JinJin Xu @jinxshoe: Lockdown in Shanghai

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#Shanghai Lockdown Day #14 My community #lockdown day #27 Here is my daily update from Shanghai [thread] The general atmosphere in Shanghai is tense, anxiety-ridden. We can’t stop refreshing our Wechat newsfeeds, re-blogging the many cries for help, which inevitably get erased

24.8mil people are left to fend for ourselves. The gov hotlines do not work. Ambulances take days to arrive. Barely any food rations have arrived. Trash is festering on the streets. No medicine can be bought, even the dead has to receive a community pass to be taken out of homes

And there is still no ending in sight. Most importantly, there are no answers, no official reason given to why lockdown is still going on. Official community notice: If you test positive & refuse to go to the temporary hospitals you will forever have a red health code


On April 13th, a recording of a phone call went viral on Wechat. An elderly man was asking his district community worker for help. (his district is a few streets away from my apartment) The elderly man was suffering from chronic illnesses and had no food left.

The man answered he has been reporting his condition to his superiors for days but has heard no response. There was nothing he could do. He had no resources, either. as the call went on, the volunteer became more and more desperate.

When the elderly man said,”Why has our Shanghai become like this?” The volunteer breaks down, he feels so helpless, he truly wants to help, and he tells the elderly man: “You only see terrible conditions for one person. I witness nearly 100 cases like yours every day.”

“And yet there is nothing I can do. I report it to my superiors, and I get no response. I don’t know why Shanghai has become like this either. I don’t understand.” Now, the elderly man is the one comforting him. “I really understand you,” he replies, “We will get through this.”

This post was soon deleted. Just like all the other deleted posts, many of which have 100,000+ views, and the comment sections are their own public squares.

Many share stories of the people who’ve died during lockdown, all due to inability to access hospitals or ambulances— BECAUSE of the idiotic policy: emergency rooms require a 24 hr negative COVID test.

The medical system is in suspension—most doctors are out here called to do endless Covid tests. There are no new appointments, no surgeries, no medication, no chemo, no dialysis, and the ambulances take days to come. Even if the ambulance comes, you can’t get a pass to leave.

Or you don’t have a valid 24 hr Covid test. This is a man-made closure of the medical system— and the full scale of the damage is yet to be seen. Shanghai is the medical capital of China, with top-tier resources. People from all over the country come here seeking medical help.

Father of a 5yr old and stable cancer patient died after suddenly feeling discomfort at home. He was told his covid test from yesterday was invalid. His last words on earth? Mom, can you check if my new Covid test has come out? 2hrs after he left, his Covid test came bk negative


A 14-day old baby tested positive, and the baby was to be separated and taken to a hospital. Her grandma stood on the balcony & threatened to jump if they took the baby. This happened after the press conference saying children below seven can stay with parents who test positive

The comments section of the temporal public square: 1. Whoever deletes this article, should die ( 674,000 likes) 2.Shanghai was great because of its people, not the government (210,000 likes) 3. They do not deserve such amazing citizens! (130,000 likes)


And yet, those outside of Shanghai STILL seem to not know what is going on, because there is no reportage in the official news channels. The major news on TV today was of President Xi visiting the national parks.

So even though my Wechat newsfeed is FILLED with cries for help and first person accounts about what is really going, my friends from outside of Shanghai still have little idea. Wechat newsfeeds is like a FB newsfeed where the default setting is “friends only.”

My friends in other areas of China are shocked to see my posts about the situation in Shanghai because our newsfeeds are so insular— another reason Shanghaigers feel so abandoned by the rest of the country.

Official state media CCTV (央视新闻) posted a translation of the WHO report, saying: In many countries, deaths due to Omicron is even higher than that at the peak of other Covid strains. Original WHO report actually says the # of new cases and deaths due to Omicron is decreasing.

Netizens are furious at this misrepresentation, though others pointed out CCTV wasn’t exactly lying: it just misrepresented the WHO report by shifting the order of the data, highlighting a small data point of higher # of deaths and then downplaying the “decreasing trend.”

A COMMUNITY SOURCED LIST OF THE DEAD People are collecting the names and stories of those who died in Shanghai recently due to the lockdown. Among many, the Hong Kou District Health Center Director who committed suicide due to recent public pressures https://airtable.com/shrQw3CYR9N14a

Just as there is a list to mourn the dead, there is a list to help the living. “Let us help you”,a mutual aid resource founded by a group of volunteers, posts community sourced cries for help, ranked by level of emergency, including:

I.e. in screenshot below of mutual aid sheet: Baby needs diapers late-stage pregnancy needs to go to the hospital Sepsis emergency Uremia patient who tested positive needs to go do dialysis Brain Infarction & high blood pressure medication Blocked milk duct emergency

SEALING CLOSE CONTACTS OF POSITIVE CASES INSIDE THEIR HOMES/ CARS An elderly couple calls a bicycle garage/shelter, with no running water and restroom, their home. Since the grandpa got tested positive for covid, he has been transferred to a central quarantine location

the granny, as a close contact to a covid-positive patient, is being sealed inside of the garage by community. The video shows the granny preparing for isolation by collecting water with all the containers she could get.

A pregnant woman has lived out of her car for the past 16 days, after she tested positive and her neighborhood community did not allow her to return. Her husband was taken away to a temporary hospital but she was told, they did not have quota for her.


Even if you are not forcibly sealed inside your home, all community operations have come to a standstill— trash has not been taken out, cesspools uncleaned. A letter from the community to one residential area reminds people to limit their intake (eat less) & output (poop less)

Which also reminds me of the Shanghai News Station which advised people, during the initial 4-day lockdown, to treat it as a chance to try light-eating and intermittent fasting [image gives instructions on cutting meat and rice from diet on a rotational basis]


One way to still get food these days is to bulk-order as a community, all of this has to be self-organized and self sourced. one creative community decided to “bulk-order” a barber. He cut 18 people’s hair from morning to night.

Another barber in the temporary hospitals apparently had a thriving business in there, he doesn’t seem to want to leave, as outside, all businesses are still closed. but a blog documenting life in the temporary hospitals notes the people who do not want to leave—

— the migrant workers, construction workers who do not have a permanent place of shelter, who probably would not have a place to go upon leaving, as everywhere is shut down. A lot of residential communities are not welcoming those who have stayed at temporary hospitals to return.

To end, people are learning to grow fresh veggies like scallions and garlic (essential in Chinese diet) at homes. Since most people in Shanghai live in small apartments, balconies (if you are lucky to have one) are the only place to get a bit of fresh air.

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1 Response to JinJin Xu @jinxshoe: Lockdown in Shanghai

  1. Pingback: Naive Malaysian professor in Shanghai claims to know the truth and that western media are lying | weehingthong

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