“”What day of the week is it today?” – I struggle now to find the answer.
The milestones of workweek/weekend have dissolved. I no longer have work days but work hours, periods of activity eventually put on hold awaiting action/replies.
I check the weather and no longer think ‘it will be 18 C on Thursday”. Instead start to view the welcome warmth as a child might, awaiting Christmas in terms of ‘sleeps’.
Life in a city put on pause.
Some activity has returned to Shanghai – a few cars on the road, a few extra scooters and pedestrians. But the multitude of construction sites around me are silent. Mornings no longer start with a cacophony of heavy machinery but instead the chirping of birds.
With the announcement of the Wuhan lockdown before the Spring Festival break I broke into a fury ordering non perishables on Tao Bao, just in case there was a run on stores while away. They now sit stored away in the closet – shelf lives measured in years and decades, hopefully never needed. Bottled water stock is growing, now 2 weeks. The freezer and fridge are kept full, grocery orders placed for delivery every 2 to 3 days to keep things topped up … just in case. It would be too easy to become complacent, lulled into a false sense of security.
I am noticing that while necessities are well stocked, niceties are starting to dwindle – the local shop keep laughed and informed me (to the best of my understanding) that I had cleaned him out of one particular item and no more was expected to follow from his distributor. I suspect we will see the same eventually happen with other items impacted by the shutdowns such as clothing and electronics, though perhaps noticed slower than in the West as most people here remain ‘bunkered’ at home (not shopping).
Districts and apartment compounds (complexes) have started enacting rules above and beyond required by authorities. Reports of days passes, hard curfews, one outing per day filter my way from other expats in the city. I consider myself fortunate that our building has been pretty level headed – temperature checks and the daily sign in upon return from an outing are all I face … so far.
Today … today is Sunday..