Outbreak, Lockdown, the Beginning of Despair

It has been a month since I started my internship. And during this short month of internship, half of the time has been spent working from home. The pandemic has been constantly surrounding me since the day I arrived in Shanghai.

On the day of my scheduled onboarding, I was informed that there were close contacts in the company, so my start date had to be postponed by a week. A week after starting my job, news broke out about a major outbreak in Songjiang. At first, I thought Shanghai's precise control measures and the fact that it was in the suburbs would prevent the spread to the city center. After that week, I moved out of the temporary accommodation and into a new house. But in the following week, the situation worsened rapidly, and there was no sign of it being brought under control. On Friday, the company announced that we would start working from home. No one knew how long this pandemic would last, and I had never experienced being confined to my home due to a pandemic, even during the major outbreak in 2020. Because I had always lived in the countryside, even during the most severe days, I never had to worry about food and clothing. The only difference was that everyone had more free time and stayed at home, talking to each other. I had never experienced city life and was not accustomed to being confined.

But this time, I experienced it. I didn't want it to turn out this way. In the first week of working from home, there didn't seem to be anything unusual in Pudong, at least in the area where I live. Life became more relaxed, and I could still go out for a meal with colleagues or visit each other's homes.

However, I couldn't rely on takeout for every meal. In the following week, I started trying to cook for myself. But I only had a small electric pot, which was inconvenient for both cooking rice and stir-frying dishes. After a few days of trying, I decided to buy an electric rice cooker. However, many stores didn't deliver to Shanghai when I asked around. Finally, I found the Xiaomi store on was reliable at this time, I placed the order in the morning and it arrived in the evening. By this time, our residential area had already been locked down. There was no specific end time for this lockdown. Supermarkets were crowded, and instant noodles and other items were basically sold out. I regretted not stocking up on supplies from Hema the day before. But I was lucky enough to have visited Hema the day before, so it was better than having nothing at all.

The small supermarket is crowded with people

And so, I began my life in a lockdown area, far away from home. I don't know how long I can hold on. As of today, it has been almost a week. And just yesterday, another positive case was reported, leading to an endless cycle of lockdowns. Every day, I struggle to get groceries, constantly switching between different grocery shopping apps, setting multiple alarms, but still find it difficult to buy groceries. Only those who have experienced this despair can truly understand it. As an outsider, I always thought it wouldn't be that difficult. How naive of me.



I long for freedom, but now there is no end in sight, and life has lost its purpose.

Suppressing the soul's longing for freedom.

Is this what people say?

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