Flashbacks of the lockdown

The whole of the months of April & May were spent in lockdown, as were two days in July, and now this week I was locked down again for two days, because of a positive case in our compound. On Tuesday morning the gate was flooded with people bringing reasons to leave — work, school, […]

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Borders within the country

When you take a PCR test in China, it’ll take 3 to 12 hours before the result comes out, so before our trip to the Shandong province, I several tests in Shanghai to ensure I always had a 24-hour result when I left my living compound, took the train to Suzhou, and to take the […]

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Locked down and out again

Before getting off work last Tuesday, I was informed we have a close contact in our building and that we need to be locked down again. So I immediately bought some fresh food, and brought coffee & books from the office (as many things as I could carry), because although our compound says we just […]

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Healing

This week, I removed all antigen test photos from my phone. For over two months, we had to do self-tests and share them in the building’s WeChat group, and cleansing my phone of them felt almost therapeutical. It’s not just our phones that are healing, so are we. Now we have our freedom back for […]

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Day one

Today we had sushi, walked, and cycled. The best part is seeing everyone outside & friends sharing photos on WeChat and knowing that they feel the same relief. It’s only shot with my phone, but I wanted to document the streets, even if only for myself: Being back very quickly feels normal — familiar at […]

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We’re out

And just like that, we’re out after 61 days. The baoans have been letting people slip out — hours before midnight — saying “Don’t go too far”. People are on the street, energized, happy, looking at everything for the first time. Stores are open or stocking up for tomorrow’s opening. It feels monumental, the way […]

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Yangpu during the Shanghai lockdown

Day 50 and I got a rare “临时出门单”, so I walked around the Yangpu district for a few hours, which is the hardest-hit area in Shanghai now.   Main roads have some traffic, but curbs are empty — except for around the area of two hospitals I passed. I saw many seniors who had to […]

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Why don’t you just move?

Day 46 of the Shanghai lockdown is about to end and yet we wait for our release. We’ve had our freedom severely limited, further still — to the point where we cannot buy food ourselves and have to rely on rations, whatever the powers higher up are deciding to send our way. One of the […]

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Playing with fire

Many Shanghai-based expats (like me) have seen their Twitter accounts grow — explode — in terms of impressions & followers. There’s a lot more to talk about Shanghai than during normal days. The strict lockdown has given us and everyone we know new challenges, which are not just different for each district, but also change […]

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Dabai at my door

I was curious about the many dabai’s in Shanghai and found one in my compound who was happy to sit down with me to tell me why he signed up & more. I think we were both a bit nervous — he for maybe saying something wrong — me of his leader coming around the […]

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