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Friday, May 06, 2022

Chinese Lockdowns

A few weeks ago I wrote Pandemic Retrospective. Events since then pretty much confirmed everything I wrote.

The West got over covid. It's still there, but old people are overwhelmingly vaccinated, so nobody cares.

Meanwhile, China is doing its best to implement Zero Covid policy. OK, so here's what I wrote back then:

There's also an interesting idea for stage 1, to totally close not just countries but each city and region, and wait for covid to disappear there, before reopening only borders between covid-free areas. But this would only work if external country borders were closed as well, and it would be extremely disruptive. China sort of did that initially, but nobody else really tried that at all.

And what China did 5 days after I wrote that post? Literally what I said, on a much larger scale than in 2020.

Chinese lockdown is based on setting up borders. Not just external borders, and just borders outside cities, but borders between districts inside cities. It's extreme borders more than extreme lockdowns.

Instead of closing factories, China converts them to a closed system, where workers live in their workplace, so they don't need to cross internal borders. That's something Europe never considered, travel was open for "essential workers" which were a huge chunk of the population, far too great for covid to be possible to contain.

It's unclear if this will be enough to achieve Zero Covid - so far the signs aren't too great, but let's imagine they do. Whichever way it goes, one thing it proves beyond any doubt is that European approach - late severe lockdowns without corresponding external or internal hard borders - didn't have the slightest chance of ever working. European style lockdowns were completely 100% counterproductive.

And since I'm in a prophetic mood, Ukraine will destroy Crimea Bridge.