How Did China Go Back To Normal?

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On 12/24/2020, Not The Bee — a website created by the folks behind the satire website The Babylon Bee — published an article titled “Nightlife In Wuhan Is Poppin! Nobody Is Wearing A Mask Or Social Distancing, And I Guess I’ll Just Stay Home And Stay Safe Because I Trust My Governor.” After the twenty-eight word headline we find the topic is a Reuters article from 12/17/2020 about nightlife returning in the city of Wuhan, China — the city identified as where COVID-19 started.

Not The Bee writes:

Nightlife is taking off in the city of 11 million, and this Reuters article shows several examples of mask-less party animals just having a blast in Wuhan. There’s even a picture toward the end of that article of a random dude using his teeth to open a beer for another man, which obviously means Covid is over.

The day Reuters published their article on this subject, 3,298 people died of COVID-19 in the United States. The day Not The Bee published their article reporting on this, 2,824 people died of COVID-19 in the United States. While I was unable to get the numbers of how many people died in China on those days (although considering how China reacted when the international community saw even one death, I’d assume it’s rather low) it’s safe to assume, considering stories we heard from early on, that it is much lower.

On 1/1/2021, Not The Bee followed this up with the article “Wuhan Rang In The New Year With A Massive Party While Time Square And U.S. Locales Were Empty And On Lockdown.” After this twenty-one word headline, they cover a video from CBS News of thousands in Wuhan celebrating New-Years-Eve (many are wearing masks by the way), comparing it to how Time Square was empty that same night. On this, they write:

Yep, you can’t eat at a restaurant outdoors, but those who exported the Wu Flu can party it up en masse to celebrate the rising star of China as Western Civilization crumbles into dust.

For those curious, New Years Eve also saw 3,460 COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

As it stands, I happen to remember what China was like during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we couldn’t believe it when Dr. Fauci told us we might have to cancel our holiday plans and had massive protests against mask mandates and lockdowns. China didn’t have any of that, a report by The New York Times published on 2/15/2020 says that China had placed 760 million people under lockdown. On 3/13/2020, Time reported the following about China’s tactics:

Officials launched widespread efforts to trace contacts of those infected, and the government leveraged its mass surveillance systems and technology to restrict people’s movements. One restaurant owner in Sichuan province, who had travelled to Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, said police showed up at his home and ordered him to quarantine himself. When he went out to pick radishes and cabbage, he said he received a phone call telling him to return home immediately.

In the United States, states have had to take ridiculous half-measures in order to keep restaurants open to some degree. (Hence why in some states you don’t have to wear masks when you’re eating at a restaurant, in spite of the fact that you are more likely to spread COVID at that time than at any point you have to wear a mask.) Even in New York, the place often insulted for having the most authoritarian lockdowns, Andrew Cuomo has allowed restaurants to operate at some capacity in his state. Restaurant owners have constantly sued state governments — especially in New York — over government mandating they only operate at limited capacity.

I’ve commented on these nonsense half-measures many times, especially in regards to schools. In my home state of Ohio, many schools are doing a hybrid model where a portion of students go in-person each day. This was not done for any logical reason (if we’re able to reopen the schools, why are we doing hybrid and not fully in person?), it was only done to please the rampant anti-mask COVID denialists who live in my home state. These half-measures do nothing but spread COVID-19 (as, again, did happen in Ohio when they bought into the bullshit of the Trumpers) — but don’t you worry because your kids can go to a public school system Republicans have been trying to dismantle for decades. I mean now these kids have to deal with both COVID-19 and Grizzly Bears — damn you Betsy DeVos!

On 3/19/2020, The Guardian also published a dive in China’s tactics, here’s what they found:

Starting within hours of the announcement, transport into and out of the city was closed, with no exceptions even for personal and medical emergencies. Schools and universities were already on holiday, but that was extended indefinitely.

All shops shut except those selling food or medicine. Private vehicles were barred from the roads without special permission, and most public transport stopped, leaving the streets empty and silent.

Initially people were allowed out of their homes, but restrictions soon tightened. Some areas limited outings to one family member every two days to buy necessities. Others barred residents from leaving, requiring them to order in food and other supplies from couriers.

Later the policy became even more aggressive, with officials going door to door for health checks, and forcing anyone ill into isolation. A disabled boy reportedly died after he was left without food, water or help when his his father and brother were quarantined.

Actually look through stories about what China did during this time period, you’ll fine they did things that would be unthinkable in the United States, especially at that time. Remember, 2/24/2020 was the day Rush Limbaugh said “the Coronavirus is the common cold folks,” on his nationally syndicated radio show. (Limbaugh is also very good friends with Donald Trump, who has given him a Presidential Medal Of Freedom.) By that point, China had already moved most of its population to strict lockdowns enforced through the most authoritarian means possible. 2/27/2020 saw Sean Hannity bragging that “zero people in the United States have died of the coronavirus,” on his popular Fox News program. (Hannity has been called the “shadow chief of staff” regarding how much influence he has over the President.) 3/13/2020, months after China had banned all forms of travel in the state, saw Fox And Friends how Ainsley Earhardt calling it “the safest time to fly.” 3/15/2020 saw Rep. Devin Nunes calling it “a great time to go out to a local restaurant.”

China did not do this, they told its citizens that this was a big deal, no questions asked. The people of China believed this, and if anyone said otherwise they’d be punished severely. Living in an authoritarian state, you are most more likely to do what the government tells you than if you live in a reasonably free Representative-Republic. When United States politicians suggest restrictions even a quarter as authoritarian, even when they are just suggestions that are in no way enforced, they are seen as tyrants and ignored by millions.

The American people could have put up with much worse and got this over with faster, as China did. When protests started in the state of Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said just this, that the longer they protest the longer it’s going to take for orders to be lifted. The people of China decided to just get this over with as soon as possible, and they are currently enjoying the results — the United States has decided to go the hard way, and they are reaping the spoiled fruit.

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