China’s zero-covid collapse

Beginning in November, China’s strict zero COVID-19 policies started to cause a disturbance in residents’ lives. The push for protests and having their voices heard became more popular.

The residents of Beijing had to show a negative COVID test to enter public spaces, such as malls, grocery stores, and airports, but citizens mainly started the protests after a house fire left over 10 citizens dead since they couldn’t leave. They protested to relax the policies so similar situations wouldn’t happen again.

Protestors shouted, “We don’t want lockdowns, we want freedom,” according to the New York Times. Seeing this opportunity to protest against government policies, Chinese people took a chance to have their voices heard.

Slowly, the Chinese government relaxed the strict zero-COVID policy when a more unprecedented display of civil disobedience erupted in cities across the country.

However, not all has been solved. After China relaxed the COVID policies, a dramatic wave of COVID cases swept the country. China has seen the largest number of cases since the start of the pandemic. According to the BBC, China is reporting roughly 5,000 cases a day, but analysts say such numbers are considerably undercounted – and the daily amount of cases may be closer to a million. Hospitals are overwhelmed and residents are struggling to find basic medicines, according to reports.

Many countries have imposed COVID testing and restrictions on travelers leaving China, including the USA. This is especially hard to navigate since China’s domestically developed vaccines are not as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and not many citizens are actually vaccinated, according to CNBC.

While China is facing the worst of its COVID outbreak, other countries have seen a return to normal, pre-pandemic life. However, it is better to err on the side of caution and other countries should treat China’s outbreak seriously by following all safety measures as much as possible.