As Shanghai prepares for phased lockdowns this week to gain the upper hand over its ongoing Covid outbreak, residents have been panic buying both online and offline. The scene isn’t pretty in many a supermarket, with customers showing signs of hostility and greed in the face of competition.
Meanwhile, a group of local musicians has painted an accurate picture of the mayhem via the medium they know best — rap.
The comical track, which was released on the Chinese music-streaming platform Netease Music (网易云) last Sunday, accurately captures the feelings of anxiety and panic that have accompanied the hysteria buying that has plagued Shanghai in recent days.
The song’s humorous lyrics were composed by rappers CATI2, P.J, and 寿君超Keyso, with the use of the Shanghainese dialect lending the work cadence. The track accumulated more than 3,000 comments overnight on Netease Music.
One particularly memorable line in the Covid banger translates roughly to:
“Everyone is panic hoarding and heading to a Covid test afterward. If you miss one second, you lose. It’s hard to chew on corn every day.”
Amused comments about the song range from “Cannot stop laughing. This is entertaining yet very realistic” to “I downloaded Netease Music just to listen to this song.”
On the evening of March 27, officials in Shanghai finally announced what many had been dreading: The East China metropolis has begun imposing full lockdowns — in segments.
Those living in Pudong — the eastern part of the city — are being quarantined first, from March 28 to April 1, while residents of Puxi on the western side of the Huangpu River will get their turn from April 1-5. Everyone will also be subjected to a new round of Covid tests.
Previously seen as a ‘model student’ at keeping the pandemic under control, China is facing its worst Covid outbreak since Wuhan in 2020.
The country is abiding by a zero-Covid policy despite the lower health threat of the Omnicron variant and imposing targeted lockdowns to minimize economic repercussions.
Cover image: screengrab via YouTube