On May 29, a termite cloud appeared in Shanghai, and videos of the termites swarming the trees went viral. Shanghai residents reported that termites densely occupied their homes and offices. Netizens commented: “Can termites go out to work after being lock-downed?”; others claim this phenomenon often precedes disasters.
Many videos circulating on Weibo show that, at night, under the streetlights in Shanghai, a large number of flying termites emerge, and the whole sky is full of termites. Some people say there are a lot of termites crawling on the floor.
NTDTV published some comments from Chinese netizens saying, “Termites on West Road Wujiang, Nanjing appear in terrible quantities! As soon as humans disappear, all kinds of bugs appear and are active powerfully. It is said that there are a lot of big cockroaches on the streets now, and they even climb on pedestrians’ shoes.”
One video shows the trunk of a large tree roadside densely covered with termites.
Aboluowang reported that the staff from hotline 962121 of the Shanghai real estate service said that the calls about the termite issue did not stop on May 29.
Some netizens said: “According to the videos posted, the numbers of termites this year seem very unusual. These videos give people goosebumps.”
Someone worried that such a disaster was related to epidemic prevention measures, which prevented regular environmental operations. This person posted, “Everyone was locked at home during March, April, and May. The related environmental sanitation work could not proceed as usual. This year, the number of flies in Shanghai seems to be much larger than in previous years?”
Netizens responded: “a few years ago, termites weren’t so serious like that”; “So don’t worry about the earth, as long as humans disappear, there are countless ways for the earth to quickly return to its original state…”
Another commented: “No wonder why there are so many mosquitoes this year. My house used to have really few mosquitoes. If we don’t intervene fast, termites will nest everywhere, and it will be more terrible next year.”
Some netizens also mocked the Chinese government’s epidemic prevention measures: “Spray Lianhua Qingwen all over the house so the termites can taste it.” Lianhua Qingwen is a government-propagandized traditional Chinese medicine that can help prevent covid.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported that on April 6, the People’s Daily, China’s official media, published an article regarding the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO) about the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine in COVID-19 treatment. The article mentioned some remarkable progress made in studies of prevention and control of COVID-19 with Lianhua Qingwen.
Due to the worst outbreak in China in more than two years since March, Shanghai’s economic city has become the most affected area. On April 20, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that 25 million residents struggle to find fresh vegetables, fruits, rice, and masks. At the same time, at least 8 million boxes of Lianhua Qingwen capsules arrived in Shanghai to prevent the spread of the mutated Omicron variant.
CNA added that three medical experts from Jinan University posted on the Chinese medical information platform Lilac Garden. They were also surprised when Lianhua Qingwen arrived in Shanghai before other necessary civilian materials supplies.
They issued an article stating: “It should not be allowed to give ineffective anti-epidemic medicine to healthy people. It is not appropriate to affect the distribution of other life-saving materials.”
According to the Jiefang Daily, the official newspaper of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, and the Hubei Daily, the mouthpiece of Hubei province, the Chinese medical community has regularly warned about distributing Lianhua Qingwen to people who are not infected. They reported that unless people feel unwell, they should not take that medicine because it is advertised as a mixture of traditional Chinese herbs. Anti-epidemic capsules made from it can cause dysfunction of the stomach and kidney.
Back to the story of winged termites everywhere in Shanghai, some people have found dead termites in drink cups. Liu Genghong, a famous fitness trainer living in Shanghai, was interrupted by termites during his live stream.
On the evening of May 29, Liu Genghong said during the live broadcast, “Why does it seem that there are so many flying insects? We are living on the 20th floor of the building.”
His wife exclaimed, “It flew in me!” At the same time, a termite came out from her clothes; she was so scared that she threw it on the ground and shouted: “Wow, it’s really big!”
Some southern netizens left comments under Liu Genghong’s Livestream video: “It’s the same in Guangdong. We call them big water ants or flying ants. In this case, we need to close the windows, turn off the lights and keep the blinds drawn to reduce the light. We have termites in our complex, but it’s amazing that every time there’s a fire, a small earthquake, or before a pandemic, they cause chaos. We consider their appearance as a forecast of disaster.”
After people posted many videos and complained about the dense presence of termites, the Shanghai Property Management Center (the authority) stated on May 30 that the number of termites this year is equal to previous years and is still within a controllable range, according to Dayoo News.