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  • Writer's pictureAnja

Lockdown stories

March 11 - April 28

2 months

7 weeks

49 days

1176 hours

70560 minutes

4233600 seconds

This was our lockdown.

From 28 April there were the first relaxations: 1 person per household may leave the residential area on foot 1x a day for 3 hours to buy food, which is limited and sold on allocation, at a maximum distance of 2km...

But we stayed at home even the first few days, because they said you needed a permit for these "trips" (and we didn't have one). In addition, there were endless queues in front of the supermarkets and there we did not want to queue with the best will in the world.

On May 3, we got back into the car for the first time and drove very carefully towards our residential area exit. (One day before we could observe Chinese driving two by two in the car through the gate)..... and done!

We are free again!

Are we allowed to go wherever we want? - nope

Are we allowed to leave the city? - nope

Are we allowed to fly on vacation? - nope

May we fly home without having to go into quarantine for at least 4 weeks afterwards? -nope.

But hey, at least we are allowed to leave our residential area!!!

And we do that every weekend now. But we have to be up to date with the PCR-tests, the last test must not be older than 48 hours. That's why we still test diligently every day in the compound.

All restaurants are still closed. But you can order your food and have it delivered to the compound entrance or pick it up directly from your favorite restaurant.

The supermarkets are open again and you can also visit some of these huge shopping malls if you want to.

Public parks, i.e. those where you have to pay an entrance fee or where there are food stalls, are still closed, but those that are freely accessible are no longer blocked off.

In the meantime, our post office is open again, so we can order from Taobao again. Especially Denny uses this now extensively, because he wants to repair his bike and we do not know here in Changchun, where you can get the spare parts for such special things.

Since the supermarkets are open again, we can go shopping again and eat the things we like and not only what is put in front of us.

The one fresh meat order in the lockdown was already really not very appetizing to look at:

While all people still had to stay in their houses/apartments/compounds, there were a few people who had permission to stay outside and of course drive cars. Denny and I put our noses through the fence and counted a maximum of 5 cars per walk. Still, drivers managed to wreck their cars. Even before people were allowed to leave the compound for a 3-hour shopping trip (04/28), there was a broken car at the entrance. Yesterday it was finally cleared away....

The question, how one manages, if there are only 5 cars in the city, to drive his car in a driveway to the Compound (here slowly driving is announced) into a second car and to destroy in such a way that it cannot be driven any longer, forces itself there formally on .... an answer I have to it however not.

Still (11.05) we may not leave the city. Denny is already scratching with the hooves, the weather is warm and it blows, we want to go to the kite lake (but it is outside Changchun).

As a tip, we have been sent by a Changchun kiter a location where you may go kiting within the city limits.

After work Denny and I went to check it out.

Finally we can see far again! What a relief for the eyes.

And you can also kite here.

We used the drone to check whether there might still be some junk in the water, apart from the fish traps:

What is not so good to see on the video, the river lies between quite a lot of rice fields.

On the way back home we had a little bad luck:

First we get from our car the message that the tire pressure is not right and not even a minute later the car drives only very bumpy. For us as a mechanical engineer and former Sixt employee, however, this is no problem, ran to the side, tools out and tires changed. No 10 minutes later we are on the way home again. It's late, it's dark and we're hungry for dinner.

Hunger presses the gas pedal and it comes as it must:

The road is a disaster: potholes where a small child could hide... Evasion with hunger in the belly is no longer there, you just want to go home.

Here is the result:

Now the spare wheel has also been defused and we are standing on the edge of town, on the side of the road and are at the end of our tether.

Denny's comment: "I can't know that the tire is made of cardboard...!".

Cabs do not drive yet, pumping up is not possible, because broken, also the first wheel is so destroyed that it can not be pumped up, or we do not get far with it 100 meters more, workshops are not open and we are hungry...

A few calls later a colleague of Denny saves us. He even has a spare wheel with him, but unfortunately the distance between the wheel nuts doesn't fit. The car has to stay overnight and we get a ride home from the Heming.

I took a picture of a shrub by our patio in the lockdown almost every week. Over the course of 7 weeks it went from snow to bloom to leaves. In the meantime it is summer here.

Overall, we survived the lockdown just fine. We didn't starve, didn't have any real medical emergency, could enjoy our terrace extensively and had each other. Even if that was difficult at times. Sitting on top of each other for so long can be exhausting.

Our lockdown collage:

But not everyone is as well off as we are in such times. Sometimes we receive videos and reports from Shanghai that range from strange to sad to frightening. Our friends in Shanghai are doing well. But the "public" social media channels here censor most reports from Shanghai.

Not only do many of the Chinese not have a proper kitchen as we imagine a kitchen to be, they also mostly order their food. It's cheaper and they don't need a kitchen or supplies. (we have also seen apartments here when looking for apartments that do not have a proper kitchen).

In addition, the suicide rate has increased significantly. Unfortunately, there are no official statistics on this and I too have only heard this through "hearsay". However, I can very well imagine that this statement is true.

I received this video some time ago, it is from Shanghai. In the meantime, the young man is doing better. I do not know him personally, but from the Shanghai KiteGroup it was confirmed that he was helped.


Anja & Denny

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