I feel like I've forgotten what it's even like to go out and go places. And be able to just buy whatever I want online. (Bread! Ice cream!) We're not anywhere close to being "back to normal"... I feel like it's hard for me to even imagine what that would look like.

Some international people are saying they plan to leave China because of this. I feel like, this is going to have a long-term impact on Shanghai's international community. Well, overall, the pandemic has definitely had the effect of decreasing the number of international people in China. It's so hard to enter China now- it's been so hard since 2020. Easy to leave though.

For me... well, we have been planning to leave China anyway, but our plans have been very delayed due to the existence of covid. (Anyone remember that post I wrote in 2019 where I said I was ready to be done living in China?) Still don't have an actual plan. I feel like the lockdown does change my feelings about it, but I'm not sure on exactly how yet. After the lockdown ends we'll be in a better position to make decisions about it.

Who knows when that will be. June?


Links from Sixth Tone:

Marooned in a Business Park, One Man And His Dog Face Lockdown Alone (May 6)

A Volunteer's Diary (May 5) About a French woman in Shanghai working as a volunteer during lockdown


Next post: Lockdown Diaries: Taking a Whole Building to Quarantine

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