zero covid.

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 reason was that covid, and its omicron variant, just wasn’t 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
and in late january, china announced that the country’s had 12,600 covid deaths and 1 billion covid infections 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 since zero 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
as the name suggests, zero covid looks to keep covid transmission as close to zero as possible. back in 2020, the barcelona institute for global health described it as a cost-effective way to curb the pandemic. read their doc here
  • in late 2020, zero covid policies were believed to have worked successfully in countries like south korea, taiwan, and new zealand
  • the paper endorses early stay-at-home orders to fight the spread of covid and keep lockdowns short
  • it says that zero covid policies could lead to “fewer negative economic and psychological consequences”
plenty of countries implemented zero covid policies back then. but the atlantic reports that many of these countries, like australia and new zealand, learned to deal with covid much sooner
  • hong kong adopted a zero covid policy, along with other asian countries, bc of problems with a vaccine rollout
  • experts say zero covid was the best strategy for the short term, but countries need to adjust to the idea of opening back up again
  • vaccination efforts and zero covid strategy don’t coexist well, bc many people living under zero covid don’t feel the need to get vaxxed
so why did china stick to it for so long? the south china morning post said it’s bc china had no choice! low vax rates among the elderly and limited medical resources make zero covid the best option
  • the core of chinese anti-covid strategy has to be quicky finding and stopping outbreaks
  • instead of relaxing zero covid measures, the chinese gvt should instead supply necessities for those in lockdown, and improve the stock of their medical equipment
  • in the long term, a zero covid policy is the best option for china
the atlantic says this whole zero covid thing has been about chinese exceptionalism over chinese lives
  • china is facing down its worst outbreak, and the zero covid system is straining to keep up
  • chinese exceptionalism is a part of chinese culture. and the early success of zero covid fits into the chinese narrative
  • the situation in shanghai proves the chinese gvt is willing to cause a humanitarian crisis to prove its exceptionalism
nyt op said zero covid was about something more sinister: the communist party’s long-standing tradition of oppressing its citizens
  • the dramatic zero covid protocol demands complete and total control over chinese citizens: it’s similar to the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s
  • chinese tech also oppresses chinese citizens. surveillance tech is used to control ppl
  • capitalism and an emerging middle class haven’t freed chinese citizens, either. they’re still being violently oppressed by the communist party
  • as long as the communist party is in control, chinese citizens will be oppressed
an op from spiked online agreed: zero covid was about “the cult of covid authoritarianism”, which wants citizens to surrender personal rights for the country
  • in shanghai people are being denied basic liberties. they’re separating kids from their parents!
  • this shouldn’t be the solution to any problem. but in the west, people were advocating for a similar type of lockdown when covid first emerged
  • shanghai proves how damaging the cult of covid can be
but a guardian op was a fan of zero covid: we should’ve adopted an international zero covid policy in the beginning. yes, it’s getting bad press. but the numbers speak for themselves -- it worked!
  • many people thought zero covid was impossible, unless you were under an authoritarian regime. but new zealand did it
  • countries only had to abandon zero covid bc other countries let covid run wild
  • a widespread virus will result in more inequality than zero covid measures that keep everyone safe
bloomberg, otoh, said it wasn’t a good solution. the effect on the chinese economy was a disaster
  • the chinese economy is shrinking bc of the virus outbreak and zero covid policy
  • economic growth is xi‘s main goal, but his efforts are impeded by covid spread and russia’s invasion of ukraine
  • and ending zero covid policies too early could result in a chinese public health disaster
the washington examiner took it further: china’s zero covid policy was destroying the chinese economy
  • zero covid is causing china’s production and economy to tank
  • international investors pulled their money out of the chinese economy
  • china’s zero covid policy continues to affect the supply chain. the fed might have to adopt dramatic measures to stop inflation
yeah, the zero covid policy was always a bad idea, even in earlier days of the pandemic -- national review op
  • we can’t trust chinese health stats in the first place. who knows if the zero covid policies ever helped
  • you can’t have a true zero covid strategy, bc covid is too contagious in the first place
  • community spread of covid is inevitable. arm citizens with vaccines, and they can get on with their lives
substacker alex berenson: “virus gonna virus”! zero covid strats just means more covid cases later. zero covid is a clear disaster
  • hong kong saw an explosion of covid deaths and cases after 2 years of a zero covid strat
  • even though it’s a highly vaxxed population, there was still a massive surge of deaths. that’s surprising bc most cases were omicron, which is generally milder than earlier variants
  • zero covid is a bad policy bc it’s hard to relax restrictions
the new scientist is more nuanced: it makes sense to ditch zero covid policy now, bc covid has evolved to be more transmissible. but that doesn’t mean the zero covid strategy was a failure
  • zero covid countries have lower death rates and better economic growth when compared to countries that didn’t follow a zero covid strat
  • lockdowns were longer in places that didn’t follow a zero covid strat
  • zero covid policy wasn’t a misstep. it saved lives