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Lockdowns expose COVID's cost on mental health in China

Strict COVID-prevention measures come with heavy social costs

People talk through a barrier at a sealed-off area as new lockdown measures were imposed in parts of the city to curb the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai on June 24.   © Reuters

Lan Juan, a volunteer during Shanghai's lockdown, received a call on April 15 from a mother who sounded like she had reached a breaking point.

"My child self-harmed today," the mother said, telling the volunteer that she had been unable to get a hospital appointment for him online, meaning they wouldn't be authorized by their neighborhood committee to go out to seek treatment. Only a volunteer who could move around freely might be able to help.

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