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December 11, 2021

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What to do during a 48-hour lockdown in the office?

What to do if you are locked down for 48 hours in an office building? Sounds scary. But Allen, a finance officer working at a garment company who was trapped in the company’s headquarters building in Shanghai recently, felt calm and peaceful.

“There was no panic; our first reaction was to get daily necessities in the office,” she recalled.

The building, located on Xizang Road M. in downtown Huangpu District, was under closed-loop management for medical screening after Shanghai reported three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on November 25.

“We were told there was a positive case in our building and we needed to take nucleic acid testing in the morning. Then there was a mandatory lockdown in the office for 48 hours,” she said. “Someone ordered items online, and others called family members to deliver to them.”

The government and companies bought bedding sets for the employees and delivered them before bedtime. Meal allowances were given to order food.

There are over 10 companies in the 26-floor building. Each prepared different bedding sets for staff.

“We helped each other and made a lot of new friends during the lockdown,” Allen shared some pictures — there were sleeping bags, folding beds, yoga mats, airbeds and even mattresses.

“The happiest employees of all are from Simmons, a mattress company in the building. They all have Simmons mattress to sleep on!” she said. “It is an unforgettable experience. We had nucleic acid tests in the lobby in the morning, ordered takeout and dined together in the evening, and worked normally during the day.”

Would it be embarrassing to sleep in the same room with colleagues?

Allen said they were divided into small groups, and divided the office room into several areas, “so we had enough space to put the beds. We even wore facial masks in the office. The only problem was that we could not shower during the 48-hour lockdown.”

All food was delivered to the office, so the lockdown turned into a kind of dinner party.

“On the first day, everyone was talking about the lockdown. Normal operation resumed on the second day. Now we are allowed to go home, and nucleic acid tests are still required next week,” Allen said on November 27.

What to do and what happened during the lockdown period suddenly became a hot topic online. Trapped people shared their lockdown days on their WeChat Moments, Weibo, as well as the Xiaohongshu platform.

Instead of fretting about the pandemic, their lockdown stories were positive and warm.

People trapped at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital’s traumatology ward spent their time doing traditional Chinese exercises. Meanwhile, one trapped in the hospital when taking a gastroscopy shared her experience on Xiaohongshu.

“The medical workers brought me a dinner box and blankets and quilts and put the benches together for me to take a rest. I went home after the nucleic acid test and a hot breakfast.”

A dermatologist trapped in the Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital shared some photos on her WeChat Moments. “We offer the facial masks for our colleagues to relax.”

Students trapped on the Jiangwan campus of Fudan University were learning by themselves in the classrooms. An online concert was performed by student clubs to get through the night. An online spreadsheet was launched to share the daily necessities and information with the students trapped on campus.

With all results negative, the office building, the hospitals and the university campus reopened on November 27 one after another. Health observation is still required for the next 12 days.

The warm stories of the short lockdown were handed down. I got a message from Allen on the morning of November 29, saying, “All the bedding sets are carefully stored to be ready for another office lockdown in the future.”

Most office workers under lockdown showed understanding and gave a thumbs-up for the quick response and people-oriented measures.

Although the lockdown is over, question still arose: What needs to be prepared in an office in case of a lockdown?

Beds and mattresses can be shared, and some personal belongings are a must in the office. That will greatly reduce waste.

Based on Allen and some netizens’ suggestions, Shanghai Daily prepared a list of necessities for an emergent trap in the office.

The most important thing is your personal necessities, such as your daily medication, contact lens solution, dental care tools and sanitary napkins.

Disinfection supplies are a must to avoid infection in the office. Alcohol pads and paper towels can help for self-protection. Prepare enough face masks.

Then is skincare product. For some ladies, a facial cleaning oil is more important than a meal!

Prepare a pillow and sleeping mask which can help you fall asleep easily.


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