- A woman in Shanghai lived in a phone booth with her dog for a month amid the city’s strict lockdown.
- With the city ground to a halt due to a strict lockdown, the migrant worker failed to secure a job.
- “How did it become so difficult to live in Shanghai?” an internet user commented on the viral story.
- For more stories visit Business Insider.
A migrant worker in Shanghai resorted to living in a telephone booth for a month, after having difficulty securing a job amid the city’s strict lockdown.According to Esquire China magazine, which published a photo diary of the woman last week, an unnamed woman in her 50s lived in the tiny home with her dog for nearly all of April.In a series of pictures — mainly sourced from a nearby resident — the woman can be seen stationed at the red phone booth, hanging her laundry and playing with her dog.On April 29, local authorities kicked her out of the space. “In the end, the woman in the phone booth didn’t take any of her belongings with her. She just hugged her puppy, walked barefoot, and headed south,” the magazine wrote. The story immediately went viral on social media. The hashtag “Shanghai woman and her dog lives in phone booth for a month” garnered 60 million views on the Twitter-like platform Weibo.”How did it become so difficult to live in Shanghai?” a Weibo user asked.As public anger continues to mount over the authorities’ chaotic handling of Covid in the financial hub of 26 million, the woman’s story highlighted the additional challenges facing the poor. With the city ground to a halt due to a strict lockdown, many migrant workers have been unable to secure jobs to pay for food or shelter. “Life is tough enough for us in these times, and we have beds. What about these people on the streets?” commented a Weibo user. According to the state news outlet China Youth Daily, which caught up with the woman for an interview last week, the Shandong Province native is now living at a friend’s place.”I chose to live in the phone booth because it’s so quiet there. Even though it’s only 1 square meter, it’s free, and you don’t have to share it with other people. I quite liked it,” she told the outlet. She also said there was a power socket nearby so she could plug in her electric kettle to boil water — to cook instant noodles, and wash her hair. The public toilets were sealed off, so she went to the bathroom in black plastic bags given to her by sanitation workers, she said. The woman told the outlet she had lived in an itinerant manner in Shanghai for the last 20 years. “I have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and used to work in the export business years ago,” added the woman, who is currently unemployed. “I’m just a very simple person. My life is not bad now. I have food, I dress warm, and I’m healthy. My Covid tests are also ok,” she told the outlet.Shanghai, which first went into lockdown at the end of March, renewed restrictions on Sunday after briefly allowing residents in select neighborhoods to step out for short walks or grocery trips nearby. According to Reuters, notices across the city have ordered residents to stay confined at home again. “Every time, they say lockdown will be eased after a few days, but there seems to be no end,” a resident surnamed Lu told Associated Press. Chinese health officials have stood by what they’re calling a “dynamic” “zero-Covid” policy. That means rapid lockdowns, mass testing, and travel restrictions whenever new clusters emerge.On Monday, Shanghai recorded 2,780 asymptomatic cases and 234 symptomatic cases, according to the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.