As if a crippling power shortage was not a problem enough, the Chinese citizens are staring at a bleak winter with food commodities and other daily essentials running out of supply. Reportedly, residents of the northwestern Chinese city of Xi’an, with a population of 13 million people have been scurrying around, looking for groceries and other staples for their daily day-to-day survival. Such is the perilous situation that some are resorting to barter to secure essential supplies.
A BBC report stated that videos and photos on social media site Weibo showed people exchanging cigarettes for cabbage, dishwashing liquid for apples, and sanitary pads for a small pile of vegetables.
“Helpless citizens have arrived at the era of bartering – potatoes are exchanged for cotton swabs,” one Weibo user said, while another described it as a “return to primitive society”.
As anti-epidemic workers are bringing food to local communities, videos such as these having been going viral on Weibo. pic.twitter.com/lWdidgXNmm
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) January 1, 2022
Online hashtags trend on Weibo as residents barter for goods
The hashtag “Grocery shopping in Xi’an is hard” has been viewed 300 million times on Weibo. After the online movement gained momentum, the Chinese Censors sprang into action and deleted some of the posts, but not before reluctantly acknowledging that the escalation of restrictions had contributed to logistics and staffing problems.
Online some residents reported having received food parcels, but many more complained they were still struggling. “I heard friends in other districts got their food delivered, but not here in Weiyang district,” a resident surnamed Wang told AFP, saying she was working through all her supplies. “I live on…. a bowl of porridge everyday — just a little bit to keep alive.”
Jinping not letting go of his “zero Covid” policy
The ancient capital city has seen a resurgence of the virus in the last month. As soon as the cases started increasing, the Xi Jinping regime threw caution to the wind.
Implementing its zero Covid’ policy, the CCP imposed a hard lockdown on December 22 after the city recorded 1,117 infections between Dec. 9 and Dec. 29, according to ‘not-so-credible’ numbers released by the government.
Draconian curbs on residents’ movement
Tough curbs to control the city cases include ordering all cars off the road, telling students to remain in their dormitories, and multiple rounds of mass testing. Those leaving their homes for grocery shopping without permission are being caught by the authorities.
When the lockdown was announced, the rules allowed one resident out every two days to stock up on supplies. This was then reduced to every three days, before residents were no longer allowed out at all.
However, feeling the heat after the news went international, the Chinese Commerce Ministry announced that it had contacted nearby provinces to help ensure adequate supplies of everyday necessities.
While countries across the world have seen a major uptick in numbers in the numerous waves of the virus, the Chinese official numbers still read 101,890 cases and 4,636 deaths since the pandemic began.