Shanghai, post-corona – much has changed

LI Carin Kjellgren Shanghai post corona - CopyTemperature checks in the metro and visitor limits at Disneyland. Although life in Shanghai has started to return to normal, much has changed post-corona.
“A number of factories have shifted towards producing protective gear,” says Carin Kjellgren, country manager in China.

She says that there are obligatory temperature checks in place at entrances to the metro, schools, offices and shops. Face masks are also obligatory. In the schools, there are many rules around social distancing, and children have to take and report their temperature every morning.
“In general I think that everyone is very concerned about getting infected, and about a second wave. Most people have been very careful. I think it will be a long time before anyone here dares to jet off to other countries. Many Chinese people who have been abroad are still in quarantine.”

At KappAhl’s country office in Shanghai, no one has been furloughed. However, three posts have had to be terminated, as the workload has shrunk during the pandemic. Aside from that, the workday has started to gradually return to normal.
“We have started to travel and conduct factory inspections. And we are allowing visits to the office.”

What safety measures have you and your colleagues taken?
“Beyond those in place across KappAhl and society at large, none here in the office for now.”

How is the work situation looking for the factories?
“It varies a lot from province to province, but safety measures such as masks and temperature checks are normal. Factories have a shortage of orders in general, and there are fewer workers on site. I know that a number of factories have switched to producing protective gear.”

What is the biggest difference in Shanghai now as opposed to pre-corona?
“What affects us foreign nationals the most is probably the ban on entry to China. If we leave the country, we don’t know when we can come back. Many families have been separated, as the rule came in so suddenly. Many people who have jobs here didn’t make it back in time before China closed the border. So I can forget about holidays in Sweden!”

When the whole coronavirus pandemic is over, what do you think will be the biggest changes in Shanghai?
“Hard to say, but everyday hygiene will probably be a little better. I’ve also read that they are going to enforce the spitting rule more – spitting in public spaces is actually forbidden, but the rule has never been enforced before. I also hope it will mean less elbowing, which the Chinese are otherwise quite good at. But now they keep more of a distance, which is nice for a Swede – it’s more what we’re used to!”

Posted by Elina Bratt Lejring