China and Covid-19

All these links are courtesy of Medpage Today.


**WHO chief says China's zero-COVID policy not 'sustainable'**
**By Jennifer Rigby and Josephine Mason, Reuters, May 10, 2022**

**The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday China's zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy is not sustainable given what is known of the disease, in rare public comments by the U.N. agency on a government's handling of the virus. [end quote]**

It’s not clear to me whether this is due to objections to human rights violations by the zero-tolerance policy or due to a prediction that the contagious variants will slip into circulation despite the lockdown.

But…if China stops the lockdown they could have a disaster.


**by many Chinese authors, Nature Medicine, May 10, 2022**

**Having adopted a dynamic zero-COVID strategy to respond to SARS-CoV-2 variants with higher transmissibility since August 2021, China is now considering whether and for how long this policy can remain in place. ... We find that the level of immunity induced by the March 2022 vaccination campaign would be insufficient to prevent an Omicron wave that would result in exceeding critical care capacity with a projected intensive care unit peak demand of 15.6-times the existing capacity and causing approximately 1.55 million deaths. [end quote]**

**Actually, that sounds low to me, considering China's huge population and lack of sophisticated medical care in the countryside.**


**Shanghai’s Covid Lockdown Leaves Thousands Sleeping in Its Streets**
**Many of the city’s newly homeless are food-delivery workers facing a difficult choice: locked in without income or locked out with a job**

**Shanghai’s lockdown has kept tens of millions of residents trapped indoors for a month and a half. Thousands of others in China’s wealthiest city have found themselves in the opposite predicament: living in the street.**


**‘No end in sight’: Shanghai residents chafe at harsh Covid measures**

**Tensions between Shanghai residents and China’s Covid enforcers are on the rise again, amid a new push to end infections outside quarantine zones to meet President Xi Jinping’s demand for achieving “dynamic zero-Covid”.**

**Videos shared on China’s social media platforms showed suspected Covid-positive patients forcibly quarantined in central facilities. In some neighbourhoods a single positive case could lead to residents in the entire apartment building be sent for quarantine. [end quotes]**

The Chinese authorities are using every bit of their authoritarian power to try to control the spread of Covid-19. In a sense, the world has been running a giant experiment. Some countries imposed no government controls, others temporary and/or partial controls, and China is taking the maximalist approach.

Epidemiologists will study the results of these different approaches for many years to come. Obviously, less authoritarian countries couldn’t follow China’s example even if the government wanted to.

Only time will tell whether the personal hardships of the people in Shanghai are effective in preventing spread through the entire country.

Of course, anything that impacts Chinese exports also impacts the U.S. Macro economy by increasing inflation.

Even in the U.S., where many have dropped Covid precautions, each of us has the ability to decide how to act.

I will be going to sit shiva (a Jewish mourning custom at the house of the bereaved) this evening. I plan to wear a mask even though I’m fully vaccinated and boosted and I’m pretty sure most (if not all) at the house will be also. Covid is rising rapidly in my county again.