These past two weeks have been a strange blur. I have some facts to present, but what they actually mean, I don’t know.
So it began with the discovery of one or two maybe three COVID-19 cases in Guangzhou, then Shenzhen and Foshan. There was a sudden decision that Guangdong was a potential site of transmission. Hotspots included the Yantian port, Shenzhen north train station, and Bao’an International airport–anywhere asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers could enter the city. The focus of people’s grumbling was outsiders. Fuyong Sub-district, which is where the airport is located even saw hazmat dressed medical workers marching in the street in a show of concern for the city.
Yantian was the first to begin free testing for the virus. People lined up to get tested over the course of three days. People who worked in community centers or were community volunteers worked from 4 in the afternoon until midnight for three consecutive days. By the time the testing came to Nanshan, Yantian had already done three rounds of testing. After a couple days, Nanshan did a second round and then a third. But the lines were no longer thick and deep like they had been the first time. Instead, during the second and third rounds volunteers were no longer engaged in crowd control, but in attracting people to come and get tested. It’s free!
There was a rash of buildings being closed because someone who lived there or worked with someone “came in close contact with an infected person.” These sudden quarantines went on for a week or so, before we stopped hearing about them.
Meanwhile, community stations started organizing for second shots. I was part of a group from my community office that went to get the second shot at a temporary clinic under the Shekou Hospital. People were lined up by residence and then we went through, got our shot, and waited half an hour before leaving. It seemed relatively straight-forward if somewhat confusing; the emphasis on second shots meant that it has apparently been difficult for people to get their first shot.
Anyway, it seems that the second shot rush has not been as smooth as organizers might wish, even though to my mind it seemed like many people where being processed everyday. There were even articles about foreign volunteers who were helping get people through. However, just recently, I’ve seen that different street offices have started advertising prizes and offering incentives to get people in for the second shot. Indeed, we chat groups are comparing offers and some are joking that if you haven’t had your second shot, then you should wait and see what you could get for it.
I’ve included some of the offers below. Like I said at the beginning of this post; I don’t know what any of this means. Are we preparing for the 100th Anniversary? Do the people organizing the shots know something different from published statistics (as of midnight June 28, Shenzhen had reported a total of 553 cases and three deaths since the epidemic began last year)? What’s going on?
It feels to me like Shenzhen was prepared for a prevention rollout and so we’re getting a rollout, but. Why?