A lot has been happening in China the last few months, unfortunately much of it is negative. While multiple natural disasters have occurred, two of China’s largest cities were put into lockdown.
In March, Shanghai went into a strict lockdown amidst a rise in Omicron cases. It started with mass testing and then an initial 5-day period where almost everyone had to stay in their homes.
In April, the city was put under a 2-month lockdown. Shanghai’s central Jingan district, a key commercial area of the Chinese financial market, required all supermarkets and shops to shut and residents to stay home until at least the 24th of May. There was no going out for shopping trips, even for just a couple of small items. All food items were delivered in sacks or boxes to the buildings.
All there is to eat
That’s what they and their families had to eat until the next food delivery to their block. If it wasn’t enough, then, as many people have found, you starved. If you were one of the unfortunate souls welded into your home, your death by starvation was almost definitely guaranteed.
Jingan district planned to carry out Covid mass testing from 22-24 May. The use of all existing permits previously given to the residents that allowed them to leave their houses were suspended.
Specific areas were sealed off from all outside, and anyone trying to enter or leave the area were shot without warning. Condo buildings were having the first and second floors and windows welded shut to absolutely guarantee that no-one was able to enter or leave the building. If they were told to be home by a specific time and they were late, they were welded out of their home.
In mid-April, Shanghai recorded 26,000 daily new Covid cases. Now it’s about 1500 cases.
Thousands of Covid-19 positive cases had been forced into makeshift quarantine facilities. Almost everyone else were only allowed to leave their homes for daily Covid testing. No shops were open in Shanghai, so residents had to rely on government rations, or order supplies in bulk, to their compounds.
Delivery companies have a special permit that allows them to be on the street, and it is the only way—other than the food delivery which comes sporadically from the local government—to get what they need.
Beijing has also been under lockdown at much the same time as Shanghai. This was because a man landed thousands of his neighbours into quarantine after he had ignored government orders to stay at home. The man, after a number of excursions outside, tested positive for Covid. When all was said and done, there were hundreds of thousands of Beijing residents who were ordered to stay at home to curb the outbreak.
The authorities used similar control methods in Beijing to the ones used in Shanghai’s lockdown. On 10 May, 13,000 Covid negative Beijing residents were relocated to quarantine hotels overnight due to only a handful of infections, for a period of seven days.
From April to May of this year there was only about 1300 infections. This is down from a record high of about 20,000 daily cases in April. A few shopping centres and markets had reopened Some residents were given passes allowing them out for a few hours at a time. Lockdown prompted an exodus of Chinese and foreign residents.
On 1 June, authorities took steps to reopen cities. Residents of Shanghai ate and drank along streets patrolled by police. Not long after June 9, the authorities reinstated the lockdown. Thisis after health authorities reported only 15 new cases in Shanghai. There was also a round of mass testing for millions.
In Beijing, authorities in Chaoyang, home to about 3 million people, ordered internet cafes and entertainment venues to shut, while the patrons of 4 bars were to identify themselves and self-isolate. This in turn triggered fresh public anger.
One of the major negative side effects of all these lockdowns has been the emotional toll of the lockdowns: thousands of people have committed suicide in Shanghai because they can’t get adequate food or medical supplies. Protests and looting have reportedly occurred.
Aside from Beijing and Shanghai’s lockdown woes, China has also been hit hard in the form of floods and landslides. The Xiaolangdi Dam opened three spillways to discharge floodwater from the heaviest rainfall in 60 years, and a massive landslide swept away houses in the mountains of Longsheng county, northeast Guangxi, after torrential rains.
So, when going about your day, spare a thought and a prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ and the lost souls of China caught up in all that’s happening in China.
Katelin Staples is from Gladstone, Queensland. By day Katelin is employed as a proofreader. Katelin has a passion for discovering the deep things of God and how they affect the world around us.