Unrest in Shanghai

Monday, April 11, 2022

At Hot Air is a very interesting post on the Covid "lockdown" in Shanghai, which is causing civil unrest:

Image by Siyuan Hu, via Unsplash, license.
It's a Catch-22 for the Chinese government. Lift restrictions and they're apt to see a massive outbreak in their largest city that the health-care system can't cope with. Refuse to lift restrictions and they're at risk of mass starvation and riots playing out before the world's eyes on social media faster than Chinese censors can cover it up. And they'd likely end up with a massive outbreak in that scenario too, with lockdown rules suddenly being ignored en masse.

Something's got to give. Either the government will lift restrictions or the desperate locals will lift them themselves.
The article elaborates more on the situation, relying in part on tweets from Westerners caught up in the mess. It is quite eye-opening on just how nonsensical and restrictive the lockdowns actually are in China. (e.g., Are the long testing lines people are being herded into -- to the exclusion of anything else outside their homes -- causing transmission?)

It's also good on what a bad position its rulers have put themselves into by trumpeting their "success" as measured by a ridiculous standard -- zero infections of a highly-transmissable respiratory virus that is not a threat to most of the population:
Holman Jenkins notes the double whammy inherent in China's "zero COVID" policy. On the one hand, the government's zero-tolerance policy towards infection has led the Chinese to be terrified of COVID. On the other hand, the horror stories about privations in Shanghai have led them to be terrified of lockdown. For instance, the AP reports today on elderly residents of Shanghai dying mysteriously at the hospital and their relatives being left in the dark as to why. Was it COVID? Or is the hospital so badly understaffed due to doctors and nurses being quarantined that their loved ones essentially died of neglect? [links omitted, bold added]
China's zero-Covid policy is not stopping transmission and now, and it might cause the government to lose legitimacy or confidence among the Chinese people.

-- CAV

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