In locked-down Shanghai, Zhang Chen was standing by her community gate, waiting to pick up apples to be delivered to her apartment compound. She reveled in her luck at striking the apple deal because fruit had become a rare treat in the metropolis locked down since late March in response to a new Covid-19 outbreak. The city authorities prioritize delivering essential foods like rice and vegetables to the city’s 25 million residents. 

A neighbor who bought 15 kilograms of apples through a community group’s bulk buy last week was willing to split the order with her, saving Zhang days of waiting in this challenging time. 

Some Shanghainese have been locked in their homes since early March, when the city was only doing partial lockdowns. Shanghai began a two-stage city-wide lockdown on March 28 and promised to reopen by April 5, which never happened. The lockdown has been extended, and as of the time of writing, most of the city is still under lockdown. The unexpected long locking period has left many residents unprepared and scrambling to find food and supplies.  

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.