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Zuev, D., & Hannam, K. (2020). Anxious immobilities: an ethnography of coping with contagion (Covid-19) in Macau. Mobilities, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2020.1827361
In February 2020, Macau became one of the first regions where the pandemic of coronavirus or Covid-19 affected the totality of social and economic life leading to increased anxieties over movement and distance. Although Macau has had very few actual cases of the virus – 46 in total –and no deaths from it, the Macau government rapidly instituted a lock down. The aim of this article is to reflect on how the social experience of being in lockdown can provide insights into understanding the type of experience or condition that we provisionally term ‘anxious immobility.’ Such a condition is characterized by a total disruption of everyday rhythms and specifically anxious waiting for the normalization of activity while being the subject of biosocial narratives of quarantine and socially responsible. The paper is based upon 3 months of ethnographic research conducted by two researchers based in Macau. We also reflect upon some aspects of the politics of mobilities in the light of disruptions and friction points between Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, and the rest of the world.