It’s Time to Look at What China’s “Covid Zero” Really Is (with Videos)

 In China

One of the biggest, most technologically advanced cities in the history of the world has empty streets. Its people are locked in their homes. Screams fill the air as citizens, running out of food, shout and cry out in desperation from their windows and balconies. It’s been described as a post apocalyptic scene. But it’s not. Yes, a virus has spread through the city, but Shanghai doesn’t have an outbreak problem. It has a governance problem.

Residents in locked down Shanghai scream from their balconies: 'This cannot last'

I’ve been critical of China’s “Covid Zero” policy for a long time. I’ve generally stuck to its repercussions on global trade; how it shuts down port terminals and factories, sometimes for a single positive test; disrupts trucking; and negatively ripples across global supply chains. After all, this is an international shipping blog.

There is a great deal of international shipping and economic impact from Covid Zero policy, but it’s hard to write about that side of things when people by the millions are being cruelly and violently mistreated.

And for what?

I know we’ve had over two years of fear porn crammed down our throats by media outlets and government agencies all over the world to make sure we have a healthy (or completely unhealthy) fear of COVID-19. But lockdowns don’t work in stopping its spread. Masking policies don’t work in stopping its spread. Even the Covid vaccines don’t work in stopping its spread. And while, yes, the virus can be deadly, it is also treatable, and for the vast majority of people who get it, they won’t even need treatment as they won’t have any symptoms, let alone get seriously ill or die.

Locking up 25 million people, as the Chinese government has done in Shanghai, separating positive but completely asymptomatic children from their parents, as the Chinese government has done in Shanghai, ripping people from their homes and forcing them into giant, inhumane quarantine facilities or ripping virus-free people from their homes to turn those homes into quarantine facilities, as the Chinese government has done in Shanghai, rather than simply treating the people who do get sick is a travesty.

The effects of these actions are far worse than just ignoring the virus altogether, letting it kill whomever it will and just leaving its sufferers to die, which would also be unconscionable.

Frankly, all the terrible acts and more that the Chinese government is doing in the name of Covid Zero are not even effective. Every day, despite these draconian measures, more cases are found in Shanghai. And, of course, the vast, vast majority of those cases are asymptomatic.

There’s an old joke about a doctor who fell into a well. He learned to tend the sick and leave the well alone. Perhaps this simple lesson expressed in a joke will finally be learned by the world from the horrific events that have been happening in China. How many must suffer or even die from our reaction to the virus?

The Chinese government enforces strict censorship. However, phone cameras are so prevalent that it’s been impossible for China to keep videos that show just a taste of what’s happening in Shanghai from leaking.

Some people in China are revolting against what’s being done to them, but they’re being met with violence.

In Thursday’s blog, I’ll get back to writing about international shipping, supply chains, global economy and the like. Perhaps I’ll even make it about the effects the Shanghai lockdown has had and is having on global trade, but today, let’s look at what’s been happening to people in China.

China’s starting to ease factories in Shanghai back to work and soon this unsustainable lockdown will disappear from the international consciousness. Before that happens I collected a few videos showing some of what’s been happening in China and imbedded them below. I tried to avoid videos with talking heads from news agencies, who tend to spin things. You may find some of what you see below disturbing, but know this is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on.

This is not about health. This is about power and control. Let it be a warning about the kinds of policies we tolerate here in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

Riots break out in China as starving residents revolt against ‘Zero COVID’ lockdown
Police in Shanghai scuffle with residents over Covid-19 quarantine measures
Video reportedly shows children infected with Covid separated from parents in Shanghai
How Shanghai residents screamed for help amid COVID lockdown in China; Video goes viral
A look inside a Shanghai quarantine facility
Shanghai police ‘beat elderly and women’ as residents are forced to evict homes for Covid patients
  • Shirley

    Great article. I’ve been following this and it’s outrageous to say the least. Recently we spoke with our agent/friend who lives in Shanghai. I think he was born and raised there. The interesting thing was his lack of outrage over this most recent lockdown. Mild complaint about it being longer than usual. I think if personal freedom was never a part of life and if you have enough provisions, you just accept it. Perhaps the people screaming from their windows are hungry, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore! Sadly, they don’t have that choice.

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