onsdag 20. april 2022

Hunger and anger in Shanghai's unending lockdown nightmare

When my 73-year-old father raised concern about his shrinking food supply late last week, the catastrophe brought by Shanghai's citywide Covid lockdown suddenly hit home. "Will be running out in a few days if no government handout soon," he messaged me Thursday. Then, as if anticipating my inevitable worry, he added: "Still have some rice and crackers -- and plenty of coffee."

It was a startling revelation on the grim reality in China's biggest city and financial hub -- from a member of the generation that lived through the Great Famine and the tumultuous Cultural Revolution that killed millions during the first few decades of the People's Republic, founded in 1949 by Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong. Even during the darkest days in Mao's China, my parents -- Shanghai-born and bred -- used to remind me that, unlike many in the countryside, they were fortunate enough not to fear the prospect of starvation.