søndag 17. april 2022

‘I can’t believe our country is like this,’ and other conversations from the Shanghai lockdown

Earlier this week, a phone conversation between an elderly man and a neighborhood committee worker in Shanghai was posted to WeChat, where it briefly went viral before being censored. In the five-minute call, a man surnamed Yu complains about his dwindling supplies of food and medicine, and his worries about his health: He says he is running a temperature, but he is not allowed to go see a doctor because of lockdown restrictions.

The neighborhood committee worker loses his cool, then apologizes. “I didn’t mean to raise my voice, but I’m also very anxious and angry,” he says. “We are powerless and we can’t do anything about it.” What began as a tense conversation ends with the two commiserating over their shared helplessness.

“I can’t believe our country is like this,” Yu says. “I also don’t know why Shanghai has become like this,” comes the reply.