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Today In Covid: 5 Things That Make Us Think Things MIGHT Be Getting Better

So, four days lockdown, eh?
2022-04-28 17:00:00

So, four days lockdown, eh?

28 days later, here we all are, waiting for the the big news — the one announcement from Shanghai Fabu saying it's all over, we're all good, and we can go outside and do our thing.

The eternal optimist in us is thinking: this announcement must be coming soon, right? Like, right after this next round of city-wide testing, right? Just in time for May holidays?

The more pragmatic and cautious optimist in us is starting to think that "opening up" is going to be a slow and gradual process, with small improvements day by day or week by week, with things getting back to normal... let's say "eventually".

The resolute pessimist in us thinks we shouldn't even be writing this article and should just go open that bottle of whiskey on top of the fridge and ride out another day in paradise.


We're playing the cautious optimist today. Here are five things that have us thinking that things might be getting better... eventually.

First, a caveat: We don't have any inside track on what's going on other than what we're reading in the official news of the daily press conferences and what we're hearing from our neighborhood Committees. We're not offering solid answers — just a little bit of hope, meant just as much for us at this point, as for anyone else.

So. The signs that things might open up soon:

The way they are talking about it

China was — and, by golly, still is — aiming for "Zero Covid". Over the course of this thing, "Zero Covid" (清零) has been adjusted to "Dynamic Zero Covid" (动态清零), and then later on into "Societal Zero Covid" (社会面) which in this context, has been explained as "zero Covid cases outside quarantine".

Yes! By all means keep moving these goalposts. Do it!

So, "zero Covid cases outside quarantine" — that's something we are getting quite close to. Recently only a few cases have been detected outside quarantine.

Now, reading yesterday city's announcement, two characters have been added in front of the Zero Covid: "基本清零" -- which changes the meaning of this into "almost zero cases".

"Almost" is definitely something we can work with.

There seems to be a plan coming into being on what a non-lockdown future looks like

Just this past Wednesday, the city announced a few updates that paint a clearer picture of how life after the lockdown could look like. One announcement brings attention back to the HealthCode, the three color code that was always green for everyone before the lockdown. Now, it's supposed to incorporate more data and layers. One phrase specifically jumps out from the official announcement; a code might turn yellow if someone's PCR test is overdue, which indicates that in the future we'll have to follow a strict test routine to keep the code green.

The mention of changes to the QR code system should be a positive sign that things will get to a more tech-based and personalized solution versus the "lock-everyone-up-and-we'll-let-your-building-know-when-you-can-come-out" solution we have right now.

Why am I looking up my building on a list like I'm auditioning for a high school play? Isn't my whole life in this HealthCode? Seems like they're working towards making that the case.

In another announcement, a list of over 500 PCR testing locations was released — sites around the city where anyone can get a PCR test on the spot. Pictures from the interviews show that the temporary locations have already been put in place.

A city with all these testing locations has us thinking of a situation where we're allowed outside of our apartments and districts -- provided we've got an up-to-date negative test result on our phone, which are now obtainable everywhere. It's already been some weeks that we've learned that we need a lovely green QR code to get into basically anywhere — malls, cultural sites, restaurants, offices, retail businesses, everything.

Deliveries are already coming back

There are also tiny steps on the way back to ordering food. Like properly. A bunch of restaurants have announced that they are back to accepting individual deliveries, not just group purchase, including Colca and Chez Jojo. Browsing through and Meituan reveals a large number of restaurants that are now actually back open for regular delivery.

At the same time, a much larger number of F&B suppliers now have access to their warehouses and have started delivering again.

We are also getting back the ONE THING that gives our life any sense and meaning: Taobao Shopping.

Via, the paragon of sober, bias-free wisdom Global Times:

"Shanghai's express industry officially restarted on Wednesday, with a truck driver from STO Express smoothly transporting the first batch of supplies from the city to North China's Tianjin with the nationally unified pass on Wednesday morning"

They are actually saying we'll be free...

Yeah, we know. We know.

Hear us out.

Via Shine, from yesterday:

"A limited number of residents will be allowed to conduct minimal activities in restricted areas in those districts, according to Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission."

Limited residents! Minimal activities! In restricted areas!

Is your champagne chilled, Shanghai?

Got your tux back from the dry cleaners?

Are some of you ready to party! Minimally! In a designated place!

(Yeah, yeah. It's not much. But it's something. Hey, we'll take some minimal activities...)

Some compounds are relaxing things

This is a little bit more, something we're feeling in the wind. More on the hearsay side. We're sensing our bao'an's letting his guard down a bit. We've heard of a few cases in the last 24 hours, policies have been relaxed to some extent. In one case, a building with a positive case was initially told they had to stay inside the apartment for 14 days, but this policy then got changed into 7+7 just today. This is in line with what's being reported just yesterday that the city has eased restrictions in areas where COVID-19 infections were stamped outside the quarantined areas.

However, with policies changing daily, these guys maybe just got lucky.

But who knows. Maybe one day we'll all get lucky.