Though America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took a turn toward Covid rationality last week, “Zero-Covid” madness is still raging in China.
Just ask the poor people who were at a Shanghai Ikea on Saturday evening. One minute they’re innocently eyeing furniture and appliances, the next they’re being told they can’t leave the store or go home.
An announcement was made over the store’s public address system, notifying shoppers the store had been ordered to close and to prevent anyone from leaving, due to contact tracing. Shocked by suddenly being condemned to quarantine, many opted to make a run for it.
Video captured a dystopian scene in which guards attempt to close doors on the escapees, some of whom are screaming in their panic. The guards were overpowered, but it’s not clear what happened to the fleeing shoppers next.
Yesterday, an abnormal health code case was presented at an IKEA in Shanghai, & the entire mall was suddenly blocked🥶
— Donna Wong💛🖤 (@DonnaWongHK) August 14, 2022
Those who were trapped in the store had to first linger there for four hours — from 8pm til midnight — before being transported to quarantine hotels, reports Bloomberg. Then they faced quarantine for two days followed by five days of monitoring.
The mass-detention was triggered merely because a close contact of a six-year-old boy who tested positive had visited the store. It’s not clear if that individual was in the store at the time. What’s more, the 6-year old wasn’t even symptomatic.
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) August 15, 2022
While the video of the incident is dramatic, it’s hardly the first such episode, as Chinese citizens continue to live in a dark game of contact-tracing roulette. Others have been suddenly detained while working in offices, exercising at gyms or dining in restaurants.
Of China’s major cities, Shanghai has been hit hardest. Between March 10 and July 31 of this year alone, the city endured 92 days of full or partial lockdown. This spring, it got to the point where apartment-dwellers were screaming in unison from their balconies:
Last week, the CDC updated its guidelines, with one of the bureaucracy’s epidemiologists saying “we know that Covid-19 is here to stay.” Two proclamations were particularly welcome, even if they were terribly overdue:
- “It’s no longer recommended to screen those without symptoms.”
- “Unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people.”
In China, however, there’s no sign that the Zero-Covid regime will be relaxed anytime soon, despite mounting damage to China’s economy, and despite growing Chinese discontent.