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Coronavirus - those in China, and general discussion


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On 4/8/2022 at 8:48 PM, Moshen said:

Why is it that the Chinese government can be so draconian about lockdowns and testing and not equally draconian about vaccination?

 

Is it that they don't have enough vaccines?  Or that they think the population would revolt at that?

They use a combination of threats (e.g. denial of important services and entry to important facilities, denial of schooling for your children, and the sack) and lure (e.g. cash or useful commodities) to have people vaccinated but this is not consistently implemented across China. Anyway, they claim the whole thing is all up to you but the reality is if you don't get vaccinated on time, you will face immense pressure from your local government or 'council'. From what I know, many pregnant women and people with health problems have capitulated under such pressure. Strangely though, their will has relented somewhat in most parts of the country.

 

 

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On 5/5/2022 at 11:06 AM, Kenny同志 said:

the reality is if you don't get vaccinated on time, you will face immense pressure from your local government or 'council'.


Then how come half of the over 80's are still not vaccinated? Does the stick and carrot not apply to them?

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On 5/5/2022 at 11:50 PM, alantin said:

Then how come half of the over 80's are still not vaccinated? Does the stick and carrot not apply to them?

As I said in my previous post, this is not implemented consistently across the country. 

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Excerpt from today's Sinocism newsletter (Bill Bishop.) About the zero-Covid policy. 

 

Quote

The Standing Committee met today and made clear to anyone still not paying attention that it has decided to continue with the "dynamic zero-Covid" policy. “Persistence is victory 坚持就是胜利” the meeting declared.

The readout emphasizes that the current policy is correct:

Practice has proven that our prevention and control policy is determined by the nature and purpose of the Party, our prevention and control policies can stand the test of history, and our prevention and control measures are scientific and effective. We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai. 实践证明,我们的防控方针是由党的性质和宗旨决定的,我们的防控政策是经得起历史检验的,我们的防控措施是科学有效的。我们打赢了武汉保卫战,也一定能够打赢大上海保卫战。

 

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On 5/6/2022 at 10:09 AM, Kenny同志 said:
On 5/5/2022 at 11:50 PM, alantin said:

Then how come half of the over 80's are still not vaccinated? Does the stick and carrot not apply to them?

As I said in my previous post, this is not implemented consistently across the country. 

 

At that age, I would guess many are ineligible due to the risk of medical complications.

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On 5/6/2022 at 7:13 AM, becky82 said:

At that age, I would guess many are ineligible due to the risk of medical complications.


What risk of medical complications?

Here 89,2% of the over 80 year olds have taken tree jabs and 95,5% have taken two. There haven't been any news about medical complications.

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On 5/6/2022 at 11:57 AM, alantin said:

What risk of medical complications?

Here 89,2% of the over 80 year olds have taken tree jabs and 95,5% have taken two. There haven't been any news about medical complications.

 

Agree. In the US I haven't heard of anything along these lines. Elderly people are encouraged to get immunized. 

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This article in the Washington Post explains a number of things about China's vaccine rollout relating to the elderly:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/06/china-coronavirus-elderly-unvaccinated-lockdown/

 

Quote

From the start, China took a different approach to immunization. Unlike many Western countries, which prioritized the elderly and immunocompromised groups to minimize deaths, China targeted people considered most likely to spread the virus.

 

At the time, China’s mass testing, contact tracing and quarantine measures had brought cases down to near zero. The goal for officials was “preventing imported cases and domestic resurgence.” First up for vaccines, therefore, were workers at customs and airports, taxi drivers, overseas business travelers and anyone else considered a potential vector to bring the virus into China and spread it.

 

And...

 

Quote

Outside the flare-up zones, it’s easy to see why older residents might be reluctant to get vaccinated. In places like Shenzhen, city life bustles as normal, except that pedestrians have to show proof of a negative coronavirus test within the past 72 hours to enter any public spaces.

 

Quote

Shifting messaging has exacerbated the vaccine hesitancy. Vaccines were initially approved only for younger groups, with officials reassuring older people that they were protected by the vaccination of others and warning of the shots’ possible risks.

 

It's interesting that from the start, China's vaccination strategy was focused on limiting spread and keeping the total number of cases down, not on protecting the most vulnerable.  And because older people weren't prioritized enough earlier, if China abandoned its Zero Covid policy now, the death rate among the old would be unacceptably high.  (As we saw in Hongkong.)

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On 5/6/2022 at 10:19 PM, Moshen said:

It's interesting that from the start, China's vaccination strategy was focused on limiting spread and keeping the total number of cases down, not on protecting the most vulnerable.  And because older people weren't prioritized enough earlier, if China abandoned its Zero Covid policy now, the death rate among the old would be unacceptably high.  (As we saw in Hongkong.)


They got most of the people vaccinated last year and have other countries using their domestic vaccines in addition to already having vaccinated about half of their elderly population, so they have data that shows if their vaccines are risky to the elderly or not. But they haven't pushed on vaccinating the elderly. I wonder why. Only two options come to mind; it is either over-reliance on zero-covid and belief that it will keep the virus at bay, or their data shows real risk of the Chinese vaccines to the elderly. If they wanted to get the elderly vaccinated by June, I'm pretty sure they would get them vaccinated by June.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This guy's video (shot yesterday) accurately shows the current situation in (central) Beijing. I was walking by this river last night, some popular sections require you to scan the qr to get to the sidewalk near the river. Fingers crossed things loosen rather than tighten in the coming weeks. I like his videos too, he's got a very pleasant voice and nice pronunciation, just right for intermediate level learners like myself.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekUNhNDn190

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On 5/6/2022 at 3:22 AM, suMMit said:

幸灾乐祸

 

I already read it, I actually warned those guys in my previous posts, but I they made fun of me and treated me with disdain. I remember how one of them was like: "0 COVID is a successful startegy, you are emotional, and I don't care how much you love China, how well you speak Chinese, or that you have been unfairly studying online for two years, you have to fuck off and stay out for COVID!" (I'm being hyperbolic, but the comment was pretty insensitive and lacking of empathy). My posts have aged pretty well, theirs on the other hand... well, let's just say I'm certainly 幸灾乐祸.

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Ditto my advice in this thread November 12, 2020:

 

"Sincere advice: Don't waste your life sitting around twiddling your thumbs in the vain expectation China will re-open to you. Just assume it's over and make your plans based on what you can do, not what you can't."

 

Advice which still stands today.

 

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Shanghai is down to about 500 new cases a day now, so it's going down, little by little. The government has early June as a target for starting to re-open, and everything is supposed to be fully open again by the end June. I take these dates with a grain of salt though, no point getting excited yet.

 

I'm personally still stuck in my apartment (70 days now? lost count), but somehow my mood is better now. I guess humans really can adapt to almost anything.... It's now possible to order some take-out food etc, but options are still limited. Quite bizarre actually, e.g. I can get coffee from Luckin Coffee, but I can't for the life of me buy stuff like potatoes. 

 

My 小区 has gone two full days without a case now, which is huge! We've basically had cases everyday since the lockdown started,but still a looong way away from 14 days without no cases. For those who are interested: you can actually look up addresses online and see the case history at https://chenfan.info/

 

Some 小区's which haven't had cases in a while are now allowed to go out for a limited time. The rules are ad-hoc as always though, but it's usually restricted to one person per apartment, one time a day/a week, and for 2-3 hours. Still, much better than nothing.

 

What worries me know are basically:

  1. The likelihood of case numbers going up again when we start slowly opening up and how the government will react. Will they start shutting down large areas again as soon as we get cases?
  2. Can we even get cases down to 0-ish without keeping a full lockdown? Beijing has been trying to control for a month now without being able to reduce the number of cases, measures there are just getting stricter and stricter.
  3. How will "life" be when we re-open? How much restrictions will be be burdened with for the rest of the year? I already see other cities in China basically preparing to live with a constant stream of 48-hour covid tests to be able to do anything.

 

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I moved a few weeks ago.  I thought to myself, there's no advantage to being near the city center when I can't go out anyway.  So I moved to Tongzhou where the rent is substantially cheaper.  My ex-housemates are now locked in their house---one of them was in some random room at the same time as some random person who was positive.  They're slowly going mad, judging from their WeChat posts.  That would have been me, had I not moved.  I feel like I dodged a bullet.  (Moving house as everything was locking down wasn't easy.)

 

Here, we're basically getting tested daily.  All the restaurants are take-away only; deliveries go to the 小区's gate; and we can order take-away.  Still, there's no cases in our 小区, and a lot of people here often don't wear facemasks when outdoors.  I often go next door to a farmer's market to buy fruit and vegetables.

 

Do I like this zero-covid approach?  I'm not sure.  We had a pretty successful 2021 here, so I'm probably more positive about it than others.  But I thought the plan was to "suck it up" until everyone was vaccinated then reopen (that made sense to me), but we've already got a very high vaccination rate here.  I'm not sure what the endgame is here.  However, maybe zero-covid is better than waiting a few weeks, then locking down for longer, and letting it harm people.

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On 5/26/2022 at 6:27 AM, becky82 said:

Do I like this zero-covid approach?  I'm not sure.  We had a pretty successful 2021 here, so I'm probably more positive about it than others.  But I thought the plan was to "suck it up" until everyone was vaccinated then reopen (that made sense to me), but we've already got a very high vaccination rate here.  I'm not sure what the endgame is here.  However, maybe zero-covid is better than waiting a few weeks, then locking down for longer, and letting it harm people.

 

I also supported China's zero-covid approach for the first year or so, but it was always under the condition that it was a temporary stop-gap, while preparing for re-opening the country.

 

I agree that there must be an endgame, I cant support just keep going like this while praying for the disease to get even less severe or for some miracle drug to appear. Where is the push for vaccinating the elders? For getting people to take their booster shot? 

 

It feels like the attitude towards this policy is changing though, at least that's the impression I'm getting from social media here. 6 months ago there wasn't really that much push-back, not being able to travel outside of China is something that only affects a small portion of the Chinese population after all. But now people are getting tired of having their daily lives and businesses affected, especially when they see every other country going back to something approaching pre-covid way of life.

 

Hopefully there is a big enough change in public opinion (or maybe more realistically, economic impact...) to make the government start thinking about re-opening. 

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In my part of BJ (inside 2nd ring) the only significant recent tightening is you now have to scan the qr to enter any hutong mouth from the main street. But you can still wander around anywhere once inside. I still have a store of food that won't go off, in case of a more stringent lockdown. 

 

I find it saddening to see so many businesses closed down or half-closed. So much focus on nat tests. I fear these nat test booths will become a permanent fixture. I do not enjoy not being able to go to the gym and other recreational activities being deminished, though we have done a few drives out to the great wall and countryside. 

 

Several of my laowai friends have left the country, some of them have been hear 10 plus years, which is kind of sad. I think a lot of laowais will leave. Looking on the bright side, there will be less moaning to listen to and less speaking English.  It's not great overall though. 

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On 5/26/2022 at 9:46 AM, suMMit said:

I fear these nat test booths will become a permanent fixture.

We do our testing on the little plaza outside the village committee offices and it's noticeable they've just erected a more permanent prefabricated hut for the testers where there previously used one of the disaster preparedness tents. Does mean they can have aircon while they work which they'll need. 

We can still get out and about a fair amount out here in the far edge of Shunyi, need to scan your code to get to the larger village next door with more shops and a bigger market in theory but in practise I get waved through on my little trike (often with my boy in tow) as they recognise me.

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Shanghai announced that the lockdown is ending tomorrow! (well for most people, 小区‘s with recent cases are still not allowed out)

 

Really excited to finally be free again, even looking forward to going to the office tomorrow. 

 

Worried for the coming weeks though, we are still seeing random cases pop up in different areas, meaning the virus is still not fully under control. So what's going to happen when everything opens up again tomorrow? Hopefully the PCR testing requirements will help them keep it from exploding again, we'll need < 72 hour PCR test results to bascially do anything from now on.

 

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