An Empty road in Shanghai

When I wrote the original post in this series, I assumed it was going to be a single post. After the second, I thought that would be it. However, the situation is always fluid. Things change. So here we are with post number 3.

Living under lockdown has become the new normal. We do still get out, but we try to only go out when it’s absolutely essential. In addition, we do have regular deliveries which entail a short walk to the gatehouse for collection. Having read this article, I guess we’re getting off quite lightly. Our apartment building stands alone in its own small compound. The residents are typically owner/occupiers and it’s small enough that the security staff and building management recognise the residents. The residents of larger, multi-apartment compounds in our neighbourhood don’t have such easy access. Many have instituted a pass system to prove residency.

Emily’s unofficial e-learning began this week. Officially the full e-learning programs will start on March 2nd, but Emily is in an international division that chose to restart schooling, albeit remotely, on the original semester start date. After some initial reticence regarding the use of the video conferencing software, things are off and running. Each day commences with a class meeting with their form teacher before they either have more video lessons, do assignments, or Q&A sessions with their teachers. The workload has been high. Almost too high, but there are signs that this will settle down.

Charlotte’s elementary school sent out some extra homework to keep her busy. There was an 88 page book filled with Mandarin, English and Mathematics problems, as well as a few more relaxing things to make and do. Thankfully, there was a companion volume of answers for frazzled parents. The pack also included an MP3 file which turned out to be a recording of a patriotic song about all the heroic mums and dads (doctors and nurses) who had gone to Wuhan to fight the virus and care for the sick. Sigh. Propaganda like this is one of the downsides of sending kids to local schools. I’m glad to say that both my daughters (Emily spent 5 years in local primary as well before going to an international division) have enough critical thinking ability to recognise that there are certain aspects of the school system that they can safely ignore.

The nationwide travel disruption is now having a significant effect on logistics companies. Here in Shanghai, we had become spoiled by the convenience of being able to order goods before 11am and have them delivered within 6 hours. At first, the lockdown meant that same day delivery became next day delivery. Over the last week this has extended, and extended. For such orders, we now wait 2 or 3 days for warehouse processing and then a couple of days transit. Reduced staffing levels are probably the cause of delays as many employees may not have returned after the extended holiday.

And that’s about all from this week’s update. There are signs that the virus may have peaked: No new cases in Shanghai, for example, for several days. I seem to cope pretty well with the lockdown. I spent the first 10 years of my career working offshore. Life at sea wasn’t a lot different from our current situation although there was a greater chance of drowning.

All the best.