Quarantined residents in Xi’an, China are trading supplies amid ongoing food shortages. Social media posts show locals exchanging cigarettes for cabbage, tech devices for instant noodles and steamed buns, and dishwashing soap for apples. About 13 million people have been confined to their homes since December 23. Although the Xi’an authorities have been providing free food to households, there have been numerous complaints on social media. Some residents say that their supplies had run out or had not received them.

COVID-19’s current devastation of China is centered in Xi’an, and local officials have taken drastic measures that have caused widespread criticisms on the internet. Merely three asymptomatic cases were found in Yuzhou, but the city was shut down overnight after the discovery. Several residents in the Mingde 8 Yingli housing compound in the south were recently advised that they needed to leave their houses and go to quarantine facilities shortly after midnight on January 1. China is currently pursuing a “zero COVID” approach to wipe out the virus rather than trying to live with it.