There’s nothing new about the frustration among Shanghai residents when there is no end in sight to the lockdown. This time, hazmat suits are protesting.
At the entrance of the China Construction Second Bureau Hospital, they were filmed holding banners that read, “Don’t let the anti-pandemic heroes cry,” and “want to work, want to eat.” One banner also says, “Request to work against hospital shut down.”
Another footage showed they marched down the street with the banners.
As the authorities remained on lockdown in Shanghai, arguments between residents and hazmat-suited personnel have become common on the internet. Most of the time, those who are on the front line of community pandemic prevention seemed to enjoy more authority.
According to the videos shared online, they play the role of pandemic enforcers, who would tape residents, beat or fight citizens on some occasions and forcefully shut down the building doors.
Wu Qiang, a Chinese independent scholar, told DW that in Shanghai, white clothes are taking over the entire city, and the streets are occupied by these people.
Sometimes, it was police officers that were behind the protective clothing. Other times, they were medical professionals, firefighters, cadres of neighborhood committees, community staff, or volunteers, or even temporarily recruited social idlers.
Hence, there are also instances where white-clothed were more or less similar to Shanghai residents. Such as the man who was crying beside his bike had learned that his mother had died. Or the scene of a white-clothed person crouching in a corner outside of a residential building under the rain. Then, there is also the event where a white-clothed person was scuffling with two others in the same suits.
One thing is clear, the more the lockdown remains, the more similar quarrels would continue to break out and surface on the internet.