Running the quarantine gauntlet
The great leap (into quarantine)
What’s mostly likely to happen is that this year’s Lunar New Year will be a bit of a squib. Extreme take? Not really. Already people are finding their mobility curtailed amid the world’s most heaving annual migration. Take these poor buggers allegedly quarantined in a Shanghai supermarket. OK, they won’t be wanting for snacks, but two weeks in the aisles is nobody’s idea of fun;
Another pertinent tweet:
But seriously, just how much covid does China have?
We don’t know. If you believe official statistics, less than 5,000 people have perished of covid, which is impressive for a country of nearly 1.4 billion – and which cooked the virus up. But, we have to remember that China has a very, very strict Zero-Covid Policy, which essentially means nobody’s allowed to get covid.
As the New York Times reports:
The foundation of the controls is the health code. The local authorities, working with tech companies, generate a user’s profile based on location, travel history, test results and other health data. The code’s color — green, yellow or red — determines whether the holder is allowed into buildings or public spaces. Its use is enforced by legions of local officials with the power to quarantine residents or restrict their movements…
What that means in practice – and in terms of social control it means a hell of a lot – is draconian rules that can descend on anyone or anything:
But it’s not all bad, right?
No, it’s the Year of the Tiger, and who can forget when Obama and Xi Jinping made history with a meme that is now banned in China: