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Inside the Chinese megacity where Covid hasn't gone away

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With over 25 million inhabitants, Shanghai is one of the world's largest cities, a global financial centre and a glittering monument to China’s economic boom.

But, today, the vibrant megacity has been reduced to a ghost town. A recent surge of the omicron variant has collided with China’s zero-Covid policy, and Shanghai has borne the brunt of the impact.

The situation stands in stark contrast to that of Ireland. While Covid has not gone away here, the degree to which it is impacting our day-to-day lives has diminished to almost nothing.

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18-year-old drums for Pearl Jam as Matt Cameron continues COVID recovery
Pearl Jam were joined on drums by an 18-year-old at their Oakland, California show this weekend – see footage below.The Seattle legends’ drummer Matt Cameron is out of action on the band’s current tour after testing positive for COVID, so they’ve been enlisting stand-in drummers.Pearl Jam were joined by a fan on drums at their Oakland show on Thursday (May 12), with touring member and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer also stepping in on drumming duties for a series of tracks including Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’, ‘Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town’, ‘Why Go’ and ‘Corduroy’.With Cameron still isolating, Saturday’s (May 14) show also saw the band recruit another stand-in drummer for a song.Kai Neukermans joined the band for 2013 song ‘Mind Your Manners’, and told the San Fransisco Chronicle that, after hearing that Cameron was unavailable to play the show, he texted Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder‘s daughter Olivia, who he had met on a previous occasion.He was then invited to send a video of him drumming along to a Pearl Jam track, which he skipped school to do, and ended up on stage at the Oakland Arena.Fan-shot footage sees Vedder telling the crowd during the show: “Everybody this is Kai; Kai this is everybody! You’re leading the band, brother.”See footage below.Last week, Pearl Jam honoured Foo Fighters’ late drummer Taylor Hawkins during their LA concert at The Forum by performing 2005 song ‘Cold Day In The Sun’.The original version of the track featured Hawkins on lead vocals and, for the Seattle band’s performance of it, Cameron took on singing duties.Cameron and Hawkins previously worked together in the band Nighttime Boogie Association, releasing two songs together
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