Shanghai: By day it’s Romeo’s workplace, by night it’s his home. Like many other finance sector workers in Shanghai, he has moved into the office to keep the wheels of commerce turning during a harsh Covid lockdown of the megacity. Anticipating that creeping closures would catch him out, Romeo decamped to the Pudong district in Shanghai’s east in late March shortly before the city shut down. The business hub has since become the epicentre of China’s biggest Covid-19 outbreak since the virus emerged more than two years ago, recording around 25,000 infections a day. Most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents are under strict stay-at-home orders, raging at food shortages and fearful of testing positive for Covid as it would land them in a giant quarantine centre. Some, like Romeo, are living strangely dislocated lives as businesses struggle to keep operating in one of the world’s major financial hubs. “There are people sleeping on the first and second floors, each person goes to their own office,” Romeo told, declining to use his real, Chinese name. “There’s no forced conversation… everyone is quiet and respectful of each other’s distance and privacy.” At night the social graces of office hours continue, he said. For other workers in Shanghai, privacy is in short supply. Social media videos show staff sleeping on bunks in closed factories that are trying to continue manufacturing their goods.