A coronavirus case sheds light on a migrant worker’s inequality story in China.

He visited 28 places in the first 18 days of 2022includes a puppet theater, several luxury residences and a shopping mall in the heart of China’s Silicon Valley.

He doesn’t go to any of these places for fun. He was often there in the morning hours when they were empty, unloading concrete and sand from trucks that weren’t allowed into the city until after midnight. He will be gone before the day is over.

The migrant worker, who goes by the name “Yue,” tried in obscurity until he tested positive for Covid and authorities released sweeping details of his movements. ta. After that, he was known as the hardest worker in China.

He is a symbol of inequality that is invisible to most of China’s middle class, the migrant workers who sweep the streets, pick up trash and keep the big metropolises ablaze. He is also an inconvenient truth for a government that prefers to celebrate its success in eradicating extreme poverty, rather than acknowledging that a large segment of the population is still struggling to have a good life. than.

Many social media users compared his journey to that of another Covid case in Beijing, a young employee at a large state-owned bank. During the first 10 days of this year, she went to four shopping malls, shopped at a luxury French boutique, watched a talk show and went skiing.

The two have become the face of people with and without people living in the same city but existing in parallel universes. Some have compared Mr. Yue to characters from movies like “The Matrix” and “Parasite” who operate between different realities and socioeconomic classes. A coronavirus case sheds light on a migrant worker’s inequality story in China.

Fry Electronics Team

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