A SPECIAL DNT REPORT – From the onset of the pandemic, China adopted what it called the zero Covid policy to curb the spread of the virus given its population concentration and being the origin of the virus.
With sections of their cities organized like large gated communities, it was easy for the government to lock down any area where someone tested positive by just shutting the gates to that section.
They would conduct contact tracing and vaccinate as necessary to ensure that the entire area was Covid-free before ending the lockdown. Sometimes it took as long as a couple of months.
Because China’s lockdown was basically pockets in a city rather than nationwide as other countries enforced theirs, lockdowns meant LOCK DOWN in that area.
This unleashed economic hardships that the Chinese had not been accustomed to in recent memory. With as high as 80% of the population working in the private sector where salaries are not guaranteed, bills began to pile up for the working class.
Young Chinese men who had purchased apartments and vehicles on their credit cards because the two are prerequisite to marriage began to feel the pinch.
Pretty soon, while Covid remained the number one killer of Chinese, right behind it were stress-related deaths and suicides in that order with the favorite method being jumping off high rise buildings.
But the Chinese suffered in silence because not only are they a highly patriotic citizenry, they take whatever their government announce to them as ‘gold.’
As pressure mounted on the government to relax its zero Covid policy, the national Congress of the People’s Party was approaching where President Xi Jingping was to be re-elected.
So the government placed a tight lid on any form of protests until after the Congress telling the citizens that Covid is running wild in countries around the world and lockdowns are happening everywhere.
Then the world cup in Qatar came up.
The Chinese love football, but they also love one thing better – betting on football. That means the the games had to be broadcast live to Chinese households so that they can at least enjoy the games as many of them remained locked down.
And that’s where the lie was exposed.
Here were the Chinese enduring lockdown after lockdown and being told that the rest of the world is also on lockdown due to the pandemic.
But here were fans from all over the world congregated in large stadiums in Qatar without masks cheering their teams on and having fun.
Every once in a while the television would show clips of fans enjoying the game not from the stands in Qatar, but from the comforts of their mask-less societies drinking in bars and cheering their teams on.
on the one hand, the Chinese authorities had been successful in convincing their citizens that the unending lockdowns constitute the best way of fighting Covid compared to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, beamed to their television sets are images refuting the lies and demonstrating that other countries have done a better job of fighting Covid without the stifling lockdowns.
That’s when the dam broke loose. The youth decided that they have suffered enough economic hardship so the lockdowns must end.
Luckily for the authorities, the Congress of the People’s Party had been completed with Xi Jingping securing his re-election before the protests began so the decision to relax lockdowns was an easy one to make.
Now not only has China done away with lockdowns, it has opened her doors to the world again. Ironically, it is now that the world appears to close its doors to Chinese travelers.
Chana, the United Kingdom, and United States are three of many countries instituting Covid restrictions on travelers from China. Morocco has even decided to ban entry to all travelers coming from China outright in a measure that will go into force on Tuesday.
The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday the agency is “concerned about the risk to life in China” amid the coronavirus’ explosive spread across the country and the lack of outbreak data from the Chinese government.
If you are worried about a revisit of the Covid explosion that began at the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, you should because China’s doors are now fully open. And the world has no accurate data on the magnitude of the outbreak while their doors were closed.
DNT Special Report with Correspondence from Nana Owuraku Amoa-Ampong, Hainan, China