“Our main daily concern is getting water and food”, says David Usopp on Monday, April 18 in franceinfo. This French man, who has been living in China for 17 years, has been detained since April 1 with his wife and son in the old city of Shanghai, where the “zero Covid” policy is implemented.
franceinfo: what are your days?
David Usop: We don’t really see the weekend, every day is the same. We’re waiting to see if we can get out, we’re waiting to see the news. Our main daily concern is getting water and food. We’ve made some small reserves between the two confinements, at the beginning of the month, but they’re not forever. We get, once a week, a basket with some food from the local government.
“The day before yesterday, we received a small basket with two oranges, three apples, two carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes, three packages of freeze-dried pasta, a small bag of sausages, two rolls of toilet paper… three.”David Usop
We may have another delivery but for now we haven’t received anything else for this week, knowing that city courier deliveries have been cancelled, so we have very little other means to receive food and even water.
You are not allowed to go out at all?
There are three levels of containment in Shanghai. There is a strict standard for housing where there have been cases of Covid-19: residents have two weeks plus a week to wait in the hope that there are no new cases. It is a strict confinement, they can only leave their homes for exams. Category 2: If there is no case in the accommodation for two weeks, you can go out in the common areas for a week, you will continue the test but still unable to leave your accommodation. Class III – which I am in – we spent three weeks with no case in our residence, so we have the technical right to leave our residence. However, the neighborhood committee is forbidding people to go out, and says it is reasonable that they do not, and in any case, all shops and all shops are closed. They are trying to dissuade us from leaving. We managed to get out once or twice.
“They tell us that you risk contracting Covid-19 when you leave your home and if you catch Covid-19, you bring the entire property back to Category 1 – Strict Confinement.”David Usop
Also taking the risk, if you test positive, of sending you to the kind of regrouping camps for Covid-19 cases that everyone wants to avoid because we see on TV that these are not very pleasant conditions.
>> Covid-19: ‘We can’t even tell if it’s day or night,’ testifies to a French man held in a ‘quarantine camp’ in Shanghai
Our on-site journalist writes about scenes of the revolutions in Shanghai. Are the locals starting to get bored?
There is frustration because people are beginning to realize that most of the people who are sent to these centers are asymptomatic. Currently, we have the Omicron variant, which is very contagious but there are very few deaths. We, across China, have had less than 10 deaths in the last three months, so the risk level is really low. The positive people who are sent to these centers are asymptomatic, they don’t really understand what the problem is and they think they can stay at home, that they will be safer there because they can take their medication. They had health problems, whereas when they arrived at these camps, conditions were more austere.
“In 17 years, I’ve never seen this before, the population is angry with the authority.”David Usop
There is tiredness, especially in very large dwellings. Where I live, there are about 30 of us, but in dwellings with 2,000 or 3,000 people, the possibility of someone with Covid-19 turning over all accommodations into strict confinement is much more significant. So, there is a misunderstanding. In some residences that did not have a case and suddenly the residents wonder if it was coming from births or pets, so they started creating hysteria. People start imagining unreasonable reasons and that’s what creates these tensions.