**This Wednesday edition of Mo News would typically only be available to premium subscribers. However, given the high interest surrounding the EXTREME Covid lockdowns in Shanghai, we're PAUSING our paywall just for TODAY and making this premium edition available for ALL subscribers.
TOMORROW, we will feature an interview with someone who tested positive and is being held in one of the massive facilities with thousands of others, dubbed "Camp Covid." He'll give us a must-see video tour of the complex. If you'd like to receive tomorrow's issue and support more work like this, sign up for our premium content HERE. **
The city of Shanghai, China, with its 26 million residents, has been under a draconian Covid lockdown for nearly three weeks. Officials have started to gradually loosen up some restrictions (aka let people go outside) in certain areas, even as overall Covid cases are still rising. With food in short supply, elderly unable to get medicine, parents initially separated from their Covid-positive kids, and the government even appearing to kill some pets if owners test positive, some residents staged rare protests against the government. And yet, China is committed to its "Zero Covid" policy.
🗞 Before we get to their interviews, here are some of the big headlines this morning...
🚨 Subway attack: Police identified a “person of interest” in connection with a subway shooting in Brooklyn during the Tuesday morning commute. Police say Frank R. James rented a U-Haul van in Philadelphia. A key to the van was found at the scene along with a handgun
What Happened: Authorities said the suspect put on a gas mask, deployed a gas canister, and then as smoke filled the air in the subway car, started shooting. Police say he fired at least 33 times and that it appears his gun jammed during the shooting rampage, likely preventing even more bloodshed. The train was headed toward a station in Brooklyn's Sunset Park at around 8:20am.
One witness, who sat next to the attacker, tells their harrowing story. ~NY Post
Injuries: At least 10 people were shot, none of whom have life-threatening injuries. More than a dozen other people suffered from other injuries like smoke inhalation.
The motive: The gunman fled the scene and is still on the loose. Authorities say they're trying to figure out the motive. Right now, the police have only named James as a "person of interest." He is known for posting rambling online videos where he rants about government leaders, including the NYC Mayor. ~CNN
💴 Inflation: More evidence that everything is costing a whole lot more: The consumer price index, aka the prices that consumers pay for everyday items, surged 8.5% from a year ago-- even faster than expected. ~ CNBC
The biggest increases are in the cost of oil, up 70%, and gas, up 48%. Used cars, hotels, and airfare are also up dramatically. And grocery staples like milk, chicken, eggs, and coffee also jumped double digits.
Worker wages rose 5.6% from a year ago, but not nearly enough to keep up with the cost of living.
🇺🇦 Ukraine: Ukrainian officials say they're planning for the next stages of war to the east. Satellite images show miles of Russian vehicles heading towards the Donbas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a press event on Tuesday. He said the country would fight until it achieved its goals. He said the goal is to "help people." ~ BBC
Now to our interviews...
Keith Bradsher of the NY Times walks us through the big picture in China and what he thinks the country's biggest mistakes have been in terms of its Covid response. He is newspaper's Beijing Bureau Chief and previously ran the Times' bureaus in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Natalie Judd, an American living in Shanghai with her husband and two daughters, tells us about how she's managed to get food, what happens to pets when their owners test positive, and how she had to superglue her finger after she sliced it open (because she didn't want to go to the hospital, leave her apartment compound and extend the lockdown for her neighbors). She has lived in China for the better part of 3 years and been sharing her experience on Instagram.
💡 ONE MORE REMINDER: Tomorrow, we'll bring you our interview with someone who's currently in a quarantine facility aka Camp COVID. They will give us a tour inside the facility. You'll need to sign up for Mo News Premium to receive that edition.
[These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.]
First, some brief perspective from the NY Times' Keith Bradsher in Beijing:
Mosheh Oinounou: Many countries have had versions of lockdowns. Describe for us what lockdown means in China, and specifically in Shanghai.
Keith Bradsher: The lockdowns in China have become more and more stringent, now in Shanghai, at their most stringent phase. They're beginning to loosen up a little bit now. It has meant often that nobody can leave their apartment, or that they can only come downstairs once every couple of days to pick up food that has been delivered...to the base of their apartment building. That is more stringent than other cities, which have tended to have lockdowns where they could send out one member of the household every other day to go buy food. There have, however, been some other lockdowns in China that have been equally stringent. Guangzhou and Shenzhen for a while were even experimenting with using drone cars, drone trucks, to drive food into neighborhoods, so as to reduce the risk of having any people go into those neighborhoods while they got these outbreaks under control.
MO: So a lot of the world has, for better or worse, tried to adapt to living with COVID. China however continues to push this idea of 'Zero COVID.' Explain the idea of 'Zero COVID?'
KB: Until the last few weeks, it had looked as though China was having uncommon success in controlling COVID, in trying to have zero cases. It looked as though China had avoided the very high number of deaths or even infections that many other countries had. And it looked as though China could manage that, with only having a severe inconvenience... to about 1% of the population at any one time. Usually smaller towns along the borders particularly had a number of these lock downs. But now we are seeing that a couple of big mistakes on the part of the Chinese government are coming back to haunt it. China is now not ready to open up and is more vulnerable than many countries because of these two mistakes.
One mistake was not vaccinating the elderly. So as of March 17, only 19% of Chinese citizens aged 80 (and above), had received three Chinese vaccines. That is a very, very low level of protection. And there's a lot of medical evidence, including from China's own researchers, that you really do need three vaccines to get proper protection, as opposed to two of the mRNA vaccines that are used in the West. The other mistake that China has made, is not importing mRNA vaccines from the west. There has been discussion of that for the past two years here in China, but it hasn't happened yet. There's a lot of evidence, which Chinese officials and or Chinese scientists also cite, that mixing different kinds of vaccines gives you particularly strong protection. So there's a lot of arguments that you should be getting, say one or two of the domestic Chinese inactivated vaccine shots, which tend to produce almost no side effects but are less strong in preventing illness and combine that with an mRNA shot. And there are certainly some Chinese scientists that have recommended this. But at a policy level, those discussions have continued for the past two years without an actual decision to embrace these mixed vaccination approaches.
MO: What was the rationale for not vaccinating the elderly?
KB: The initial rationale was to keep the economy running, get everybody who was working, vaccinated, and to avoid possible side effects. The initial medical trials did not include the elderly here. China was the first country to really begin to large scale vaccination. And they wanted to do it on people who were young and healthy. There was also a perception that the elderly didn't get out much and therefore were less likely to be exposed. And so they also knew that there might be more vaccine hesitancy on the part of the elderly, so many of the elderly have had very little in the way of vaccination, because there was practically none available when they were growing up in China. So with all of those factors, they didn't really get it done.
MO: Can you lay out for us the impact the longer this goes on....what is the direct relationship between Shanghai and things that come out of there, and the impact that Americans can see at home?
KB: The longer this continues, the more chance that there could be some reduction in the variety of goods that you can find at your local store. And there could be some increases in prices. So if your local store only receives half as many microwave ovens as it was expecting, it might charge more for those microwave ovens than it would otherwise. And that extends across a wide range of items. This also has the potential to start creating difficulties in the auto industry. Already car prices and used car prices are up sharply in the United States, because the car companies have not been able to keep up with demand. Partly, that's because they haven't been able to get enough semiconductors. Quite a few of the materials that are used in building semiconductors are manufactured in the greater Shanghai area. And as those factories have been forced to close...then that will cause a further ripple that could cause further slowdowns in production and slightly higher prices.
MO: For Americans observing what's happening in Shanghai, what are the things that we should be looking for from either Beijing or out of government officials?
KB: What you really want to watch now is how many more cities are going into lockdowns or how many cities are doing mass testing. So you're seeing mass testing in Guangzhou, which after Shanghai, and maybe after Shenzhen...is one of the largest manufacturing centers in China. So what really counts right now is not so much just Shanghai, but how broad is this problem? And how much broader is it going to get in the months to come?
MO: Is China committed to 'Zero COVID' going forward as far as you're concerned? Or do you think you start to see some leniency there?
KB: China so far is saying again and again that it is committed to so called 'dynamic zero,' which is that they understand that there will be some cases in each town but they are committed to wiping out those cases instead of allowing the virus to continue to spread within the cities. But that is very, very difficult to do with Omicron.
Now over to Shanghai, where we speak to an American experiencing the lockdown first-hand with her family.
Mosheh Oinounou: Natalie Judd has spent a couple of weeks now in lockdown with her husband and two young daughters, ages three and five. She's an American from Portland. Natalie, you're coming to me from your apartment right now in Shanghai... how are you?
Natalie Judd: Hey, you know, I'm good, good enough.
MO: Given the circumstances, right?
NJ: My husband and I joke that we're at the acceptance stage of the grief cycle.
MO: I know you were briefly in the US. And so obviously, there were complaints in the US about COVID restrictions, etc. So to the extent that you can even try to translate what the situation is in China to Americans who dealt with-- I don't even know what the most draconian steps were like-- I guess those early couple of weeks of quarantine where it was suggested not to leave the house.
NJ: Yep. So we flew back to the states, late January of 2020..... I think Americans think they locked down, They stayed home school was virtual. You the key differences being you could still leave your house, you could still walk the dog, you could still go to Target, you could still go to the grocery store, right and get basically all the essentials. You could still have any kind of food you wanted, delivered or ordered, there were a couple of days of disruption, and system tried to figure out how to handle this. But draconian is is the best word to talk about what's happening here, as opposed to what happened in the states. Because here, you don't leave your house. You don't walk the dog. It's really hard for people in the states to understand both the supply chain here and the the food situation, the Chinese meal plan is all based on really fresh foods. Nobody does non-perishables. And so people shop every two to three days, and if they don't shop in person, they have it all delivered. And so the problem now in Shanghai is there is the supply, but there's no chain in which to move it along. And so essential workers, I think I read somewhere, there's 10,000 drivers...delivery people bringing things....but there's 26 million people who live in Shanghai. So the numbers just don't add up. And so the food situation is, you can't have things delivered, you cannot have food brought in. And so it's wildly different than where we were at in the states, if you a few years ago, two years, actually, like just over two years ago, is that we could still take our girls outside, they rode their scooters, their bikes, we took walks, we exercised, we jogged, we went out, and then still, of course, went to the stores. And you might have had to wait in line to get in or to stand on tape on the ground six feet from the person in front of you. But there was never food scarcity. And others are like the great toilet paper debacle of whatever that was. But it was nowhere near like it's been here whatsoever. And so it's funny because even until we talk face to face, or Zoom or FaceTime with folks in the West, they cannot understand what it's like here, really until you talk through the details of specifically what lockdown means here. It's a totally foreign, foreign concept for people to understand.
MO: And when is the last time you were able to leave your apartment?
NJ: Um well, we had a COVID test outside three days ago. So in theory, we we breathed fresh air a few days ago. But with the freedom to roam about we have been locked down in our community, roughly since March 20. So there were a handful of days where maybe like one or two days in there where we could go outside in our community here, but other than that we've been locked in to our apartment.
MO: And when you say your community, what is that?
NJ: So yeah, so in Shanghai, the concept of a neighborhood is really broken down kind of to what we consider a compound gated community, we have four or five buildings here, there's about 800 people in our compound. So gated complex. And this is this is just par for the course in Shanghai, how people live. And so when we do go outside we have to stay within our compound community. So we have some small walking trails, and there's a playground here for kids to play on. So there is some freedom within we call it the inside outside, right to go outside. But that's where our testing takes place in our community as well. So we have not, we've not seen outside our complex in quite some time.
MO: As far as not leaving your apartment, is that because there was a positive COVID case? Explain to me how you understand the rules to be working right now.
NJ: It's a great comment how we "understand the rules to be working," because the goalposts keep shifting, some rules have stayed fairly consistent. So basically, of course, nobody wants to get COVID. That's the first thing, because you could in theory get sent to "Camp COVID." But if your building stays free from cases, that's the best you can hope for, right, your building stays free, you stay on kind of like a lower level of lockdown, than if someone in your building marks positive, you get locked down in a different way for with a longer time horizon on it. If someone in your community or your compound tests positive, your compound is then under kind of a different set of rules. And so luckily, my compound here, we have no cases in our compound, we have no cases in our building. And so in theory, based on the rules we know to be true, if we were to be released based on kind of some flowcharts that the government sends out, we would in theory be some of the first released, however, like those flowcharts have kept getting published, but then the dates keep shifting and keep extending out. And so no one really knows when it's going to end at this point.
MO: Besides going out for testing, do you have any sense of when you might be able to just hang out outside for a couple hours? Is that a day from now? Weeks from now?
NJ: This is the wildest thing about this whole experience. It's so dynamic, that it changes from night to morning, you wake up and something's totally different. So the government has announced that there are across the city, they're going to start releasing people today...and so we saw early this morning, there are a few compounds... a few areas of town on the other side of the river that have been released. So people are out and wandering around. We're waiting on our side of the river to see if anybody will get released. Our side of the river, Pudong, is one of the higher case, regions. And so it's unclear what's going to happen on our side. We're waiting anxiously. Everyone's watching the WeChat groups to see if if things will open up. But again, China's pretty dedicated to this "COVID Zero" strategy. And so now we all wonder, okay, we've been locked in for almost a month, cases are still increasing every day. If you test positive, you're still you're still going to a central quarantine. So now, what does the policy become?
MO: You mentioned WeChat groups. Describe for us how you get information. How are you getting your news? How do you learn about whether you can leave the building? How are you learning things minute by minute, hour by hour?
NJ: So for folks who don't know, WeChat is like the all encompassing social app here in China, it's a mixture of Facebook and Venmo and Twitter, it's just all inclusive. And essentially, you live and die by the communications you have. So WeChat groups formed, basically, you can get added subtracted, you find groups. And information is just distributed within those. So we are part of our compound WeChat group, many groups have spun up since then, as we're working through group food orders, there's three different groups, I'm a part of one in English, one in Chinese, and actually two in Chinese. And then just a building group chat. So there's information flying constantly, people are just chatting nonstop. It's very noisy, I won't lie, I've had to remove myself from a few because it's just all encompassing, it's sort of anxiety inducing to some way. So because we don't speak or read Chinese, we're a little bit at the mercy of translation apps, and people in our building and compound and people I work with, who will help us translate or help us understand what exactly is going on. And so how we get information fed to us is typically through groups or subscriptions to local news, media outlets, that someone is translating into English. So there's sort of expat-friendly communication channels that you can read. And so throughout our whole experience as the goalposts have moved with our dates of change, it's always a little unclear what's happening. And even our Chinese neighbors, they themselves have started to highlight the difficulties in the comps coming out. It's unclear to them, sometimes we'll get papers slid under our door, with Chinese on one side and English on the other. And just the way that things are written, there's a little bit of doublespeak in the way things come about, where it could be interpreted one way or the other. And it feels like there's wiggle room, a little bit being purposefully left around how they can still continue to change and shift the policies based on whatever's happening in a given moment. And so, it's a little go with the flow, and honestly, there's not much that we can do. And so it's you can immerse yourself in it and trying to figure it out. But at the end of the day, you can only get yourself so far in trying to seek for what that truth is.
MO: While these lockdowns are happening, are people continuing to work remotely? Is school happening?
NJ: So I have this is my sixth week of working from home. So we started working from home on March 8th, because there was a scare that there was a second close contact of somebody who had COVID. And so they were going to lock that building down. And we had up to that point. So remember, this is early March. This is six weeks ago, we have known people who were locked down into their office building for a week, stayed at the office, slept at the office because they just locked down where..
MO: Wrong place at the wrong time.
NJ: Absolutely. That's sort of how it's been almost this whole calendar year. Things started to pick up in March with people getting locked in... people locked into fabric markets. There's talk about people being locked into Uniqlo inside a mall where you spend either two days until tests come back, or this friend of ours stayed there for an entire week. So we came home because again there was fear that there was a second close contact with a single person in one building. So they shut down our whole campus. We started working from home March 8, and we've been home since then. They... moved school virtually at the end of that week. So starting March 10, March 11, whatever those dates are, across the city, international schools, Chinese schools, all children are doing virtual learning at home. So we've been online, I think this is their fifth week.
MO: How are they doing with that?
NJ: Oh my gosh, I have a five year old. And so that's a really challenging age, it takes my husband full time to monitor her and stay online, my three year old has nothing to do. So she's the monster in our house, mostly. But I mean, most Americans have gone through it the virtual schooling, right? This is the first time our kids have done virtual schooling since early 2020. And my kids weren't or weren't old enough to do school back then. So this is my first foray into virtual schooling. And it's been a real challenge. And I can't imagine it's really any different than most experience of Westerners. But again, you layer that on top of the low to mid-level anxiety about food, and gathering food. And then on top of that, about not being able to go outside, and then trying to like, keep spirits high to encourage and love learning, while trying to be on a on a virtual school is, is a real challenge.
MO: Talk to me about the process of finding food, how does it work? And how does it work for you versus say the average Chinese person? How does that process work right now?
NJ: It's honestly, it's pretty inconsistent, the spread of food across town. So I'll give you some examples. So I live in, not just an expat community, but it's a gated community on the river, pretty upper scale, the people who live here have quite a bit of money. And so it seems like our compound has quite a bit of access to the outside world through connection. Somebody can have a connection at a Procter & Gamble or Unilever and they get stuff sent in. But people are having to leverage their personal connections. It's not like, you know, the grocery store is delivering.
The first week we were at home is a little different than it is now. So back that first week, it was a free-for-all for everyone. So us included would try to order from the grocery stores, online apps, try the grocery store so you'd know what time they came available. And you just click, click, click, click, click trying to fight what you would consider bots, but it's really just people trying to get groceries delivered. We went for a stretch of maybe eight or nine days without being able to order anything. And luckily, we have that Western-style pantry. So we are we were fine. We have plenty to live on. But most people don't live that way.
Back to WeChat groups, we have an English speaking food ordering WeChat group, and you just watch to see what's posted. And if you're interested in 12 mangoes, you put your name on this list, and then we wait to see if we can get 20 people who are interested enough in that order, then they'll reach out and try to order that sometimes they get filled, sometimes they don't. So there's this ongoing churn of what's happening. Our community has 12 volunteers now who just around the clock are vetting, vetting people, vetting the distributors, making sure they have the right nucleic acid tests, making sure they have the right permits to come in. I mean, it's become a full time job for everyone trying to find food. So that's at the group compound level. There are many, many, many compounds and areas in neighborhoods across town who can't do any group order, and who can't have anything delivered in. And so there are friends of ours, we're continuing to watch. We were lucky and were able to send two boxes of food over to a friend maybe early last week, which was a handful of staples, because they'd been locked into their apartment since March 12.
The government is delivering food. But it's a scattershot of what people get. Sometimes it might be like one carrot and a turnip. Someone might get a bunch of meat and milk. It's just very inconsistent across the city. And so it's impossible to tell there's no schedule of what's going to come. There's no consistency with what comes or who gets it.
And so that's just on the food front. You think people are running out of medication? People are having emergency health needs and are having difficulty in getting out of their compounds or difficulty in getting to hospitals. There's always questions around how do I leave China, and some compounds won't even let people leave to get to the airport. So it's this high pressure situation.
MO: Yeah, I mean, what caught a lot of people's attention over the weekend were all the videos that were coming out-- of what you rarely see in China-- defiance, on the part of the citizenry, to authorities. Have you personally witnessed any of that?
NJ: No, not so much. Those videos are really difficult, because it's always a little unclear as to what's happening. So some of them are, of course, very straightforward. We've seen ones of defiance, they're somewhat verified based on dates or time. There's horrible videos about people getting injured or animals injured, some of those things can be verified. Some of the videos with the people screaming or yelling, or any of those, it's hard to tell, because I've seen on my WeChat, moments where there are compounds that are yelling and cheering for the health care workers and the volunteers in their community.
I have not seen any of it other than what I've seen online. And again, this overwhelming feeling of the pressure cooker is intensifying. But for most of what I know, the Chinese team that I work with, are all positive and upbeat. They're trying to push forward. I mean, you can tell their fatigue, you can tell they're worried about their aging parents that don't live with them who aren't as savvy online. There's difficulty there. But I think people are just trying to push through. So it's, again, 26 million people... you're gonna get factions of everything.
I think if people aren't outwardly showing signs of dissent, it is coming out in different ways. And it's typically coming out, not towards the government or even potentially towards the staff or the compound people but with each other. Because people are frustrated. People are confused. Even Chinese nationals themselves think that the government has sort of bungled how things have been going here.
MO: What happens by the way, if you decide after we finish this Zoom, you want to go take a stroll outside? What what would happen to you? Or what do you think would happen to you?
NJ: What would happen to me? I think, probably the front, the guards at the front would be real confused, would probably start to chase after. I would imagine I would be restrained at some point. And then I don't know. I don't know if it's a police issue?
MO: They haven't told you about an explicit law? Like if you walk outside you get put in jail.
NJ: No, and there's some videos of that. Some people have left and they get apprehended in some way, and then like most stories don't know, the end of it. Don't know if they go to jail, don't know if they go to a central quarantine unit, it's really altogether unclear. And the penalty. Yeah, and the penalties aren't broadcast in any of these notices that go out, right? It's stay home, stay safe, keep your community safe. You know, and we'll stay strong together.
MO: What do people do with pets who need to be walked or taken outside?
NJ: I've heard some people will sneak out at night, very few. But then for the most part, most people have balconies to some degree. And so they're trying to encourage their pets to go outside, there was some collecting of leaves, and some outdoor materials to bring upstairs before lockdown happened. So there's that in terms of basic needs. Pet care has been one of the hot topics if you test positive, because early on several weeks ago, you know, there was a video of a dog killed as its owner was taken into quarantine. And so the dog was left behind. That was one there was a Corgi just a few days ago, or in the last week. So there's been at least two videos. And it's different from district to district in terms of what's going to happen to animals. So there's chatter around; don't sign anything. Because there's some Chinese rumors, you kind of sign away your rights to your animal. I don't have pets, but it's people rely on their neighbors, because already you have a fallback plan, which is like if I test positive, would you take my animal, and then some other communities, the staff, or the guards will volunteer to walk animals, to walk dogs... but it's really inconsistent.
MO: You were describing to me that you cut your hand recently, and you felt quite a bit of panic. If you need non-COVID medical care, how does that work right now?
NJ: So here's my two band aids right here. That was another issue that I think they solved in the first week or two, once the lockdown started. There were people having really emergent need, who could not get into hospitals, either because they couldn't leave their compounds. And again, unsourced by me, but like people who died who couldn't get access to care. They've since changed that to some degree, if you have emergent care, you can dial your neighborhood phone number, and they'll try to let you out and they will, in theory, give you access to a hospital. So when I cut my hand four or five days ago, you know our compound has no cases.. we talked previously if someone needed to go out to a hospital, I imagine that they would reset the clock on lockdown for our entire compound because someone has been been in the outdoors. And so there's that was my concern, not beyond just like needing stitches, but was like, am I going to reset the clock? They're gonna be like that American. And so now, so we stopped the bleeding, superglued my hand close twice now, just because I won't be the person to leave. It's not that bad. So it was like a kind of mini panic attack, just really concerned about what if I was really in danger? And how would we handle that? And honestly, I guess we would go downstairs and start seeing who could help us and then trying to get out somehow.
MO: Have you given thought to trying to come back to the States?
NJ: A good question. We have talked about it, absolutely. How can you not? We have decided not to, so I've just extended my contract for another year, will stay through July of next year. When we temporarily relocated with the original COVID outbreak, it was highly disruptive, right? And it was so hard to come back that now our plan is to stay. We do know people who are considering it. And there's people even in our compound who have tickets, like three sets of tickets lined up for three weeks in a row in case flights get canceled or in case things happen. But even to get to the airport right now. So you have to procure a ticket. And then you have to work to get approval to leave to go get a test because you have to have a test, a negative test within 48 hours to travel. So you have to have a licensed driver, like a permitted driver and approved driver who has negative tests to take you to the hospital, get that and then same thing, you'd have to find a car to take you to the airport, which is about 45 minutes out of town. Same thing, we had all the right paperwork, all the right permissions, the right approvals to even get yourself to the airport, and then hope a flight isn't cancelled on the way out.
So it's been really hard to come into and out of China in the last two years, right. That's one of the reasons they've been able to maintain mostly COVID zero in the mainland. And now just with Shanghai been in so much turmoil here, it's made an already really complicated situation that much harder. And so we will stay until either something dramatic changes, more dramatic than where we're at.
MO: How does testing work there? Do you guys all line up? How do you get your alerts to test? How often are you testing how does the whole process work?
NJ: We have no idea when we'll be tested. I think since March 9th or 10th, I probably been tested 20 times, 20-25 times, a mixture of them doing it, the white suits versus at home. So they've introduced some antigen tests at home where we do some of them at home. Sometimes a notice will get sent, like we'll test tomorrow. Basically, when when our community tests us, because it's handled again, locally, everything's done at the neighborhood level. We'll either get a phone call or a knock on the door, which that when they indicate like you can go down and test. We get lucky, the latest we've ever done was nine o'clock at night. But a lot of people will test in the middle of the night. They'll wake up to a knock on the door and people you know, like get up, you got to come test.
MO: Americans have gotten certain impressions about China during the last couple of years. You've spent the better part of last three years in China. When you talk to your friends and family back in the States, and generally speaking, what are you telling folks about China and what you've learned?
NJ: We don't talk a lot of politics with the people that I work with, for one reason or another. It's a third rail we leave alone. They leave me alone about US politics as well. So it's a mutually beneficial agreement, we're all sort of, we reside under.
The people, similar to the States...the people are not necessarily the politics. The people are not necessarily the generalized thought you have about a specific country....I have spent time online trying to explain what it's like in China and how similar it is and at times how dissimilar it is. But the dissimilarities aren't life changing in the way that people care about their families. And they love their kids and their parents, and they try to work. And so at the end of the day, like, we've seen substantial differences, but the people themselves are just, they're just like us. And it's one of the reasons we don't mind staying. We like being here because we've had a we've had a great experience.
MO: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. Wishing, wishing you fresh air very soon. For you and your daughters and your husband and a return to normalcy.
⭐️ TOMORROW! We will have an interview with someone who is being held in a massive warehouse with thousands of other patients dubbed "Camp Covid." They will give us an inside-look at one of these facilities. If you'd like to receive tomorrow's issue and support more work like this, sign up for our premium content HERE. **
[Top Newsletter Banner Credit: Photo by Yin Liqin/China News Service via Getty Images]