Perhaps the final update about life under lockdown in Shanghai. While it will probably be a few weeks before normality returns (if it ever does return), there are signs of improvement in Shanghai.
It has been a quiet week in Shanghai with few developments on the virus front. Few developments in this context is a good thing because it literally means no new cases in the city for several days. However, as we hope that China may have passed the peak, it seems the rest of the world is just getting started. A few weeks ago at the start of our lockdown, we discussed whether we should leave the country for the duration. We stayed. One of our concerns was that, wherever we went, the covid-19 virus might follow. Watching the reports of clusters appearing in Europe and elsewhere in Asia, I suspect that we may have made a good call.
Reports of South Korean religious cults actively trying to spread the virus globally (Substantiated? Unsubstantiated? I don’t know at this point) are obviously worrying. More worrying, however, is thinking about how well-prepared western countries are for this epidemic. China is remarkably good at mobilizing its citizens in times of national emergency and simple things like mask wearing come as second nature to a population prepared by urban pollution. I’m not so sure that the major western democracies will be so successful.
This is the week that the government relaxed travel restrictions to allow people to finally return to the city after their extended Chinese New Year break and kick-start the economy which was probably hovering on the brink of recession. I read today that rush hour traffic in Shanghai was at 80%-90% of normal this morning. There were even some traffic jams. Mixed blessings I guess.
On a slightly more “meta” level, this site and specifically this series of posts got quite a boost yesterday when one of my tweets mentioning it was retweeted by Neil Gaiman. This accounted for a nice uplift in views for the posts. Which was nice.
So, will this be my final update in this series? Maybe next week I’ll return to my extremely sparse autobiographical series “A Life in Cameras”. I’m pretty sure that we’ll still be under lockdown here, but our position is becoming less unique. How many more people across the globe will be under lockdown next week?
Take care, buy masks.
All the best.