The lockdown of Guo Jing’s neighborhood in Wuhan –- the city at the heart of China’s new coronavirus epidemic –- came suddenly and without warning.
Unable to go out, the 29-year-old is now sealed inside her compound where she has to depend on online group-buying services to get food.
“Living for at least another month isn’t an issue,” Guo told AFP, explaining that she had her own stash of pickled vegetables and salted eggs.
But what scares her most is the lack of control — first, the entire city was sealed off, and then residents were limited to exiting their compound once every three days.
Now even that has been taken away.
Guo is among some 11 million residents in Wuhan, a city in central Hubei province that has been under effective quarantine since January 23 as Chinese authorities race to contain the epidemic.
Since then, its people have faced a number of tightening controls over daily life as the death toll from the virus swelled to over 2,500 in China alone.
But the new rules this month barring residents from leaving their neighborhoods are the most restrictive yet — and for some, threaten their livelihoods.
“I still don’t know where to buy things once we’ve finished eating what we have at home,” said Pan Hongsheng, who lives with his wife and two children.
Some neighborhoods have organized group-buying services, where supermarkets deliver orders in bulk.
But in Pan’s community, “no one cares”.
“The three-year-old doesn’t even have any milk powder left,” Pan told AFP, adding that he has been unable to send medicine to his in-laws — both in their eighties — as they live in a different area.
“I feel like a refugee.”
The “closed management of neighborhoods is bound to bring some inconvenience to the lives of the people”, Qian Yuankun, vice secretary of Hubei’s Communist Party committee, said at a press briefing last week.