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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Zero Covid Lockdowns in China Cause Mass Riots

Photo+contributed+by+Unsplash.
Photo contributed by Unsplash.

By Mike Milisavljevich 

 

In the past few weeks news has been coming out of China of mass riots throughout the nation in different cities protesting Zero Covid lockdown policies. These lockdown policies are extremely strict and have made life for average Chinese citizens almost impossible, and because of these laws, the Chinese people have reached a boiling point causing these riots to sweep the nation. To provide an example of what the Chinese populace has been living through, think back to 2020 when the covid pandemic first struck American soil. 

 

Our government enforced relatively strict covid separation policies in the form of our own lockdowns & mask mandates, and businesses had to be closed down to reduce the spread of the disease. Many Americans were locked up inside their homes, only leaving to get necessary supplies. As time moved on and covid cases decreased, life slowly turned back to as normal as it could, businesses and public places opened up again to the American public, Americans were under lockdown for most of the 2020 year. China’s covid policies, dubbed the “Zero Covid Policies” by Xi Jinping, work far different from our lockdown policies. They are much more strict, and although these policies were put in place around the same time as our lockdowns, the original heavy restrictions are still in place for the Chinese people.

 

 At this point, you may be wondering what the zero covid lockdowns are like. To start, whenever you leave your place of residence in China, you must first go to stations for covid testing to check you and everyone around you for coronavirus. People in these long lines may be tested upwards of three times before they are allowed to leave, making it almost impossible to plan an outing because it’s difficult for the Chineses to predict how long they’ll have to wait. On top of this, the government gives mandatory codes to its citizens so they can track their every movement and be able to tell who was in proximity to a covid case if one is discovered. Entire buildings, districts, and neighborhoods have been shut down because of covid cases even when some citizens may not have been in close proximity to one another at all.

 

For example, let’s say you wanted to go out and meet a friend at a restaurant but you think, “Well, if I go into that restaurant, I run the risk of being identified as a close contact – what if there’s a covid case there?” Chinese citizens run the risk of being identified as a close contact and sent off to a mass quarantine facility or locked down in their own homes. These Chinese lockdowns are not like our American lockdowns.  Houses and buildings are blocked and bordered up by the government, trapping citizens inside and forcing them to quarantine. Because these lockdowns happen randomly, some citizens have been locked inside without food, water, or much needed medicine. Many deaths have been attributed to these lockdowns.

 

 On November 24th videos began to circulate out of China showing a building on fire, full of residents. Footage revealed that the building was under a zero case lockdown, and because of this emergency services could not reach the building to render aid and put out the fire. A fire truck is shown spraying water in the air to stop the fire but the truck can’t get close enough to put the fire out because of the quarantine setup around the building. 

This has been daily life for the Chinese since the pandemic began so it’s no wonder the population has reached its limit and begun to riot and protest the zero case lockdowns. What’s truly surprising is unlike American protests and displays of outrage, protests in China are extremely rare and uncommon so the Chinese people feel they are truly in peril with many taking to the streets to protest. Some citizens are even taking it a step further than protesting zero case covid lockdowns and are now protesting political demands like demanding the resignation of Chinese leader  Xi Jinping. Protests have happened in Chengdu, Lanzhou, Wuhan, and most recently in Beijing. Protesters hold blank white pieces of paper high in the air as past protests have been censored so severely. The blank paper represents everything protesters want to say but won’t be allowed to. In response, the Chinese government has censored videos and photos involving protesters holding the white sheets of paper.

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