Identity checks and daily PCR: Beijing is back in early 2020


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With the new outbreak of covid, a tide of volunteers monitors that restrictions are respected in each community of neighbors

People in protective suits Pek .  tarnish
People wearing protective suits make a splash in Beijing.Lucas de la Cal

When I return home after doing the daily PCR protocol at the rapid test kiosk that they have set up in a park, my urbanization security guard does not let me pass because I need a card that proves that I am at that address. I live come to knowTwo weeks ago there were six new COVID cases in my Beijing district, Dongcheng, where about a million people live. neighborhood committee, which is sometimes more power than policeNow he’s nervous and decided to impose new restrictions to reach homes.

The security guard says I have to go a few meters away to a makeshift street stall where they are issuing cards to residents. The policy is not new. In early 2020, when the coronavirus began to spread around the world, in Beijing he asked each community to provide residents with some sort of facility. The card will be able to go to your home. In this way they prevented strangers from entering and controlled at all times who entered and left the housing development. in the capital of China There are no buildings at street level, but they are inside the so-called mix, So it is easier to carry out that alertness.

After waiting two hours in line to get a new card—many other neighbors hadn’t even heard of the new rules—the woman who offers it demands that, in addition to me. rental agreement and Passport photo with blue background. He argues that this is necessary because there are many people who want to make copies of the card and distribute it to family and friends so they can visit them. It’s not without reason. Two years ago, when these cards were not personalized with a picture, some nice parties were held at homes, especially in foreigners, and cards were handed out like disco flyers for visiting hosts.

Control of Resident Card at the Gateway of Urbanization
Control of resident’s records at the entrance of urbanisation.cdl

No photo, no card. And I don’t even have a leash because it’s in my house and the security guard won’t let me in. Fortunately, at the door of urbanization, the woman taking the temperature with an infrared thermometer is the one who set up a secret hairdressing salon in a shed in the basement and got my hair cut more than once. she interferes with vigilance To pass me on with an undertaking that the next day I will bring all the required documents so that they can hand over the card to me.

Barber is the 86-year-old grandma who always wears the specialty red bangle Popular among public activists affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He is one of many volunteers in Dongcheng who help manage their neighborhood by picking up trash, guiding lost people and, above all, keeping track. The tide of older women forming part of the daily social fabric of the capital.

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According to the latest figures reported by local media, there were over 850,000 volunteers in the city in 2017. These checkpoints have been attributed to arrests that made a lot of noise, like Jesse Chan, the son of actor Jackie Chan. He was arrested in 2014 for smoking marijuana at his home in Beijing. Last year, the women learned that a famous pianist named Lee Yundi was taking the services of a prostitute two nights a week. He spent weeks following Lee’s anticswho ended up in custody for an administrative offence, which allows authorities to detain those arrested for up to 15 days.

With the new outbreak in Beijing apparently already under control (there were only 14 new positives on Monday), it is the volunteers who ensure that every community has Quarantine is respected Or that all neighbors scan health codes when entering, as is done in supermarkets and some stores that are still open.

Beijing, home to more than 21 million people, has registered less than 1,500 cases since April 22. this monday it started His fifth week of stealth banHowever, local officials have announced that they are finally going to start easing some restrictions. There is no strict lockdown like in Shanghai, where residents of China’s financial center have spent two months at home.

Residents of the political capital can go out, but there isn’t much to do as many shops are closed, as are some metro stations, some offices in the financial district and restaurants serving delivery only. A few days ago they even sealed some parks as the Chinese spent time with long picnics and the occasional bottle held by migrants at night.

At my urbanization gate, apart from Grandma, the hairdresser who takes the temperature and the security guard who doesn’t let anyone in who doesn’t have a new resident card, there are many packages and bags piled up in a corner. Since the delivery men cannot walk to the homes, they have to leave the order at the door and inform the owner to come downstairs for them. Grandma tells me that tomorrow afternoon the fumigation officers are going to come – they call them Ghostbusters here – to spray the whole urbanization with their hoses.

– Has any neighbor’s test positive come?

-No, the closest case has been of a block of flats ten minutes away from here.

This is life in the nation’s capital in May 2022 which continues into 2020.

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