Eye of the corona-storm

Everything pretty mellow in Beijing at the moment, beautiful weather, and still not too many people out and about on the streets. Measures taken to terminate the virus seem to have been very effective, new daily cases in China being reported as well below 100. Now with the situation in the rest of the word though, it’s hard to tell whether the termination approach (as opposed to the embrace and “control”) will hold out in the long run. You can stamp out the fire, but if your neighbours’ houses are all burning and there’s a wind blowing, how much stamina does one have to keep stamping on the embers? (I suppose there’s hoping the vaccine-brigade arrive and put out all the fires, or I suppose you can set up big walls with the neighbours).

Some policies are still getting stricter as the perceived “finish-line” of no new cases nationally enters into sight. Shopping centres have been “requiring” entrants to scan QR codes to verify that they aren’t supposed to be in quarantine. One colleague was somewhat shocked to see that upon scanning a code that his arrival back in China information was displayed. My local shopping centre guard was a little perplexed when I explained to him I didn’t have a phone (Me: I don’t have a phone, Guard: You mean you haven’t got it on you?, Me: I mean I don’t have a phone), I was, thankfully, allowed in. Was, however, refused entry to a large apartment complex that hosts foreign-product supermarkets and what has been my morning coffee haunt of late(on the basis that I did have a resident entry permit), however after heading over to exit on the other side of the complex I was permitted entry. A lot of lacklustre barriers sealing off other complex entries points (nothing on the zombie barricades in my complex!) which seem to simply rely on good old cultural-revolution-esque tattling on the neighbours to enforce. You can see below however, not everyone feels like abiding (picture from Zhouzhou’s brother’s complex in Hunan). Very unclear in all of this what legal authority the guards on the gates (a lot of whom are volunteers) have..

Codes to be scanned before entry according to mobile network

Most of Beijing is cut up perfect into complexes that makes for easy “management” (for the benefit of the occupants obviously!) but there are still some apartments that face directly onto public areas, so they’ve erected railings and tent-stations to facilitate filtering off vagabonds from the residents.

Colleagues returning to Beijing all dutifully carrying out their 14-day quarantine and relying on deliveries for sustenance (you can see one moped delivery on the above left photo, other complexes have set up makeshift shelves to store the hordes of packages that otherwise are just scattered obstructingly across footpaths). Glad I arrived back when I did, avoiding even more faffage!

Living in Beijing. Everyday trivialities, trivial thoughts.