Shanghai

While every single institution of higher learning that offers degrees in Scotland has rushed to assure the tiny number of Ukrainian (and some also the larger number of Russian) students and staff that the Scottish educational establishment cares for them and their loved ones back home, to my knowledge none of them have even mentioned the situation in Shanghai—now spreading to other regional Chinese cities.

There could be various reasons for this, including those ideological and economic, but unlike my colleague who presumed my motives in publicly called for me to be sacked for questioning the official WEF narrative on Ukraine (parroted by media outlets and exploited by Hollywood starlets, despite obvious discrepancies and stage management) I will not attempt to read minds.

Instead I reproduce a redacted series of messages I have received from an old friend living in Shanghai, about the harsh and inhumane lockdown there, starting mid-March 2022.

Sorry these have been crazy days, you might have heard but the whole China is going into these last-minute local lockdowns , shanghai keeps shutting down and opening residential districts every days …it’s a bit of a mess

My living compound was supposed to go into lockdown yesterday but instead they just came for a “voluntary “ test , and probably we will go into lockdown next week for the mass testing

Office compound went into lockdown two day ago and I had to rush to […] finish the work that could not be done at home, as I can’t go back there for 2 weeks at least

I’m home, with some groceries and frozen/canned food (but not stacked for like a nuclear like some people did …I have just a full fridge and some cupboard of dry food…) I have a new book ([…] ) and also I’m reading […] for the book club on Kindle , some videogames , pc for work , and a little space to do stretching (my home is very very small…)

But I keep going out for now, as lockdown here has not happened yet

[…]

I do a short meditation in the evening and journaling in the morning as a regular practice.

Nobody knows if their living compound will enter lockdown as they only announce it the evening before, so everyone is rushing stocking groceries and I had to do the same, but now it’s seems that each district of the cities will have different policies, who allows deliveries , who doesn’t , who allows walking dogs, who doesn’t , who allows going into common areas of the compound who doesn’t let the people out of their house door who installs sensors who makes daily census …it’s a total mess

[…]

[…] I’m always available as I’m locked at home

[…] I’m not feeling great and I need to rest

Ok no worries. Pls enjoy the Easter holidays . I’m home since end of March and not allowed to go out due to the strict lockdown. I’m fine but just scared of ending up in a quarantine center and that is affecting my mood but I keep it under control. I’d like to hear about your campaign.

[…]

I’m sorry, I cannot get through

Happy Easter to you too Alan !

I don’t think there is anything that could be done if not spreading the news of what is happening, so that the international exposure could force the local government into adopting more human measures

This article is very well written

[…]

Life in Shanghai is not so great at the moment.

Personally, I realized that being at home in good health is the greatest happiness in these days, and we can choose to embrace it and observe all the beautiful things that blossom from it.

A few months ago a friend who I reached out to in need of inner peace was so kind me to give me a Gratitude Journal, that since then became my morning practice with a warm tea or coffee, and it’s now what I gladly wake up to in these days of home routines.

I’m thankful for the food I have at home, but the other day during the queue for testing, an auntie of the compound gave me her homemade wonton “to take care of my health”. I cooked them, they’re not the best wonton I had and they’re a bit too starchy, but they felt like the best meal ever with some spicy peanuts sauce.

Work is not great at the moment and trying to maintain the normal workflow […] during heavy lockdowns, movement and travel restrictions around the whole China has proven to be difficult and stressful, but it’s teaching me resilience and confidence in problem-solving.

I have the chance to dive deeper in my readings, enjoying the quietness. I was so fascinated by the solemn and profound writing of […] that took me back to my high-school classical studies, I’m now marveling at […], and I’m looking forward to start […] from the monthly Book Club gathering we plan to have after the lockdown.

Several people reached out to me to ask my feedback on their activities, their work, their writings, their business, and I was happy to sit and provide my impressions in this newly found way of connecting with them. It’s a time to recollect, to plan, to reconsider, and I’m trying to do the same.

I regularly practice mindfulness without expecting anything from it, just for the practice itself, being it sitting 10 minutes to listen to by breathing and scanning my body, or […] that leaves me rested or healed.

I’m indulging in playing video-games on my dear […] in the evening to wind down and take my mind off things; I’ve finished […] (so emotional!) and now starting […] to satisfy my thirst for j-rpgs.

And yes, sometimes I sit on my small couch hugging my knees under a blanket and fear, anxieties, sadness rise. I allow them to be, let them make their course, and observe them subside after a while, breathing them out. They do not disappear and part of them stays with me, like a wave that comes and goes, slowly subsiding each time.

So, life in Shanghai is not so great at the moment, but it’s amazing how many ways we can find around ourselves to get through it.

[…]

I try to cope

I feel alone and lonely. […]

[…]

I don’t want to talk in a negative way

Thanks

Hi Alan

Thanks for reaching out

No, things have gotten worse

They are fencing people in now. The objective is to clear the city of Covid by locking all the compounds where positive cases are found with fences . The communities will be punished for not being able to curb the infections , fenced communities will not be able to receive any kind of food delivery if not the government rations delivered by volunteers.

These two articles are very well written

Sorry, I had already sent you the austrianchina one

Anyway now the talks are about trying to open by end of May, but the situation will be in and off till October, when Xi Jinping will be re-elected. They won’t risk to change the policy until he is re-confirmed

Meanwhile Guangzhou, Beijing and around 40 other cities in China are starting mass testing, lockdowns etc

It is estimated that at the moment around 400millions Chinese people are under lockdown. The government is showing its force and they are only starting

I will write about it, I’m just trying to figure out what I want to write. I won’t do it to share the news, that is already happening . I need it to be personal

I haven’t heard from my friend in a week.

Cartoon male prisoner wearing grey with arrows behind steel bars on window opening in brick wall

Thanks to Dawn Hudson for releasing her image Prisoner into the Public Domain.

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