Three Stories Under Lockdown in Shanghai

A picture shows the sun reflected on the lake.
A picture shows the sun reflected on the lake.
By Barnabas Li July 25th, 2022

Editor's note: The COVID-19 pandemic lasted for nearly three years, during which we have been through much and have been affected to varying degrees. Some people whose lives were in trouble became desperate because they worked outside their hometown, trapped in other places due to the epidemic. But there were also people who found a way out of hardship and had a new direction in life...


One day, my wife was on the phone with my father-in-law. Suddenly, I heard my wife give a cry of surprise, but I didn’t know what happened. It turned out later that it was the miserable experience of two girls in her hometown. The two girls decided to work in Shanghai together after the Chinese New Year. They believed that they would be well paid and well treated there. Unexpectedly, when they arrived in Shanghai, there came a sudden outbreak. At that time, they had not found a job and didn’t bring much money. When they were in trouble, Shanghai was also under lockdown. They had no place to live and were not allowed to go home, trapped on the streets of Shanghai. The supply of goods was tight and the price of goods soared, how could they, two girls who came from the poor mountain area to big Shanghai, afford to buy those things?

Day after day, they were hungry and still had no place to live. The epidemic seemed endless, and no one knew how long Shanghai would be lifting its lockdown. Having lost hope, they conferred and decided to commit suicide.

One of the girls bought deadly poison and decided to take it; the other, fearing the pain of dying, simply climbed up a tall building quietly and jumped down. later, the girl who took the poison was found, sent to the hospital for emergency treatment, and came alive. Soon after, the lockdown was ended and she was sent back to her hometown.

The other who chose to jump off a building died instantly! However, this is not the end of the tragedy. The news spread to their hometown. The father of the dead girl decided to drive a tricycle to send his wife to a relative’s house temporarily in order to handle the funeral without telling her the death of their daughter. Unexpectedly, he was so sad that when he was driving on the mountain road, he fell over the cliff. He was seriously injured and his wife died on the spot.


Our former choir sister Yao is a single mother, and both sons have been admitted to the university. She also has a monthly mortgage payment. A few years ago, she opened a dry cleaning shop and barely made a living. However, because of the epidemic for three years, she closed the shop before the Chinese New Year in 2022 and refunded the customers’ money on their membership cards. After the Chinese New Year, she also went to Shanghai to earn money.

After Shanghai was under lockdown, we asked her how she was doing. She replied, “Thank God! All is well. I found a job of housekeeping in Shanghai, taking care of a mother and daughter. I am paid 7,000 a month and can have free food and accommodation there. But my waist is a little sore these days. Pray for me!”

Although the epidemic had greatly affected Shanghai, Sister Yao in her family not only had food and shelter but also had much higher wages than those in our inland areas!


A Christian sister tells us about the testimony of her brother and sister-in-law in Shanghai. The sister’s brother and sister-in-law had always been half-believers though the sister had tried a great deal for many years. They had no sincere repentance and faith.

However, the epidemic in 2022 brought a long and suffocating period when people had to get up in the middle of the night to grab food but still many cannot successfully buy what they want. What was worse, her brother’s daughter had a fever first, and then the whole family was diagnosed with COVID-19. They were hurriedly taken into the alternate care site. At that point, her brother’s family were really despaired, with the last pride in life shattered. Their daughter cried and her sister-in-law was quite worried about whether the disease would cause sequelae. It was said the lung injury caused by COVID-19 would not heal for life, leading to loss of smell, auditory hallucinations... What should they do?

At that time, the sister continued to pray for her brother and sister-in-law, constantly comforting them and her little niece on WeChat with the word of God, so that they could overcome their inner fear, despair and anxiety through their faith in God.

Her brother changed. He told the sister that because he had nothing to do when in the alternate care site, he desperately read the Bible. In the word of God, he knew the Savior and determined to be baptized immediately after the outbreak. Her sister-in-law also took her niece to kneel in front of the Lord every day to pray. They were recovering physically and, more importantly, mentally. Because of the suffering in the period, all three members of the family have become the children of Heavenly Father!

The epidemic indeed is a disaster, and none of us knows when it will end. However, if a soul can be saved by this affliction, our Father which is in heaven shall have silent joy over him, and there is no greater joy than this.

(This article is written by a freelance writer, a Christian from Henan Province.)

- Translated by Stephen Huang

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