Tensions created by the lockdown have exposed divisions among Shanghainese, pitting the young against the old, locals against outsiders, and most of all, those who have tested positive versus those who have tested negative. COVID tests .
Shanghai’s 25 million people, most of whom live in apartment blocks, have forged new community ties during the city’s coronavirus outbreak, through bartering, group buying and creating food-sharing spots.
But with no end in sight to a lockdown that some have already lasted four weeks, frustrations are also mounting behind the closed doors of the city’s high-rise buildings, often manifesting in group messages on the WeChat mobile app.
In one of them, the conflict erupted when a woman who had been transferred to a centralized quarantine centerwhere it was negativeaccused her neighbor of reporting her to the authorities.
It’s not uncommon for test results to be shared and positive cases to be announced in WeChat groups, as authorities try to control China’s largest outbreak since the virus was first identified in the city of Wuhan late in the year. of 2019.
A US citizen was told she would be sent to a quarantine facility after the results of a mixed test, including her own, came back positive last week, sparking panic. Three other people whose samples were in the lot were quarantined, but tests done at their homes remained negative.
Older residents, more vulnerable to COVID – 19, have also been more likely to request the immediate removal of positive cases from their compound.
“Because of the media hype about the disease, and because older people have weaker immune systems, they are more afraid of the virus than younger people,” said one resident who has seen this play out.
Another foreign resident, who only wanted to be identified as Alexy, was suspected by neighbors of being positive for COVID -19 by not uploading his test result to his mobile application.
His building management tried to block his family’s food deliveries unless they shared the results of tests done at their home with other residents, a demand that several Shanghai residents have said is pervasive and violates Privacy.
“They don’t have guidelines and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) services are overwhelmed,” he said. “They felt invested with the most important mission of their lives, to be able to act as a doctor, a police officer and a judge at the same time.”
Some people were denied entry into their homes and ordered to stay in hotels after leaving the central quarantine, violating state guidelines.
Another foreign resident who tested positive said she was confined to her apartment instead of being sent to the centralized quarantine center, much to the chagrin of her neighbors, who asked her to leave, tried to exclude her from group food orders, and even They demanded that he formally apologize.