PHOTOS: My 13 days and nights in a makeshift hospital
Infected with Covid, Wu Linsong recently spent two weeks in a temporary hospital set up in Shanghai’s expo center. It didn’t prove nearly as easy to get bored as Wu expected. He passed his time taking photos and chatting with people.
The moon brightens the night sky over the “square cabin.”
Photos by WU Linsong
Written by WANG Tingting
Infected with Covid, on April 1, 2022, Wu Linsong found himself at Shanghai New International Expo Center, where he would remain for the next 13 days. Compared with outside, Wu found life here stable and satisfying, if not a little bit boring.
Expo Fangcang is a makeshift hospital set up to take care of Covid patients. The name - fangcang (方舱) - means “square cabin.” It’s a modular, temporary, prefabricated building used in military field hospitals, workcamps, and exhibitions, and a term people have become all too familiar with since the outbreak.
A social media content creator, Wu took pictures, shot videos, and chatted with people – all kinds of people. Most of the patients were mild cases, so few were worried about themselves. Instead, worries were directed to hospital workers - physically and mentally exhausted, working around the clock in hazmat suits, unable to eat or drink, nor engage in any of the biological practices that traditionally follow eating and drinking, for hours on end.
There is no shortage of videos complaining about life in fangcang shelters, and, while Wu understood what motivates people to complain, he wanted to bring a little more balance to the picture. Wu often woke up with breakfast already on his bedside table. Workers took his temperature while he was sleeping. Thinking of these details, he is both moved and a little ashamed.
Wu’s photos from the Expo Fangcang, do not adequately show the work of hospital staff. He planned to shoot many more images, both for and of the staff, but they were busy. There had more pressing tasks than facing the camera, and Wu had no intention of interrupting.
Here is Wu's account.
It’s pretty challenging to take care of a lively group of people like us.
Problems do exist, such as poor facilities, noise and questionable food, but the sanitation problem is not that serious.
You cannot just complain, you should start by taking action yourself. If people flush the toilet, stop throwing cigarette butts around and clean up their own garbage, everything will be better for everyone.