rolling back zero covid.

rolling back zero covid.
in early december, china started rolling back its strict zero covid policy after mass protests rocked the country. china’s vice premier said the decision was bc covid -- and specifically the current omicron variant -- isn’t all that dangerous
  • chinese media outlets are reporting that omicron is no big deal
  • and there’s been a renewed vax effort for elderly ppl
  • china may also allow ppl who test positive for covid to quarantine at home
but an nyt op predicted if china completely abandoned zero covid, a massive amount of people will die. less exposure to the virus = less immunity. plus, chinese vaccines are less effective than western vaccines
  • 9 of 10 chinese ppl got vaxxed. but less than 50% of ppl 80+ have received a booster
  • but covid variants like omicron make zero covid policy next to impossible. the variant spreads quickly, and cases are often asymptomatic
  • if china experienced a nationwide outbreak like the ones in the u.s. and europe, 363m ppl could get infected, and 620k ppl could die
and in fact, in late january china announced that the country’s had 12,600 deaths from covid since rolling back its zero covid policy. bloomberg says the country’s actual death toll is probably much higher
  • china officials said more than a billion people had been infected sincezero covid measures were rolled back
  • china shared its covid numbers after facing criticism from other countries for its limited definition of what a “covid death” is
  • given the scale of the covid outbreak, bloomberg believes china’s reported death numbers are only telling part of the story
the new yorker: china had so much time to prep for the end of zero covid, but the country’s botched the rollback. china could’ve pushed mrna vaccines on its population before opening up, but it chose not to
  • china should’ve reversed zero covid policy when omicron proved to the rest of the world that containing covid wasn’t an option
  • but when china did eventually come to its senses and rollback zero covid, it didn’t do it right. its healthcare system isn’t prepared to deal w/ a wave of covid cases, and china still hasn’t endorsed mrna vaccines
  • china can distort its covid statistics all it wants, but it won’t change the fact that it’s putting its citizens in grave danger
npr: when zero covid ended, chinese health officials spouted misinfo, misrepresenting the dangers of covid infection and touting long-disproven covid remedies
  • before zero covid measures were rolled back, health officials warned about the real dangers of covid infection. but after zero covid was relaxed, health experts are saying it’s not much of a danger anymore
  • some officials promoted salt ice water rinses and teas to prevent infection
  • many chinese citizens rely on state media to get info. and china’s state media is spreading misinfo
the federalist: china’s disasters pre- and post- zero covid prove the pitfalls of a dictatorial system of politics
  • in early 2022 xi declared victory over covid, crediting china’s gvt and zero covid policy for getting outbreaks under control
  • but xi was wrong -- china didn’t prevail over covid after all. zero covid has hurt china’s people and its economy
  • the issues that china’s running into after its zero covid rollback just prove how ineffective the zero covid approach was
the carnegie endowment for international peace said that xi was in quite the pickle. he’s used zero covid to argue for chinese superiority. relaxing it challenges his power
  • even tho china’s rolled back on some measures, the protests continue
  • xi’s facing challenges on how to get the pandemic under control
  • but he also has to balance his desire for how he wants china’s “pandemic story” to end
a bloomberg op said the damage is already done: xi built his brand around zero covid -- and now everyone knows it’s unsustainable
  • seeing fans at the world cup w/o masks might’ve exposed chinese citizens to the reality of zero covid -- it’s unnecessary!
  • from now on, xi will have to consider unpopular public measures carefully. if he pushes something like zero covid again, he could have *real* problems
otoh, zero covid rollbacks will help the chinese stock market. nikkei asia reported that stocks rallied right after major cities relaxed zero covid protocols
  • investors are hoping xi’s done w/ zero covid
  • officials have signaled they’re adapting zero covid, and analysts are predicting a better economic future for china
what do chinese citizens think of the rollback? reuters says people are pretty divided: many think zero covid is overkill, but plenty are nervous
  • chinese citizens interviewed in reuters said they’ve seen family/friends recover from covid and they don’t think it’s a big deal. it’s like a cold
  • other citizens worry about the effect zero covid has on the economy
  • an expert says there are lots of ppl who felt uneasy when zero covid measures were rolled back
an nyt op: zero covid was traumatic, but the thought of being left defenseless to a swelling wave of covid infections is scary, too. the draconian zero covid measures feel pointless. it didn’t end up keeping people safe in the long-run
  • the chinese gvt did a complete 180, almost overnight
  • the author said even tho living in zero covid china meant constant gvt surveillance, people felt safe from infection
  • some ppl had incredibly traumatic experiences while in zero covid lockdowns, and are happy that it’s all over
  • but now, ppl are left to fend for themselves against covid. and people are dying
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