Why has china chosen the COVIDZero path: the road to ruin
China is engaged in prolonged lockdowns and other draconian measures in an attempt to keep COVID at bay. They are like the child trying to protect a sand-castle against a rising tide. Digging trenches, bailing water, while the ocean rises. We all know how that ends. Here I want to talk about 2 concerns China raises.
First, obviously, it is a humanitarian issue and human rights violation. China is showing the brutal power of authoritarian government. Executing pets. Detaining people. Pushing people to hunger. Separating children from parents. Horrific actions in pursuit of a delusion. The public is powerless to stop it. Other governments incapable of helping. And the Western pundits won’t even condemn it, as they pushed for similar measures at home— although they may wish to deny it. This is the inevitable logic of zero covid.
Second, the big question I have: Why? We can be simultaneously critical of China, while acknowledging that many smart people are in China. Their engineers have constructed impressive mag-lev trains. They have built damns and other public works projects that dwarf other nations. China has a booming biotech industry. There are many smart people in China.
So how come so many smart people are pursuing such a dumb philosophy?
If I were to advise China, it would be:
Step 1: screen for natural immunity, and let all naturally immune return to normal life
Step 2: Buy all the Pfizer and Moderna vax you can, and vaccinate every person over the age of 50. Vaccinate every overweight or heavy smoker or person with comorbidities from 20-50.
Step 3: Let society resume 100%, there will be breakthroughs, deal with that with medical infrastructure.
If you continue COVIDZero you will wreck your economy and society, and may even face domestic revolt if you keep squeezing. And ultimately, like the child’s castle, the ocean will sweep you away.
But surely the experts & leaders in China know this. There are many smart people there who clearly know that this is inevitable. So why then is the government pursuing the wrong idea.
The only answer I can come to is that China’s leaders are also in a bubble. They have a few trusted advisors, who are probably just as delusional as the COVIDZero people in the USA, and these advisors have boxed out and demonized those who disagree. The leaders stuck listening to the worst advice imaginable. Given the tremendous power the state has over communication, sunlight cannot pierce the darkness of stupidity.
I suppose the lesson is that censorship of policy ideas in times of crisis is a bad idea. It is bad in the USA, and far worse in a place that does it more effectively, China. China is extreme on censorship and ZeroCOVID. Both to their detriment.
As the tide rises, the castle wall gets wet; it will eventually crumble. If the boy is wise, he will move on and build on higher ground.