China is determined to stay #zerocovid as protests across the country in modern China continue. Protestors have even found ways to escape digital detection.
The covid protests are certainly a little politically motivated and are being pushed by young people who want freedoms, are also using a blank piece of paper ( as well as a mask) to help shield their identity from China’s sophisticated surveillance system. The protests are being called the “blank paper protests”. I wonder how many of these young protestors really know what the implications of living with covid really are.
One can understand why many people in China want to end hard covid restrictions but the question is at what cost. I have written about this before but it is worth addressing this again right now, with protests growing around China.
When Australia and Taiwan succumb to end their #zerocovid stances in early 2022, both countries of a similar population (around 25 million people) had about 100,000 new cases of covid19 a day. The population of China is about 1.4 billion people, which is 56 times the population of Australia or Taiwan, so on a proportionality basis, if China was to end its zerocovid policy it would have about 5.5 million new cases of covid19 every day. China may be able to contain the spread of covid a bit better than Australia did, because Australia stupidly helped the spread of the virus by giving the vaccinated freedoms over the unvaccinated, and dropping mask mandates, but I would expect a similar cases number would ensure after the dam broke.
Given that the current CFR (case fatality rate = death rate) or Omicron is about 0.15%, this would amount to about 8,250 deaths a day. I believe China is desperately trying to build more hospitals in preparation for when the covid dam does break, but this will be an enormous strain on their medical system. If we were still with the Delta variant (CFR ~3%), China would be looking at about 165,000 deaths a day. It is not clear the death rate will drop much lower than 0.15% which is an almost flu-like CFR, so when should China open up to covid.
Besides the staggering number of deaths, China will also experience about 560,000 hospital admissions per day.
China will also be looking at about 28 million people suffering from longcovid with about 10 million permanently incapacitated from work.
The other point about covid is that it does not end. It has become a rolling pandemic with new variants appearing at a staggering rate. In less than a year the number of omicron variants has gone from 2 or 3 to over 1000. Even now if one looks at the data of variant sequencing about one third are BA.4 and BA.5 variants, one third are new variants like BA.2.75.X, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, BF.7 and XBB.1, while another one third are something that has not had a sufficient prevalence to be classified as of yet. China is well aware of all of these issues and this is the main reason it is persisting with its zerocovid strategy. The Australian government knows it has made a mess of its handling of covid and are now actively trying to hide data from the public, while pretending that we are in a post-covid recovery period, or the worse is behind us. In Australia there are about 2.5 times as many excess deaths than covid deaths, and while some may be attributed to vaccines, most are probably “aftercovid and #longcovid or due to a combination of covid and vaccine. The elderly have undergone a huge attack on their immune systems from covid and vaccines.
China is literally caught between a rock and a hard place.
What I find interesting is that almost all protestors are wearing masks. They may be doing so to escape detection by their digital surveillance system, but once China succumbs to covid, masks will be for life. That is the harsh reality of living with covid. It could have been very different if the showed a little more patience. This is the pandemic we never had to have.
Note that China is refusing (I wonder why) to import and use mRNA vaccines. It ironic that “experts” say China should use mRNA vaccines, which to my mind have failed and are still experimental, which contested side-effects including death.
Zero-Covid policy: why is China still having severe lockdowns?
China’s top health officials deflect blame over zero-COVID problems as they defend controversial policy