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The misunderstood—and misrepresented—Zero COVID policy in China

This analysis of China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been submitted as a contribution to the WSWS Global Workers’ Inquest into the COVID-19 Pandemic. The WSWS is respecting a request that the author’s identity not be publicly disclosed.

One of the most striking facts about the pandemic is that China, the country from which SARS-CoV-2 first emerged, has suffered very few cases. Since April 2020, the United States has detected nearly 50 million cases, but China, with four times the population, has detected just over 10,000.


By the standards of our MSCM you might have thought that China was within a full blown epidemic in early 2020. I'm literally shocked myself to see that statistic. If it is indeed accurate, then that means China should be even more highly congratulated on the amount of money and efforts they put into the health safety of their society. Which with for that effort is still drastically much of a lower cost that went into welfare giveaways to our corporations and ruling class in the trillions and still growing cost into families. Which if we had followed and continued to follow their example wouldn't be necessary now, or most likely have gone into even the second round. Quite frankly, the only reason this virus is still alive and mutating constantly is due to the handling of the westernized societies. Every new outbreak China gets is due to foreigners coming into their country being traced back to air flights.

{There are two main types of reaction to this fact in the West. The first, increasingly rare, is disbelief. Even major Western media outlets hostile towards China have long since accepted that China’s case counts are extremely low.

is that ignoring the virus does not make it go away, and any neglected outbreak in China would quickly spiral out of control

Such an outbreak would be visible to foreign correspondents, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of foreigners living in China. And as we will see, the measures China takes to combat outbreaks are highly visible and impossible to keep secret—indeed, they depend critically on widespread participation of the population.}

This makes all the blathering done by Trump, our representatives, and our MSCM in early 2020 look like ignorant idiots who depend on a society of fools to manage our perception. In which lead to racial hate and division with our Asian Americans. While we allowed our fellow citizens to die around us within a lack of unity.

We should all feel ashamed. I sure the fuck do. I'm so thankful I have a job where I don't have to be around people very much and can easily cover myself when I am for the short periods I am.

{The second type of reaction is to paint China as a draconian hellscape, in which the citizens live under a constant state of lockdown and siege. This is the approach taken recently by the New York Times in an article titled, “Near-Daily Covid Tests, Sleeping in Classrooms: Life in Covid-Zero China.” The article focuses on one small (by Chinese standards) city on the border of Myanmar.}

Did I mention perception management yet? While I was discussing which vaccine to get with our doctor the situation in the country came up which I brought in China. Long story short on the numbers I've been posting here. He, a collage graduate in the medical field, attempted to inform me that the citizens in China were held in their homes at gun point. That's a fairly loud statement towards how far a good false dis/misinformation campaign goes in the US still almost 2 years later.

{The answer is that the New York Times focuses on Ruili precisely because it is not representative of the situation in the vast majority of China. The Times’ coverage largely ignores the experience of people in the vast majority of China, including in major cities many times the size of Ruili (270,000 people), such as Shanghai (25 million people), Beijing (22 million people) and Guangzhou (19 million people).}

The NYT isn't an honest representation of anything other than ruling class agenda. Chris Hedges found that out on a trial of betrayal.

{The following is an example of how the virus can penetrate the quarantine barrier. On July 10, 2021, a plane from Moscow carrying a traveler infected with the Delta variant landed in Nanjing. Workers cleaning out the interior of the cabin became infected. These same workers also cleaned airplane cabins for domestic flights, and therefore spread the virus to people in the domestic terminal. Because their work could bring them into contact with infected international travelers, the cleaners were regularly tested for the virus, and the outbreak was detected 11 days later, on July 21, 2021. However, by that point, the virus had already been carried far beyond the airport. It eventually spread to cities in over a dozen provinces, peaking at nearly 100 new infections detected per day before it was brought under control in mid-August. After this outbreak, changes were made to the operation of airports to reduce the risk of a similar breach recurring.}

I hope your xmas traveling was worth the cost of what's going to reverberate across the nation. I imagine a lot of people are going to be the result of their own family elders deaths or serious illnesses. You all do realize that there's a lot of people who don't follow any of the suggested precautions, even when they have questions of their own symptoms.

{During the initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, in January 2020, Chongqing began seeing COVID-19 cases and, like most of China, went into lockdown. The city began easing restrictions in March 2020, and restaurants started to reopen for in-person dining. Schools resumed in-person classes in April and May. After emerging from lockdown, Chongqing detected no new local infections for more than a year.}

A population of over 20 million people.

{The patients’ apartment complexes were strictly locked down, with food and other vital supplies delivered regularly by city health workers (a Canadian YouTuber visited the building where the first patient lived, giving a window into what life for the residents looked like during the lockdown). Various areas of the city were labeled “high risk zones,” with entry and exit strictly controlled.

It took 15 days to go from the first detected case until the official end of the outbreak.}

Which is worse? Just continue sacrificing our loved one's?

{Contrary to the common perception in the West, an enormous amount of detailed information about every case is published as a matter of course in China. Public health agencies publish a detailed “activity track” [3] for each person who tests positive, listing the times at which they visited various places in the preceding days, how they were infected (if known), and even the license-plate numbers of the taxis they’ve recently hailed.}

I guess we keep sacrificing. Our governments have absolutely no competent means to accomplish this means. We can't even get test and vaccines distributed right, let alone organize them together with much smaller populated cities. Or a population united to make it work. We're so god dam selfish and self centered.

{This has involved significant investment in the public health system at the local level. For example, the central government requires each city to have the capacity to test its entire population within a short time frame. This means two days for cities with populations under 5 million, and within three to five days for cities with populations above 5 million. This local testing capacity is supported by mobile testing labs, which are deployed to regions that have active outbreaks to speed up the screening of the population.}

{In a recent interview, he argued that compared with allowing the virus to spread, the dynamic zero policy is a “relatively low-cost approach,” and that the back-and-forth lifting and reimposition of restrictions in other countries has a greater psychological impact on the population.}

🤣 The idea that China, which has managed to hold SARS-CoV-2 at bay for the last 20 months while allowing normal life to largely continue, should take advice on epidemic control measures from the Financial Times, the New York Times or the Guardian is clearly absurd. 🤣

{In contrast, countries that are “living with the virus” are flying blind and will not know what sort of risk they are taking with the health of their population until Omicron is already upon them.}

In other words. We're being used as lab rats for the next round of vaccines to be developed for profit.

😢 The epidemic control measures that Chinese people have endured pale in comparison to the price in lives and livelihoods that Americans have paid. Since the beginning of the pandemic, for each person temporarily quarantined in China (a country with four times the population of the United States), one American has died. 😢 Yet the New York Times would rather have its readership believe that a remote town on the border of Myanmar represents the norm in “Covid-Zero China,” than inform them that over one billion people, in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, have lived for 20 months with few restrictions on daily life and have had virtually zero risk from the virus.}

William_Mary 8 Dec 26
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