Home Features Locking down a city of 25 million: life inside the windows of...

Locking down a city of 25 million: life inside the windows of Shanghai

For the people in Shanghai, the spring of 2022 is just out of reach, existing only on the other side of the window.

In the face of a growing COVID-19 outbreak, Shanghai officials instituted strict lockdown controls, confining 25 million residents to their homes since March 28.

The city fell silent apart from paramedics and police cars outside the windows. There were no cars or people on the streets.

This once bustling metropolis has hit the pause button.

JiaXing Guo, an international student at BYU-Idaho studying business management, is one of millions experiencing this lockdown. Guo has been in the apartment for four weeks so far.

“Life for me now is same and boring,” Guo said. “I wake up each day, repeating the exact same routine from the day before. Eat, exercise, take online classes, do homework, check the latest news and go back to bed.”

Guo said that life was normal at the beginning of the lockdown. Food and daily necessities were plentiful at home, but more than two weeks later, residents struggle to stretch their supplies and ration the little food that is available.

The frustrations of those in lockdown are rising. Supplies have started to run out.

Supplies residents received every week per family.
Supplies residents received every week per family. Photo credit: JiaXing Guo

“The hardest time for my family was when we only have two eggs, two potatoes and one bag of instant noodles left for the family of four,” Guo said, with tears in his eyes. “I’ve never thought that life would get so hard one day.”

Two and a half weeks into the lockdown, grocery delivery services became a lifeline for Shanghai residents.

These times are ingrained in Guo’s mind: Midnight, 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. For over a week in April, the 33-year-old Shanghai resident retrieved his phone during these five points every day to refresh different grocery delivery apps in hopes of grabbing a rare delivery slot.

Guo says that about 60% to 70% of his groceries have been purchased through online apps since the lockdown began. Without them, his whole family would have run out of food.

“It is not easy to keep this up,” said Wen Wang, Shanghai resident who shops online at 5 a.m.

He has been doing this for 46 days into the lockdown.

The luckiest thing during lockdown was a fridge full of food
The luckiest thing during lockdown was a fridge full of food. Photo credit: Wen Wang

“We read on the news there is enough (food), but we just can’t buy it,” Wang said. “If you are one minute late to the grocery shopping app, it says today’s orders are filled.”

People living in Shanghai, a first-tier city in China, have never been so appreciative of food and supplies. Residents are now more frightened of the country’s COVID-Zero cases policy than of the virus itself.

Until case numbers are under control, it doesn’t seem as though the country has any plans to end the lockdowns, meaning it could be some time before the millions of residents in Shanghai are able to freely leave their homes again.

For those living inside the window, their desire to regain their freedom and reunite with their loved ones grows stronger every day.

RELATED ARTICLES

Asian restaurant “Red 8” opens near Fat Cats

The restaurant offers classic Chinese food and sushi along with some house originals.

Column: Why I transferred to BYU-I

I chose to transfer from Utah State University to BYU-Idaho because of nothing more than a subtle impression and desire for change.

Power in small numbers: Deaf culture shines through in the ASL workshop

The American Sign Language workshop known as 'Talking Hands' is located at the Gordon B. Hinkley building in room 286 at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Most Popular

BYU-Idaho web development team wins national award

After winning at the state competition in March, the Website Development and Design team from BYU-Idaho went on to win first place at the BPA Post-Secondary Nationals in Dallas, Texas.

Rigby Bull Wars entertains a large crowd

Every seat was filled at the Rigby Rodeo Grounds for the annual event of the Rigby Bull Wars.

Asian restaurant “Red 8” opens near Fat Cats

The restaurant offers classic Chinese food and sushi along with some house originals.

Rexburg celebrates “Flow-bor Day”

April showers brings May flowers for Rexburg.

Recent Comments