china outbreak coronavirus pandemic Covid-19
(Image: AP/Andy Wong)

I recently returned to Shanghai from Sydney; let me share my experience of being out in Shanghai yesterday grocery shopping. 

As I was leaving the apartment complex, I was greeted by the building manager at the gate and handed a pass out. Going outside, I see there’s not a single person without a mask on. 

I walked past a cafe and ordered a coffee by scanning a QR code with my phone using a screen outside the café; I then paid for it using the app.

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After this, a staff member asked me to stay outside and keep a safe distance from others. Soon I received a message to collect the order and another message to make sure I was wearing a mask and had sanitised my hands at the dispenser located at the store entrance. 

After this, I went to the supermarket, where I was greeted at the entrance by someone with an electronic thermometer who checked my temperature.

I showed them my “green” health check QR code and filled in my name and mobile number. Then I scanned another QR code and my name and ID number popped up with the date of my arrival back in Shanghai and a list of all the countries I’d visited in the previous 14 days. 

Once I’d sanitised my hands I was allowed entry to the supermarket, where all the employees were wearing gloves and masks. There were markings on the floor at checkout showing us where to stand, 1.5 metres apart.

The supermarket was fully stocked, there was no panic, no fights and plenty of toilet paper. Once I’d bought my groceries, I entered the metro station to return home.

At the entrance, there was another temperature check and an X-ray security check of my bag. Inside the station, I saw cleaners disinfecting all the metal turnstiles. 

On my return to the apartment I handed in my pass-out in order to get back in. I had to briefly remove my mask to activate the CCTV facial recognition — this automatically unlocked all doors and gates on approach, removing the need to touch door handles. 

Yes, it is the Big Brother approach, but this is how to stop a virus and keep everyone safe. Closing down a beach and shit-fights at supermarkets are laughable.

I’m now my way to the local community centre to pick up my weekly supply of masks.

Danny Du, 52, commutes between Sydney and Shanghai where he is Brand Creative Director at Geely Design Global. In Shanghai, he lives in the heart of the former French Concession. 

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