The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Does Zero Covid In China Work?

So, we hear a lot of stories about Shanghai, where rolling lockdowns and administrative failures have lead to videos of people w/o enough food in lockdown, etc…

Shanghai is an interesting case, because Shanghai did not follow the normal Chinese zero-covid protocol. It didn’t shut down right away, but tried to do just do small shutdowns, and let the number of cases increase. This is not what other cities do.

I follow a maker account in Shenzen (the primary electronics manufacturing city in China and the world.) Since Covid they’ve occasionally written or done videos about the covid response in Shenzen, which has over 17 million people, plenty of trade, and lots of visitors from Hong Kong.

Wu says it better than I could.

I feel I’ve spent too much time on Covid recently, and do intend to move onto more interesting (if not always more important topics), but it’s IMPORTANT that people understand there were other options to dealing with Covid other than let’er’rip, whether or not most of the rest of the world’s actions were motivated by greed, psychopathy or incompetence, and regardless of how much 40+ years of neoliberalism have gutted our administrative capacity (it has been two years, we could have rebuilt a lot in those 2 years and we didn’t.)

Thatcher’s mantra was TINA (There Is No Alternative.) It has bred apathy and resignation. But if even the goddamn Chinese Communist Party can do better, then it’s obvious that there There Is An Alternative (TIAA?)

There are NO problems of any significance in the world today which are not a result of having a really, really bad elite and populations which are OK enough with them to let them keep doing what they do. There are also no problems we do not know how to deal with far better than we are right now.

As long as this is true, as a friend said just after Bush v. Gore, we’re going to ride this bucket all the way down to hell.



Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – May 8, 2022


Losing Roe And The New Dred Scott


  1. Trinity

    “It has bread apathy and resignation.”

    Should be bred, not bread.

  2. Astrid

    The TINA component of COVID is nuts. Immediately after COVID clearly spread out of China in February 2020, the messaging became about herd immunity and controlling the peak, when the science from SARS and MERS suggested that long term herd immunity isn’t even possible and rapid evolution in a large population was clearly possible. Even if zero Covid wasn’t possible, shouldn’t attempts to be made at giving it society’s best shot? Instead a lot of demonizing the authoritarian Chinese and Vietnamese for effectively controlling COVID when Japan, ROK, and ANZ were doing well until they found their doors back open.

    Europe and East Asia got it down to very low levels before putting their hands up. If they kept at it combined with boosted contact tracing, hard border quarantine that really affects mostly the very privileged (cry me a river, I haven’t seen dear friends in China for 2.5 years and am resigned to possibly never seeing them in person again, but I’m glad that they are somewhat more protected due to China’s zero covid policy and don’t feel entitled to travel there) and universal N95 masks, it could have worked.

    Instead, we see the entirety of Western opinions and media turning on China for maybe succeeding at zero Covid, when they should be inspired to do the same.

    I must say that most of the media, including previously pretty clearheaded folks at the Grayzone, is just nuts. It’s one thing to say that maybe the trade-off between COVID and economic precarity is worth considering and another to go into full Covid denialism.

    We’re all on a psychotic break together, and so far it looks like Russians and soon the Chinese will be designated Jews for the upcoming pogroms.

  3. someofparts

    “We’re all on a psychotic break together, and so far it looks like Russians and soon the Chinese will be designated Jews for the upcoming pogroms.”

    I keep hoping that the criminally insane rulers in Washington will do so much economic damage to us that it will hamper the power those rulers have to do harm globally. So, I am perversely encouraged when I see the Germans decide to do without heat or, for that matter, industry, just to thumb their noses at Russia. Or when I put gas in the car and see how much it costs … so far.

  4. Z

    The U.S. public’s patience, as harried and economically precarious as we are, was never going to outlive this virus unfortunately and now we’re onto the COVID Gone Wild! phase of this. Let it run its course and hope it peters itself out before it collapses our health care and education systems.

    In times like this you look towards your leaders and one has to admire ours with folks like Lindsay G, Mr. Victoria Nuland, and the smiling gargoyle Bill Kristol basically threatening Putin’s life while simultaneously daring him to initiate a nuclear war that could potentially exterminate all life on this planet. It really helps you put this measly virus into its proper perspective.


  5. Trinity

    Shanghai is where Musk’s Tesla plant is located, and if any news can be true, he locked his employees inside the factory. Wouldn’t let them out. Commerce must go on, and he needs to pay for Twitter somehow.

    So, this begs a question about the economic profile of Shanghai, and exactly who is responsible for the lower response to Covid there.

  6. Ché Pasa

    From the outside, it looks like policy makers in the West decided that China was not to be allowed to effectively control Covid and its variants — rather like the British decision to ensure China could not control opium importation and addiction.

    All the efforts China has made to maintain the relative health of the population seem to be thwarted time and again. There’s something of a gleeful “ha ha” attitude by the West over every reported Covid outbreak in China and much tsk-tsking over reported failures of lockdown policies.

    The Rules Based Order (!) requires a weak and debilitated China and a broken up and conquered Russia. Or so it appears from out here in the wilderness.

  7. Tallifer

    Lockdowns for the sake of Zero Covid do not work nearly as well as an educated citizenry masking, keeping social distance, avoiding dangerous situations and getting vaccinated. Unfortuantely, as Owen the wargamer in Ottawa once said, “People are stupid.” Nonetheless, speaking purely through personal experience, I and my family and friends have avoided death and debilitation through sense and sensibility, while the world spins madly around us. Every Dungeons and Dragons party knows, fill up on healing potions and antidotes, and don’t fraternize with the plague carrying zombies.

  8. different clue

    I don’t see the Western Jackpot Design Engineers being able to thwart the ChinaGov’s no-covid protocols and actions so far. I see the Jackpot Design Engineer MSM whining and carping about the ChinaGov’s zero-covid policy so far, in order to try keeping their own populations under Jackpot-acceptance brain-control.

    If someone can show us some actual instances of the Western elite Jackpot Design Engineers actually reaching into China and actually thwarting the ChinaGov’s actual implementation of actual counter-covid policies, we should all be told about that.

    And I am not sure that Shanghai’s own Money First Money Always ruling elites should be attributed to ” Western Reach-In”. That was the Shanghai ruling elites own choice. After the Beijing Overlords let Shanghai let-it-rip long enough, the Beijing Overlords decided the lesson had been demonstrated to the rest of China and then moved fast and hard to make sure that ” what happens in Shanghai stays in Shanghai.”

    Back to Jackpot-Occupied America, does Fauci begin to remind anyone else of “Science Officer Ash” from the original “Alien” movie? He looks that way to me more and more and more.

    In my purely biased opinion, Fauci is one of many who would be found guilty and put to death if America were to have Covid Nuremberg Trials.

  9. jeff

    spelling/typo police:
    “bread apathy” => bred

    thanks for the article/post!

  10. Soredemos


    It’s been known for literally decades that immunity, whether natural or ‘artificial’ (there’s nothing artificial about training the immune system) against coronaviruses doesn’t last long term. This is literally really basic, 101 textbook type knowledge. Even if hard immunity through mass infection weren’t inherently an insane concept, which it is, it wouldn’t have worked against covid.

    Now there are parts of the medical establishment that are slowly acknowledging that the immunity doesn’t last as if this was stunning newfound knowledge. Fauci recently contributed to a paper acknowledging this amazing 101 knowledge.

    Meanwhile, it looks like covid damages the immune system in the same way HIV does. It’s not comedic hyperbole to call it covaids now.

    Institutions like the CDC literally, physically need to be burned to the ground.

  11. different clue


    If institutions like the CDC could be “neutron-zapped” with a “neutron bomb” in order to kill-exterminate their Typhoid Mary covid-spreading staff while leaving the physical property of the institution in existence to be refilled with pro-public-health people, would that be better than burning them to the ground? If it were possible to do?

    I would prefer to see Nuremberg Covid trials for all the relevant personnel at CDC, WHO, HIH, etc. who deliberately on purpose propelled the pandemic forward. If found guilty, I would like to see them executed in their thousands, or in their several million if necessary. I heard on the MSM a couple days ago where highly-placed WHO personnel have begun condemning China in public for pursuing “zero covid” and advising China to preserve its economy and the come-and-go convenience of lockdown-inconvenienced people instead. The reason WHO is saying this is that WHO wants everyone in China to get covid over and over and over again. Anyone who is too dumm to see that is too dumm to live. Which is what WHO, CDC, and the other mass-plague perpetrators are counting on as they perform their assigned tasks to accomplish their Operation Jackpot mission.

    People who are smart enough to know that should try helping eachother survive as best as they can. And while they shouldn’t bother spreading the word to others, there is no harm in answering the questions of others if those others should decide to ask questions.

    The time will come when ” wearing a mask in public” might get one identified as someone who “knows something” and should perhaps be asked about what they know.
    In the meantime, to protect themselves against no-mask-freedumm Karens and Fauci worshippers and PMC lemmings, they should perhaps wear Hannibal Lecter hockey masks over their covid exclusion masks, to encourage the no-mask dummdumms to stay away and keep their distance.

  12. different clue

    Here is a Ran Prieur item I just read, about how Ran Prieur experienced the covid he just recently caught. It is very warningfully instructive . . .

    ” May 9. So somewhere in Seattle we finally picked up Covid. My first hint that I was sick was an urge to drink all my water hot. Then I got a headache, which is rare for me, and it didn’t go away. Friday afternoon I got in bed and heaped on the blankets, and for about 12 hours I felt absolutely terrible, too hot and too cold at the same time, plus nausea. I knew rationally that I wasn’t going to die, because my breathing was clear, but I’ve never felt more like I was going to die. At some point, being cold felt less bad than being hot, and I got my body temperature back down and fell into a troubled sleep. In the morning I’d lost five pounds, mainly sweat.

    Luckily, I was already recovering before the virus got into my lungs. Oddly, it also got into my right ear, which is still ringing. Getting Covid is like being shot by a small caliber bullet. It might go right through you, or it might bounce around off your bones and you never know what it will hit. ”

    Goes to show why the reality-based covid-cautious will seek to avoid even the first infection. Interesting, that the WHO deliberately on purpose wants a billion Chinese to get this disease.

  13. Soredemos

    @different clue

    This is basically a question of can the CDC be seized and reformed. To do it properly would require firing so many people that the entire thing may as well just be abolished and a new institution erected in its place, preferably one made with zero involvement from anyone attached to the old CDC.

    And first principle for the new institution: diseases can be airborne, and probably a lot of them are. Refusal to engage with this reality is the CDCs original sin.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén