In Shanghai's covid areas, people "live like livestock."

In Shanghai's covid areas, people "live like livestock." ...

Leona received a medical treatment for covid-19 after being ordered to enter a quarantine facility in Shanghai, a part of the city's aggressive campaign to combat the spread of the virus.

Upon arrival, she received a small plastic wash bowl and a toothbrush. The site, a converted exhibition hall, had no showers, sinks, running water, or real toilets. The rows of porta-potties, shared by thousands of quarantined people, were a hazy mess.

I even try not to drink water, so that I don't have to go to the toilet, Leona said.

Some have covered their beds with scrap pieces of cardboard so they may get some rest. We are not treated like human beings, she said. You just accept being an animal or livestock.

The covid centers are their first personal encounter with Beijing's brand of autoritarianism. The city, which boasts one of China's highest standards of living, had resisted a flexible approach toward zero-covid, entrapping only buildings or compounds at a time. That is until recent national authorities intervened.

Shanghai's rocky climb to stop the outbreak is causing havoc in the country.

Officials are starting to loosen up their city-wide, but covid-19 numbers are still rising. The city registered 25,000 new cases on Wednesday (Apr. 13). The vast majority of these cases are mild, but the official strategy is to get all those who test positive and their close contacts to isolation facilities.

Authorities haven't released details about the conditions at the sites, which may vary. However, the internet is filled with complaints from individuals who claim they are atrocious, including several videos on WeChat, showing rain coming through the roof and patients' beds covered in tarps.

Thousands of patients are placed in shared spaces with no heating or AC and no access to medicines, Wei, a woman from another government quarantine center, told Quartz. This location has a high risk of people becoming even sicker as their conditions may soon worsen.

Wei and her boyfriend, who was later sent to another location, had severe fevers and coughs. She claims that windows are sealed at her facility to prevent the virus from spreading, but depriving people who are inside from fresh air. "We are treated like prisoners."

Not just covid patients are at difficulties. According to a few healthcare workers, who are dressed in heavy protective gear, have had a dismal year.

This is a China that isn't just seen for young people.

The draconian measures in Shanghai and elsewhere have a direct impact on Mao Zedong's cultural revolution, but for young Shanghainese, who have only experienced a relatively open and prosperous China, they have come as a shock.

"In everyday life most Chinese have very little interaction with the state, and now a lot of them have been forced to realize that it is anything but beneficial, particularly the one in Beijing imposing its will on Shanghai," said a resident of hong kong.

"Many of their actions and decisions are perceived as cruel, [callous], nonsensical, and arbitrarily. People under 40 have never experienced such an environment in their lifetimes," he said.

Wei has decided to relocate overseas after her stay at the center, and she expects others to do the same.

"They feel comfortable living in a situation in which the government has dictated every move," she said. "There are no rights whatsoever, and you may lose your freedom at any time...you are trapped in a system and you must obey. This is not a safe place that you may call home."

You may also like: