Chinese Citizens Are Coping With Coronavirus Lockdowns Through Bulk Shitposts

As millions of Chinese citizens languish under city-wide lockdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak, punters are coping the only way they know how: by shitposting about their boredom on social media.

In case you missed it, the Chinese government has greatly limited transportation in and out of sixteen cities as it works to contain the deadly coronavirus strain.

Residents in cities like Wuhan, thought to be the epicentre of the viral outbreak, have been encouraged to stay inside as much as possible to avoid potential infection.

Given the lockdowns coincide with the Lunar New Year, which usually sees millions of Chinese citizens travel home for the holidays, the situation is pretty rough.

Enter video apps like Douyin, which now hosts content like this:

Quartz tech reporter Jane Li has shared an assortment of videos she found on the platform, some of which are labeled as “travels in my flat.” Others feature folks teaching their cat how to play cards, meticulously-assembled mahjong towers, or games of pool – with cherry tomatoes as balls.

The clips show how even the extraordinary can become mundane, really bloody quickly:

TIME video producer Aria Chen jumped in too, presenting a collage of similar clips. In all honesty, it seems like chucking an impromptu lion dance is not the worst way to endure a city-wide lockdown:

Douyin user Liang Jinjin even gave herself a quote-unquote “tropical holiday” in her apartment, and the frustrated footage is something to behold:

There’s also this miniature masterpiece, which seems like the perfect byproduct of intense boredom and isolation:

Despite the shitposting, Douyin, which operates with the oversight of the Chinese government, has also been used to spread vital information about outbreak. In addition to state-owned media outlets sharing clips on the platform, the South China Morning Post reports the app now has a separate page for live updates on the number and location of confirmed infections.

Separately – and it gives me no pleasure to report this – a popular Mr. Bean ripoff by the name of Mr. Pea has posted his own PSA about coronavirus, advising viewers to wear a mask while outside and to wash their hands.

At time of writing, 133 people have died as a result of the virus, with a further 6,200 confirmed cases worldwide – including seven in Australia.

With the number of infections only expected to rise, it will be a stressful wait for those currently under lockdown. In the meantime, social media appears to have presented one small respite amid a growing crisis.