An increasingly large percentage of new developments are coming from China and in particular from Shanghai. It seems sensible to post them on their own rather than waiting for Thursday.
When they locked down Shanghai by halves, it meant they did not have the resources to lock down Shanghai. Then they locked down Shanghai anyway, file under ‘how to quite possibly lose the mandate of heaven if you keep this up.’
His speculation that the test are what is spreading Covid is interesting. This draconian level of restriction otherwise really should be enough to turn the tide within Shanghai while it is in place. Yet is seems even within Shanghai things continue to get steadily worse in terms of infections, while putting the citizens through hell.
If you think that all sounds bad, it’s worse. Quoting in full, seems important, remember this is the censored version. Not that it seems hard to tell what the real message is here.
Bloomberg’s account is that the government is doing a poor job of directly helping and delivery services are overwhelmed to the point of uselessness, but you can buy in bulk if you can make a deal with wholesalers and that still kind of works. Executives are spending their days arranging bread deliveries, but for them it can work. For those who don’t know how to work such systems, it is a lot harder.
Protests are being censored, never a good sign.
In the footage viewed and independently verified by Bloomberg News, dozens of residents behind the gates of the Jiangnan Xinyuan housing estate in Shanghai’s Minhang district chant phrases including “we want to eat,” “we want the right to know,” and “we want freedom.” People there have been confined to their homes since March 2 and residents have undergone more than 10 rounds of mass virus testing, according to official notices from the compound’s WeChat account.
One could call those reasonable requests.
China claims that out of 130,000 cases in Shanghai, only one person is in serious condition. That is an odd combination of claims to make. Also highly impossible.
Meanwhile, every day somehow Shanghai, under strict lockdown, keeps being 95% of all known cases?
When the United States quite reasonably told its non-emergency workers that they could leave, citing these conditions, the Chinese expressed displeasure over this ‘groundless accusation.’
“China will uphold the Covid Zero strategy,” Liang said. “We still have the time window, including in Shanghai, as long as we persist.”
I thought China insisting on that was the accusation.
Also, it’s a lot more than Shanghai. This is from Friday.
Locking down a city, even a major city, is logistically possible. What China is trying to do now is beyond their powers. And a lot less than 95% of cases are in Shanghai.
How does one look at this plan and think ‘that will work’?
Or look at this graph, which is a log scale?
A close up of the last two months is almost a pure straight line in log space.
You can see an attempt at a stopgap around mid-March, but it didn’t work.
The question is, what happens now. China can’t give up, and China can’t not give up, so what will finally end the charade? How much damage will get done before that happens, and then how much damage gets done after?
There is still some room for the ‘optimistic’ scenario where China turns out similar to what happened to India. Perhaps conditions in much of China are not that conducive to the spread of Covid, not even of Omicron. I am skeptical. The news from Taiwan and Hong Kong, the closest available parallels, is not good. The failure to contain things in Shanghai despite making an extraordinary effort is also very not good. I expected such an effort to work locally, while it was happening, better than this, if it was at this level of rigidity. That things are still failing is a very bad sign – I expected to find containment in the hardcore quarantined areas, but with the virus escaping to the rest of the country for that not to much matter in the end. Instead, China seems to be losing even (and especially?) in Shanghai.
I do not have a good political or social model of China, and how the Chinese people are likely to react to all this. Either way, starvation and imprisonment have a way of focusing the mind. China was the original home to the penalty for being late being death, and the penalty on this one keeps rising.