Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Monitoring the pandemic | The new normal is not normal

Not mentioned above: the previously “temporary” quarantine facilities are going to be permanent throughout China. These are what they call ,方舱, Fāng cāng, or Square Boxes. They’re containers cobbled together to give rough shelter for two weeks to the Covid-infected and their “close contacts”. The contacts don’t have to be that close either. If a single person in an apartment block tests positive, then  all residents on their floor and one floor above and one floor below are sent off to quarantine. People who refuse to leave have their doors smashed down and are carted off. So what’s the incentive to test? 

In Shanghai there are reports of local “snap hard lockdowns”( 硬割  Yìng gē) where whole apartment blocks, without warning, can be shut down, no one allowed to leave their apartment, for up to five days. Repeat: no warning and no explanation. 

The head of the WHO, Tedros, repeated his statement that Zero Covid policy in China is “unsustainable” even after China chided him last week when he first said it. Given how close Tedros is to China, it’s significant that he repeated it.