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Shanghai residents hung paper shopping bags from expensive brands to collect their Covid-19 tests. Photo: SCMP composite

Shanghai lockdown: residents flaunt wealth by hanging luxury branded shopping bags on doors to collect Covid-19 tests

  • City workers delivered rapid antigen tests to millions of residents during a recent mass test in Shanghai
  • Some residents used the opportunity to flash some wealth and hang shopping bags from luxury brands on their doors

Despite being stuck in at-home quarantine for weeks, wealthy and fashion-conscious people in Shanghai found a novel way to flaunt their wealth and status: hang luxury branded paper bags outside their homes to collect Covid-19 test kits and other daily deliveries.

On April 3, Shanghai conducted a citywide Covid-19 test using rapid antigen tests (RATs) that were delivered to every home in the city by pandemic prevention workers. To prevent human-to-human contact that could transmit the virus, people hung bags outside their homes that could be used as a drop-off point to collect the test kits.

This, in turn, became an opportunity to flaunt some wealth, as any bag would work perfectly fine. Residents began finding paper bags printed with the logos of luxury brands like Burberry, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

Aside from the luxury brands’ paper bags, some people also displayed the national brands they love. For example, a picture of a bag of Mao-tai, a well-known fiery baijiu brand, drew attention.

A medical worker prepares a Covid-19 test in Shanghai. Photo: EPA-EFE
A photo collage of the bags went viral across China’s social media platforms, with mixed reactions. Some people found it to be an amusing way to lighten the mood during the lockdown, while others said it revealed indifference to the crisis.

“It was just for fun after being quarantined at home for over 20 days,” one person wrote.

“The exquisite life of the Shanghai people is proven once again: running to buy coffee when the quarantine was temporarily lifted; lining up with red wine glasses for Covid-19 tests, and now the city receives RATs with luxury shopping bags,” said another.

Another person joked that the bags might be worth more than the doors where they were hung.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, the city reported 18,495 new cases on Wednesday, in line with a moderate decline in cases across the city in recent days.


Inside a Shanghai Covid-19 makeshift hospital where ‘lights are on all night’

Inside a Shanghai Covid-19 makeshift hospital where ‘lights are on all night’

Between March 1 and April 20, there were 496,000 cases reported in the city of 26.3 million people. There are 23,973 people currently hospitalised, and officials have reported 25 deaths.

The city has been under strict and indefinite lockdown since March 28, which has caused a knock-on-effect of problems. Residents have battled to have consistent access to food and faced a shortage of medical resources. And people have died because they could not access health services in time.

Public outrage over the authorities’ handling of the situation has been palpable.