“war time” situation

The image reads: The humble wishes of Shenzheners, be able to leave their offices, be able to go home, sleep through sunrise without being woken up by megaphones. It’s true, as omicron has spread throughout Shenzhen, the city has entered what has been called in groups as a “war time situation.” Where it is required to be tested four times over four consecutive days. If a case is discovered the building is closed with people in it (can’t leave their office), the residential area is closed (can’t return home), and larger areas, depending on the routes they have taken over the course of their infection, are also closed. And yes, they have woken people up in the middle of the night and herded them outside for compulsory testing. The shut downs in Futian have made people especially nervous and some report going to buy vegetables, but the stores are empty.

Today, I’m wondering about the relationship between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the abrupt turn to “war time” metaphors in Shenzhen. I’m not yet sure how to think about this juxtaposition, but I can’t be the only one wondering, who does this militaristic rhetoric serve and toward what ends? Is it to take our minds off the upcoming Two Meetings? Is it to get us used to talking about war time necessities? Is it to distract us from Xuzhou? Is it to deepen levels of control and surveillance in Shenzhen? All of the above? I’ll let you know my thoughts when I have some…

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