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Shanghai Covid Siege

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Shanghai Covid Siege

Food Shortages, Talking Robots, Starving Animals

The Washington Post,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The Chinese government’s draconian COVID-19 lockdown of Shanghai oppresses and inconveniences residents amid rosy official reports.

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  • Controversial
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Drones surveil empty streets as they broadcast instructions for urban residents to stay indoors. This report, which describes a city the Chinese government closed down to contain COVID-19, reads like a page ripped from a dystopian novel, but is entirely nonfiction and set in April 2022: present-day Shanghai, a city of 25 million people. As Lily Kuo, Lyric Li, Vic Chiang and Pei-Lin Wu report for The Washington Post, the city’s lockdown is draconian, and the struggle for some residents is life or death – even beyond the looming specter of the pandemic.


Shanghai’s 25 million residents endure severe lockdown mandates that intend to control the spread of COVID-19.

Under the extended lockdown, many residents of Shanghai find themselves struggling to procure the basics, such as food and medical care. Most remain trapped in their homes after the government quarantined nearly 300,000 residents who tested positive for coronavirus and those in their close personal circles.

Those who have the virus now live in care facilities, holding centers and hospitals, depending on the level of medical attention they require. They have no idea when they’ll be able to leave. For many in Shanghai, quarantine is a more fearsome prospect...

About the Authors

Journalists Lily Kuo, Lyric Li, Vic Chiang and Pei-Lin Wu write for The Washington Post.

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