French man recounts severe imprisonment in Shanghai

In the face of the Covid rebound, the city of Shanghai (China) has become confined to almost all of its districts in a very strict manner, causing many residents to revolt. Alexandre, a Frenchman who lives in Shanghai, describes a very chaotic and disturbing situation for RMC.

The harshness of incarceration in Shanghai from the inside. Alexandre, a Frenchman lives in this sprawling city of 27 million people. The situation there is quite chaotic, with much of the city locked up for three weeks in the face of the Covid recovery, with sometimes very strict rules depending on the neighbourhood. Severity leads some to revolution. China is already pursuing its “zero Covid” strategy and Shanghai is facing the strongest increase in pollution since the beginning of the epidemic.

Alexander recounts at length for RMC a deeply disturbing daily life, marked in particular by great difficulties obtaining food and water in his 18-story building.

“There’s a lock on the front door, and we can’t leave our building at all.”

“We’ve been locked up since April 1, but Pudong (Eastern) has been locked down since March 26. I live with my girlfriend, there are a hundred people in the building with several guards at the bottom manning the entrances and exits. There, for now, it’s about monitoring Goods arrive and sanitize instead of letting us out. There is a lock on that door so we can never leave the building.” Closing the front door… We think there might be a fire and we can’t evacuate.”

“Once every two days, PCR tests are done at the bottom of the building.”

“We can’t go out and every morning, we wake up, the streets are almost deserted, ambulances pass by, police cars… Cars pass by with recorded messages to reassure residents. Once in both days, PCR tests were done at the bottom of our building. We ran them 10 x 10. And it turned out we had a positive case on April 6. I was in the group for this positive test. In general, we receive results after 8 hours, but there I did not receive this result. Then the authorities came to see me to tell me that I have to repeat the tests and that they will lock my door with a sheet for 24 hours It’s very concerning because I thought I was about to get a positive test. That was last week.”

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

“We don’t really know how it goes with regards to incubation time. Anyway, here, we don’t have any information at all. We were afraid to be positive and go to camps where we stay for a week, a week and a half, in fairly simple conditions.” We are fortunate because we are in a beautiful apartment, I know people of 15 square meters, where they can not leave their homes especially. It is very difficult to go out, even to enjoy the sunshine. It is very frustrating and disturbing.”

“We will have a possible release date of April 20th if there are no more cases in the building.”

“This situation of increasing cases started at the beginning of March. We were forced to work remotely and five days of confinement, then to a second confinement after that… It is very frustrating and above all we have little information. We refer to WeChat, the Chinese Facebook We are discussing with groups of French, with people associated with the embassy and CCI who are doing a great job. But we don’t have official information. We read and speak Chinese so we see that “we will have a possible release date of April 20th if, and only if, there are no other cases in our building. So we hope the neighbors test negative.”

“Tap water is not potable in Shanghai”

“In terms of the lack of food, it’s very stark. The water too. The tap water isn’t potable in Shanghai. Advice to boil water to drink… With all the heavy metals and pollution, don’t make me too careful. Everything works by app, by express delivery.” Normally, we are delivered through an online supermarket. But everyone rushed to the supermarkets to prepare, in the early days of booking. We had a big order but it wasn’t delivered. Our bottled water and food ran out very quickly.”

“It is very difficult to eat enough food and especially to drink water”

“Everything is closed. In less than 20 minutes, usually, we have takeaways that can get home. There, we have to wait until we can connect to the app. There are so many people trying to check your cart that you can’t even connect to the app.” After ten days of work, I just learned that you can place group orders via government-licensed companies, but you have to order very large quantities. These are “emergency boxes” with milk, pasta, food to survive. But it is very difficult to eat enough Especially drinking water.In my fridge, it stays brief, we have enough to survive for three or four days.

“The first week of confinement was very chaotic, the Shanghai government was not prepared for this rather strict confinement. It is morally and psychologically tiring. If we had a case in the building, everyone would unfortunately appeal to 14 days of confinement.”

“It is not possible to stay in home quarantine if you are positive, without the consent of all the neighbours”

“There are many videos of Chinese people revolting, and of course they are censored by the Chinese internet. With the Chinese grumbling that they have no food, those who can’t go out, left in deplorable conditions, the lack of information and the lack of help where we live is disastrous.” When we ask them when we are leaving, there is no information from them. There are drones roaming the neighborhoods with a loudspeaker saying official propaganda messages.”

“There have been positive children separated from their families. Articles explaining why they are posted on WeChat and it is not possible to stay home quarantine if you are positive, without the consent of all neighbors. Neighbors are completely individual, so they won” We will not allow positive people to stay in them. We would never put the entire building on board if we were sure we were talking to the Consulate if we were positive and ready to be sent to these camps. The procedure is to contact the consul to announce himself positively.”

“There is also a fear of seeing our cat euthanized.”

“The fear we also feel is that we have a cat. If we are positive, it doesn’t matter, but we don’t want them to come and take the cat from us, because the documents in circulation say ‘they will have all the rights to our pet.'” It’s horrific. There is a fear of seeing our little monster euthanized. “

“Fortunately, we have tremendous solidarity among the French in Shanghai. 4,600 French were registered, and we could not vote for the first round. We were in 20,000 before the onset of Covid. We cannot travel to France as we would like. It is very difficult to tell yourself that you cannot enter. In this kind of situation.”

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