Shanghai residents struggle with life under lockdown, another pet killed for virus prevention, Jay Chou victim of NFT heist, cyberbullying victim commits suicide—it’s Viral Week
Shanghai and Jilin lockdown strains food supplies and residents’ patience
Shanghai continues to be in a citywide lockdown two weeks after officials announced an eight-day staggered lockdown of two halves of the city. Obtaining adequate food supplies has become a major challenge, with supply chains under stain, online delivery platforms overwhelmed, and drivers in short supply. The city recorded 914 symptomatic and 25,173 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases today, while Jilin province, another hard-hit area, recorded 187 symptomatic and 797 asymptomatic cases.
In Pudong district of Shanghai, a Covid-19 prevention worker killed a pet corgi after the dog’s owners tested positive for the virus and had been transferred to a quarantine center. A video of the brutal killing, which shows the worker hitting the dog three times with a spade, went viral online. Before the killing, the owner had let the corgi loose in their residential compound after local community workers refused to take care of the dog, so that other residents could feed it while the family was away. The local authority released a statement claiming they killed the pet to stop the virus from spreading, despite there being no current evidence of animal-to-human transmission.
Woman in lockdown commits suicide after being cyberbullied
On April 6, a woman locked down in the Hongkou district of Shanghai was reported to have committed suicide by jumping out of her apartment on the 32nd floor, with her family believing cyberbullying is the cause. On April 3, the woman had hired a courier surnamed Yu to deliver home-cooked food for her hearing-impaired father, who lived 27 kilometers away in Qingpu district. Mr. Yu spent almost four hours on this mission, including walking the last two kilometers due to road closure and having to stay in a hotel (on his company’s dime) after. The woman put 200 yuan in Mr. Yu’s mobile phone account after he declined extra payment, but after she shared the story on Weibo, some netizens mocked her for being too stingy, and harassed her via public comments and private messages. The woman’s family members say they are looking into taking legal action against the cyberbullies.
With ordering food supplies a major challenge in Shanghai, one resident wrote in his building’s WeChat group, in Chinese: “So what are we going to eat, the black man on the seventh floor?” The man in question, an American international school teacher named Jacobie Kinsey, responded in the group in English: “Don’t eat me.” A screenshot of the conversation quickly went viral on social media, with memes and t-shirts made out of Kinsey’s quote. While the conversation sparked a discussion on race, Kinsey told That’s Shanghai that he found the comment to be more ignorant than racist, and is glad that the incident offered some relief to people in lockdown.
Jay Chou victim of NFT heist
On April 1, scammers stole a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) belonging to Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou. Chou announced on Instagram that he originally thought it was an April Fools’ Joke, before realizing he’d been caught in a phishing scam and that the NFT, part of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection and worth over 3 million yuan, was really gone. NFTs are nontradable on the Chinese mainland, but have still become popular in the PRC and across Asia.
PhD student works part-time as delivery driver
Meng Wei, a 31-year-old PhD student at Zhejiang University, went viral for working as part-time deliver driver to support his family, including his sick son. Meng has been studying his PhD for eight years, claiming he was unable to graduate earlier because his supervisor assigns him too much unrelated work and offers little help for his studies. His supervisor and college, meanwhile, claimed Meng’s failure to graduate and publish any academic work was because he “didn’t spend enough energy” on research.
Will Smith’s Oscar Slap inspires a teaching moment
Will Smith’s slap on comedian Chris Rock during this year’s Oscar ceremony inspired a teaching moment in an elementary school classroom in Taiwan, where a teacher surnamed Huang presented the incident five times in five different ways to encourage critical thinking. Huang asked the students to vote if they were in favor of Smith’s action after each scenario, in a bid to highlight how politicians and the media manipulate public opinion by selectively reporting facts and partial truths.
Peking University Third Hospital, a public hospital in Beijing, came under criticism for charging 38,000 yuan to store a body in their mortuary for three days. The huge bill shows questionable service items, such as “bathing and spa” for 5,990 yuan, and “gold road for the spirit” for 1,500 yuan. Netizens suggested they were exploiting bereaved people and making money out of death.
Woman accidentally ships phone to Shanghai with Covid relief supplies
On April 4, a worker in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, accidentally packed her own smart phone into a relief package of vegetables sent to Shanghai. The phone turned up in Lanzhu residential community in Shanghai’s Hongqiao district. A community worker sent the phone back to Yangzhou, along with a note explaining that the phone traveled to Shanghai without its owner in order to prevent the woman’s health code from being influenced by the errant device.
In Weihai, Shandong province, a woman surnamed Rong amused netizens by sewing her husband clothes to the sofa while he slept on it, apparently in protest at his laziness. The husband had apparently been asleep for five hours, and refused to play with the couple’s child.