|Shanghai in crisis
Shanghai, a population of 24 million, is entering its 3rd week of extreme lockdown, this is after almost a month of on and off lockdowns (of around 48 hours each time) so the city could test its entire population block by block after the nation’s biggest flare-up of COVID since the start of the pandemic. 131,000+ cases have been detected in Shanghai since March 31, and more than 21,000 new infections were recorded on Friday alone.
Patience in the nation’s most important economic center is wearing thin: in a city lined with Luxury retailers and parked supercars, residents have been filmed screaming from their windows that they’re running out of food and starving.
- The pandemic is more than two years old and while the population boasts high vaccination rates, their locally made vaccine have proven ineffective with the virus.
- This lockdown of a global city and its critical shipping hub is already sending waves of issues throughout the global supply chain and contributing to a global economic downturn, we will see the effects of this on American earnings reports.
- The extended lockdown is testing patience with the Beijing government’s “Zero Covid” approach—Shanghai had been handling new cases largely with granular isolated lockdown measures, but when numbers soared Beijing stepped in with a heavy-handed protocol that included carting off tens of thousands of residents to poorly equipped makeshift camps in warehouses and exhibition centers, separating children from parents when they tested positive, and in one known case even publicly killing a dog within minutes of it being separated from its owner who tested positive and was in the process of being taken to a camp.
- Additionally, measures to curb the spread have meant that delivery services and grocery stores and their staff are locked down as well. Angry residents are posting on Chinese and international social media about shortages of food and essential goods, people with medical conditions are reporting beign turned away from hospital doors including one woman whose toddler suffered a fractured skull from a fall. Some locked down areas are even protesting in their housing complexes, chanting “we want to eat” and “we want freedom”. Many of these types of uploaded videos are swiftly taken down by the tech company Tencent which owns and operates the super-app WeChat.
As Beijing did in 2020, they are reporting no death from this current wave, leaving themselves vulnerable to criticism that their measures are hurting more than they are helping.