Sunday 28 August 2022

Governments don’t like giving up newly-gained powers

Winnie and the little poohs. All same-same, down to identical belts

My mate Clam (not his real name) who I meet at the coffee shop, Chinese-American, tells me, reminds me, that China instituted metal checking at all subway stations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was supposed to be just for the Olympics. Fourteen years later and they’re still using them. Much to the hassle for commuters. (And kind of reminds me of Hamas. Who won election for a four year term … sixteen years ago).

And now we have a story from Wang Xiangwei, Beijing-based rep of the South China Morning Post. Who went on a one week holiday to Hainan island, and ended up spending 23 days getting back. All because of government Covid controls via the Health Code App, (Jiànkāng mǎ 健康码). Green and you’re good to go, Yellow and Red, stay in place. Wang reminds us how the App was misused in Henan to control the movement of protesters, nothing to do with Covid. 

It’s well worth a read. He concludes with a thought that’s long worried me. 

From the Chinese government’s perspective, the health code system has worked wonders in controlling both the spread of the virus and the population. It’s hard to imagine the authorities voluntarily giving up such powers, even once the pandemic is over.

When, oh when, will we get rid of our own restrictions? Our masks? Or social distancing and vaccine mandates? Maybe never. Because there is always something else that masking, or distancing, or quarantine is protecting us against. And now we have our very own QR codes, controlling where we can go. And we learn that our Dear Leader Xi Jinping wants the world to adopt the Health Code App! He, the leader of the dismal bunch of wax works above. 同心同德, Tóngxīn tóng dé: Of One Mind! (And *one* belt…).

Heaven help us…