At around 4pm i had a Zoom video call - one of our weekly meetings that is scheduled on the slim overlap between China business hours and UK business hours. (It is very sad for me that i cannot type "EU business hours" any more, but the truth is we have more developers in the UK than the EU now.)
Anyway, during the call there was an epic racket outside. Dragging metal, clashes, bangs... It was mildly annoying that i could not see what it was. I am on the 6th floor and it was happening somewhere just out of my line of sight.
By the time the calls ended, the noise had ended too and i forgot about it.
Last night, just as i went to bed, the news broke that one of the health workers who had tried to notify the public about the coronavirus back in December passed away. From the coronavirus. This is one of the eight people who got arrested for "spreading rumors".
It broke the Chinese internet.
And then, mysteriously, the newspapers brought him back to life again. He died and came back to life several times over the next few hours, until the Party finally agreed on the story they wanted to tell. At which point he died again, and this morning the National Supervisory Commission (aka Xi Jinping's personal anti-corruption enforcers) announced they would send a team to investigate. I guess heads will roll, and the Party will try to hold this guy up as a hero of the people and therefore a model Communist. It's so exhausting.
I notice i have a bunch of new readers (thanks, susandennis 😊), so here's a pertinent link to a China Media Project article: Wrestling back the agenda. These are the kinds of marching orders the Party gives the media. Here is another one: Internet giants warned amid coronavirus crackdown. This is the Party reminding the tech industry who's boss. One of the key points of Xi Jinping Thought is that the Party must maintain leadership over everything.
Anyway, today i worked at home again all day, and just a few minutes ago i put on some flip-flops to roll down to the 美宜佳 (like a 7/11) for a couple beers. It's Friday night, after all.
Y'all. My fucking entire building has been fenced off.
The cops have erected a fence all the way along the middle of the sidewalk, separating the buildings from a thin strip where the bus stops. There was a gang of people hanging out on the other side of the barrier talking with the clerk in a Chinese language that i do not understand. I did understand they weren't allowed in.
I didn't walk very far from my house because i just wanted to crack open that cold bottle of Tsingtao, but it appears that we have now been moved inside the roadblocks that surround the village.
There is a chance that perhaps they have reopened the alleyways so that residents of our village can actually walk around to the local shops (assuming any of them are open), but i fear there will now just be double checkpoints.
While writing this i checked WeChat to see if the building management had sent any updates, and apparently we should not be alarmed, this is merely to prevent non-residents from entering our village, which is 为了大家好 - good for everyone. Well, everyone except migrant workers, i suppose.
I guess i'll find out tomorrow when i go to do groceries.