Living Not With Covid But With Zero Covid
This article describes the impact of the Chinese Communist Party’s “zero tolerance” policy on COVID and the consequences for people living in China. The article looks at the lockdown of Shanghai, the exile of many people, and the impact of the restrictions on COVID on daily life.
Chinese Communist Party’s “zero-tolerance” policy
The Chinese Communist Party’s “zero-Tolerance” policy has caused many concerns in China. It’s a policy that punishes those who don’t abide by the rules. In Shanghai, for example, people were barred from leaving their homes and getting medical treatment. This was an unprecedented level of repression, and many people in the city were left scrambling to buy food and medicine.
While zero-tolerance has prevented countless deaths, it has also imposed a number of hardships on Chinese society. In a country with a sagging economy and an ineffective health care system, countless people are suffering from the consequences of this policy. Further, the continued lockdowns have crippled the country’s fragile property market. This makes China’s leaders question the wisdom of their “zero-Tolerance” policy.
A recent lockdown in Shanghai has led to widespread food shortages and limited access to medical care. While the Chinese government vowed to continue its zero-COVID strategy, the lockdown extended far beyond the original plan. Originally, the city was to have a two-phase rollout, with different districts locked down at different times. Residents were supposed to stay in their homes during the lockdown, and only leave to get their mandatory COVID-19 tests. Since April, the number of cases outside of quarantine zones has soared to double digits. The World Bank has cut its growth forecast for China until 2022, to 4.3 percent.
Though the government aims to have zero cases outside of quarantine by May 20, the lockdown has prompted widespread public criticism. Residents have complained of food shortages and mental health problems. Meanwhile, the zero-COVID strategy has been criticized by global health experts. The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the government’s current policy is not sustainable and must be reconsidered.
Exile as a result of COVID restrictions
While China’s COVID restrictions have been broadly praised, pockets of discontent have cropped up over the government’s strict measures. A recent outbreak in Xi’an, for example, left residents confined to their homes for three weeks. They complained of shortages of food and access to medical care. In one case, a pregnant woman died before reaching the hospital.
COVID restrictions in China have made it difficult for many to return to their home country after a trip. However, the recent ‘coup’ attempt was not based on any credible evidence, and Xi is likely still following quarantine rules, remaining in self-isolation even after returning from abroad. China has continued to implement its zero-COVID policy, and international arrivals are still subject to seven days of hotel quarantine and three days of home isolation.
Impact of COVID restrictions on people’s lives
COVID restrictions in China have had dramatic impacts on migrant workers and supply chains. According to one study, the restrictions imposed on travel to or from certain cities have lowered wages for migrant workers by $100 billion. Poor rural households have also reduced spending on education, nutrition, and health care.
The impact of COVID restrictions on people’s daily lives varies according to the severity of the disease, and the duration of the restrictions. The first wave of COVID virus transmission was relatively mild, with few deaths. However, subsequent waves had very different effects. The World Health Organization announced an independent panel to examine pandemic preparedness and response in September 2020.