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"China’s People Go Absolutely Insane As
Grocery Stores Run Out Of Food Right Now"
by Epic Economist
"It is happening again. A massive panic buying wave is emptying supermarket shelves in China as fears of new lockdowns reignite. Local news outlets are reporting the worst outbreak since March 2020, which is prompting authorities to improvise isolation centers and reintroduce stay-at-home mandates and travel bans. Residents are getting increasingly fed up with the government’s zero-tolerance policy. They’ve been rushing to stockpile food and essential supplies in a repeat of scenes last seen during the peak of the pandemic. Many grocery stores have already run out of food by now. Meanwhile, farmers are seeing tons of fruits and vegetables rot because movement restrictions don’t allow them to deliver their produce to food distribution centers and stores. According to Bloomberg, growers are worried this will cause even worse food shortages in the coming months. The situation is being described as pure chaos. In a rare display of defiance, the Chinese people are taking their frustration with the draconian measures to the streets, and many of them seem to be reaching their breaking point
The capital of China is seeing the biggest spike in virus cases since 2020, and residents are afraid that prolonged lockdowns will start to be put in place again as Chinese authorities rush to build improvised quarantine centers and field hospitals in gymnasiums, exhibition centers, and other large, open indoor spaces. The locations have become known for overcrowding, poor sanitation, scarce food supplies, and lights that stay on for 24 hours.
Bloomberg reports that unusually large numbers of shoppers have been leaving supermarket shelves bare as they attempt to stockpile food and other everyday necessities before they’re locked in their compounds indefinitely. Several grocery delivery services have reached capacity given that hundreds of local grocery stores already ran out of food, Bloomberg noted. “Everyone is stocking up on food, so there’s definitely a jump-on-the-bandwagon kind of feeling,” one resident wrote on social media Weibo.
Even small convenience stores are seeing supplies being depleted at a stunning pace. “Normally it would be around 20 people in one store, but last night there were about 60-70,” a resident named Li wrote on the platform.The sudden spike in consumer demand combined with a worker shortage left some customers unable to place orders for food and supplies on popular online grocery services such as Alibaba's Freshippo and Meituan Maicai.
Online, some Chinese users revealed there were delivery workers whose compounds were locked down, worsening the worker shortage. In an interview with AFP News, delivery workers said they are exhausted, underpaid, and thoroughly fed up, State media have also reported that hundreds of food producers across China are struggling to send their harvest to processing plants and distribution centers because regional travel bans are preventing drivers to enter rural areas. Last week, one farmer in Shandong “had to bulldoze tens of thousands of kilograms of vegetables because no one could pick them up and transport them to market.”
Meanwhile, consumers are having to pay between 10% and 20% more for vegetables since the end of October. “Food is running out for many families. People have been either locked in their homes or sent to makeshift hospitals,” one Lhasa resident, who identified himself as Sam Wang, said. That’s a tragic situation for millions of Chinese residents, who are reaching their breaking point after almost four years of having their lives constantly disrupted. As more and more cases continue to be recorded, their problems are likely to aggravate in the weeks and months ahead."
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