Squatter lived in phone booth for a month during COVID-19 lockdown

There’s no place like phone.

After failing to find a job during Shanghai’s ongoing lockdown, a desperate migrant worker took up residence in a telephone booth, where she incredibly lived for a month with her dog before getting evicted. Photos of the woman’s impromptu abode are going viral as Chinese netizens empathize with her plight.

“How has surviving become so difficult?” a Shanghai citizen commented on Chinese social media platform WeChat regarding her dystopian living situation, which came to light via photos shot by a nearby high-rise tenant, Vice reported.The images were published Sunday in Esquire China and then shared across Chinese social media.

The 50-something-year-old unidentified woman was an orphan of Shanghai’s draconian quarantine, in which the majority of the metropolis’ 26 million residents were ordered to stay indoors to try to contain a COVID outbreak. The measure resulted in food shortages, protests and other harrowing scenarios straight out of an Orwellian nightmare.

The lockdown disproportionately affected migrant workers — who make up a third of China’s workforce — because of how dependent they are on their bosses.Chinese social media

The mandate proved apocalyptic for the phone box squatter, who, like many migrant workers, struggled to find work amid the city-wide house arrest. The renewed lockdowns reportedly plunged the nation’s manufacturing output to a two-year low, costing millions of migrant workers their jobs and leaving them financially bereft. 

Left unable to make the rent, the resourceful woman colonized one of Shanghai’s iconic red telephone booths. Accompanying pics show the quarantine castaway walking her pooch, drying laundry and toting groceries outside her makeshift accommodation. 

All appeared to be hunky-dory — relatively speaking — until last week when authorities arrived at midnight and gave phone woman the boot. Vice reported that the nest-wreckers threw her belongings on the curb and sealed the cubicle with duct tape. The barefoot gal then disappeared into the rain while clutching her pup.


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