We all knew a global pandemic was not a matter of “if” but “when”. With that in mind, groups like the WHO and the CDC spent decades carefully developing pandemic management plans for governments, building on experience with recent outbreaks like SARS and Ebola. By an irony of history, the WHO last updated their plans in November 2019.

Lest you feel inclined to get all conspiratorial about that, it pays to read the actual guidelines. Specifically, they recommended against nearly everything that governments have actually done. Border closures, lockdowns, mass-masking… all of it was specifically excluded.

So, why did governments clearly not “follow the science”? Because they copied China, instead.

Why copy China? Because, if you believe Chinese propaganda, it “stopped Covid”. But, who’d believe Chinese propaganda? Well, it’s a lot easier to believe obvious lies if they’re to your benefit — and as leaders from “Dictator Dan” Andrews to Jacinda Ardern quickly found, copying the Chinese script of lockdown-and-rule brought them tremendous benefits. Andrews ended up the unchallenged dictator of his little socialist paradise, while Ardern sailed to a thumping election win on a wave of propaganda-besotted and Covid-terrified adulation.

But, as it turns out, there’s very good reason not to believe the Chinese propaganda — not least that it’s becoming very clear that they didn’t “stop Covid” at all. So, now millions more Chinese are getting a brutal lesson in just what a “zero Covid” policy really means.

A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of a COVID-19 outbreak, raising the number confined to their homes in China to about 20 million people.

It wasn’t clear how long the lockdown of Anyang, home to 5.5 million people, would last. Mass testing was being enforced, standard procedure whenever outbreaks pop up around the country.

Another 13 million people are locked down in the city of Xi’an and 1.1 million in Yuzhou, with restrictions imposed on the port city of Tianjin, only about an hour from Beijing, which is to host the Winter Olympics from Feb. 4 […]

The lockdown of Anyang followed the confirmation of two cases of omicron on Monday that are believed to be linked to two other cases found Saturday in Tianjin. It appears to be the first time omicron has spread in mainland China beyond people who arrived from abroad and their immediate contacts.

Residents are not allowed to leave their homes, non-essential vehicles are banned from streets and stores have been ordered shut except for those selling necessities, according to a city notice shared by state media late Monday.

Washington Post

In Xi’an, residents are forbidden to leave their homes even to go shopping or check up on their relatives. Only one person per household is allowed to leave, once every three days, and it appears that only a few outlets run by Party workers in head-to-toe protective gear are open. People driven by hunger to try and break the lockdown have been brutally beaten by Chinese Communist Party cadres. A viral video showed cadres attacking a man who tried to bring steamed buns to elderly relatives.

New Zealanders better hope that Jacinda and Ashley don’t start getting any new ideas.

Kiwis Better Hope Ardern Doesn’t Get Any New Ideas from China

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...