If we had to pick one image to sum up China’s coronadoom policy:
Most people are unsympathetic to the effects of China’s ridiculous Zero-Covid policy on the general population
But what about the cats?pic.twitter.com/DlX6YmNJGl
— Gummi Bear (@gummibear737) April 9, 2022
Shanghai is locked down. People aren’t allowed outside their government-designed domiciles. Except for small numbers of building representatives who venture out to gather food. Which is running low, precious low. Meat is near non-existent. Maybe that’s what the bags of cats are for.
People are opening their windows and screaming their woes into the black of night. Drones caution people not to sing. Men in spacesuits wander the streets spraying mysterious substances into the air.
But what’s really going on in China, that Expertocracy par excellence? Are these horrifying videos more sweet propaganda? Or maybe they are real and China has gone quite mad? Or is this just inscrutable Chinese behavior? Is Xi taking some kind of hidden revenge on Shanghai?
We all saw the propaganda videos at the beginning of the man-made coronadoom panic, which were obvious BS. It is natural to suppose we’re seeing the same thing again: government-directed propaganda to get the world to re-panic, just as it is inclined to calm down. After all, China rigorously controls its internet, so the pictures and videos it allows out might be managed.
Yet this doesn’t have that feel. And as good as China’s control is, it is not total. Too many videos are coming out. Here’s a long thread of them. Of course, the Chinese might be purposely allowing these “leaks”, for the same propaganda purposes, leveraging midwit dupes in Western media.
Even so, that doesn’t seem to be true. It’s more likely that this is the natural end result of Expert-designed “zero” covid policy. A policy that, once embraced and held for so long, cannot be abandoned without admitting a mistake. And that cannot happen.
China is a one-party dictatorship, a complete Expertocracy, a fully managed state. Once government makes a decision, it is not wrong by definition. It can admit to being suboptimal (“We can do better”), or to being foiled by exterior enemies (“This is Big GAE’s fault”). But it cannot admit to being wrong in something as monumental as a two-and-a-half-year hersterical guided panic meant to eliminate, for the first time in human history, a communicable respiratory disease.
It is also true that the Chinese as a people embrace hypochondria, so it is not surprising the overreaction originated there.
Long-time readers will recall that none of us were sure of China’s coronadoom numbers at the beginning of the panic. Many on Team Reality were sure China was lying about those numbers, broadcasting fake low ones. I was in the opposite camp, suspecting China’s numbers were real. At least for the reason that they obviously wanted to juice a panic (those dropping-dead-in-the-street videos), so why go low?
But their numbers and ours weren’t the same. Definitions count. China seemed from the beginning to be using the old-fashioned and medically sound definition of case (a patient ill enough to require treatment; i.e. more severe than a mere infection). Whereas idiot policy in the USA et al., especially after the propagandists got hold of the numbers, was to classify even asymptomatic suspected infections as “cases”. That made things always appear worse than they were.
That’s finally changing here: sanity is being restored, perhaps because the disease is no longer politically helpful, and “cases” are becoming cases again.
Here from our chief propagandist are China’s numbers:
The question is whether these are still real cases—or has China finally decided to join the Foolish Definition Club? And, if so, why?
China has long had a much more extensive testing regime than other countries, it being mandatory and regular. Even small infection clusters will show up. So, since we don’t see these, it’s likely the main time portion of the plot were real cases. (Mass testing was always asinine, prolonging and sustaining the panic.) It cannot be that China went without infections that long.
Now there is reason to suspect China switched to the Western idiot definition, and now count any positive test as a case. That’s what they did in Hong Kong, a move which nicely defused the growing “democracy” protest movement (remember that?). Hard to protest while locked down. Then, given the obvious benefits of that strategy in Hong Kong, perhaps it was judged good to do in Shanghai.
The other evidence is that reports are leaking out that the current rie in the chart is asymptomatic “cases”.
Shanghai reported a record 13,086 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on April 4, the city government said on its official WeChat channel on Tuesday, up from 8,581 the previous day, after a city-wide surveillance testing program that saw more than 25 million people swabbed in 24 hours.
In the old days in medicine (2019), a surge in asymptomatic infections would be greeted with great joy, because a disease that has mutated to a harmless form was seen as a good thing. Infections that cause no harm and conferred immunity. Let ‘er rip!
Alas, allowing harmlessness to spread would admit the zero covid policy was wrong.
So China’s recent behavior is either the intense hubris only found in Experts, or China has some political reason for controlling Shanghai. It could also be to provide theatrics for us, so that we believe something terrible is happening. But I doubt it.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.