a Frenchman talks about the extreme incarceration in Shanghai

Faced with the revival of the Covid, the city of Shanghai (China) is being locked up in an extremely strict manner in almost all its districts, causing the revolt of many residents. Alexandre, a Frenchman living in Shanghai, describes a chaotic and very worrying situation for RMC.

The harshness of incarceration in Shanghai, from the inside. Alexandre, a Frenchman living in this sprawling city of 27 million inhabitants. The situation there is utterly chaotic, with much of the metropolis locked up for three weeks in the face of the Covid upswing, with sometimes extremely strict rules depending on the neighbourhood. A seriousness that leads some to rebellion. Indeed, China is continuing its “zero Covid” strategy and the city of Shanghai is facing the strongest increase in contamination since the start of the pandemic.

Alexandre tells extensively for RMC about a very frightening daily life, characterized in particular by great difficulties in obtaining food and water in his 18-storey building.

“There is a padlock on the front door, we absolutely cannot leave our building”

“We have been locked up since April 1, but Pudong (East) district has been locked up even since March 26. I live with my girlfriend, there are about a hundred people in the building with several guards at the bottom. Occupy entrances and exits There it is right now more to check on the arrival of goods and disinfect them than to let us out There’s a padlock on this door so we definitely can’t leave our building “It’s terrifying, out of proportion to what’s on it the hand is Getting the front door sealed… We think there’s a fire and we couldn’t evacuate.”

“PCR tests are done at the bottom of our building once every two days”

“We can’t go outside and so we wake up every morning, the streets are almost deserted, ambulances pass, police cars… Cars pass with recorded messages to reassure the population. We have done this at the bottom of our building. We they do 10 for 10. And it turns out that we had a positive case on April 6. I was in the group of this positive test. In general, we receive the results 8 hours later, but there I did not get this result. The “Authorities then came to tell me that I had to retake the tests and that they would seal my door with a sheet for 24 hours. It’s quite scary because I thought I would test positive. That was last week.”

“We were afraid of being positive and being taken to camps”

“We don’t really know about the incubation period. Anyway, here we have no information at all. We were afraid to be positive and be taken to camps where we stay for a week, a week and a half, in fairly spartan conditions We are lucky to be in a nice apartment, I know people who are in 15 sqm where they can’t really leave their house It’s very hard to go outside even to enjoy the sun It’s quite frustrating and terrifying.”

“We would have a possible April 20 release date if there are no other cases in our building”

“This situation of increasing cases started in early March. We were forced to telecommute and five days of incarceration, then to a second incarceration… It is very demoralizing and above all we have little information. We refer to WeChat, the Chinese Facebook. We are discussing with groups of French, with people affiliated with the embassy and the CCI who are doing a great job, but we have no official information. We read and speak Chinese, so we see that “we would have a possible release date of April 20 if and only if there are no other cases in our building. So we hope the neighbors test negative.”

“Tap water is not drinkable in Shanghai”

“About the lack of food, it’s very blatant. Water too. Tap water is not drinkable in Shanghai. The advice to boil water for drinking… With all the heavy metals and pollution, it doesn’t make me very excited. Everything works on demand , by fast delivery. Usually we are delivered by an online supermarket. But everyone rushed to the supermarkets to prepare, in the first days of the confinement. We had a large order, but it was never delivered. We had no bottled water more and eat fairly quickly.”

“It is quite difficult to eat enough and especially to drink drinking water”

“Everything is closed. Usually in less than 20 minutes we have a fast food that can be delivered to your home. There we have to wait to be able to connect to the application. There are so many people trying to validate your shopping cart that you can’t even connect with the application. After ten days of work, you just learned that you can make group orders through government authorized companies, but you have to order very large. These are “emergency boxes” with milk, pasta, food to survive. But it is quite difficult to eat enough and especially to drink water.In my fridge it remains summary, we have enough to survive for three or four days.

“The first week of incarceration was very chaotic, the government of Shanghai was not prepared for this quite strict incarceration. It is morally and psychologically exhausting. If we ever get a case in our building, everyone will unfortunately resume 14 days of incarceration.

“You cannot stay in quarantine at home if you are positive, without the consent of all neighbors”

“There are many videos of Chinese people rioting, censored by the Chinese internet of course. With Chinese people complaining that they have no food, that they can’t go outside, that are left in appalling conditions. The lack of information and the lack of aid, where we live, is catastrophic. If we ask them when we go out, there is no information from them. There are drones roaming the districts with a megaphone speaking the official propaganda messages.”

“Positive children have been separated from their families. Articles explaining why have been published on WeChat and it is not possible to stay in home quarantine if you are positive without the consent of all the neighbors. Neighbors are quite individualistic so won’t let positive people in we never get the whole building on board if we are positive we talk to the consulate if we are positive and ready to be sent to these camps the procedure is to contact the consul to get positive to declare.”

“There is also the fear of seeing our cat euthanized”

“The fear we also have is that we have a cat. If we’re positive it doesn’t matter, but we don’t want them to come and get the cat from us because there are documents circulating saying, ‘They would all rights to our pet. It’s shocking. There is the fear of seeing our little animal euthanized.’

“Fortunately, we have a huge solidarity between the French in Shanghai. We are registered with 4,600 French, we could not vote for the first round. We were at 20,000 before the start of the Covid. We cannot travel to France as we would like It’s very hard to tell yourself that you can’t end up in a situation like that.”

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