After two months of an intense lockdown that drew international attention as China stuck firmly with its COVID-zero policies, Shanghai, the mainland’s COVID outbreak epicenter, is picking back up. With shopping centers confirming their reopening on June 1, crowds of Chinese consumers were seen rushing to the frontlines of the Diors, Pradas and LVs of the world for a bit (or a lot) of retail therapy.
Reports of hesitant vibes across the city are still looming, though, as some COVID controls are still in place and people get used to their post-lockdown lifestyles. But with that said, around 2.67 million businesses resumed operations on Wednesday. The city reported its fewest number of COVID cases in three months, and residents celebrated with fireworks and parties across the financial hub.
The Shanghainese government also thanked the residents with a letter and promised to try and “promote the full restoration” of normalcy. The letter ended up trending on Weibo and was broadly criticized, with people saying the letter should have been an apology and whoever led the virus response should get in trouble.
“I think exhaustion is psychological. I was resting all the time in the past two months and all of a sudden, I have to stand here for 10 hours. I literally did nothing during the lockdown. At first I still binge-watched TV dramas, but as time went by, I almost lost interest in everything,” said Wang Yuanyuan, who works as a retail sales assistant in Shanghai.