Young Chinese are deliberately contracting covid so as not to change their plans because the virus will catch them by surprise. Borders reopen amid crowded hospitals and crematoria.
The young people, all of whom wished to speak on condition of anonymity, air forcewho voluntarily expose themselves to infection. For example, a 27-year-old programmer from Shanghai – he did not receive any of the Chinese vaccines and was voluntarily exposed to the virus. The young man explains:
“Because I don’t want to change my vacation plan and I could be sure that I would recover and not get infected again while on vacation if I intentionally controlled the time when I got infected.”
The man says that he did not expect infection-related muscle pain, but in general, the symptoms were as expected, perhaps more severe than he expected. A 26-year-old Shanghai resident told reporters that she was visiting her friend, who tested positive, “so that she, too, could get Covid.” However, the woman complains that the illness turned out to be severe: “I thought it would be like a cold, but it was much more painful.”
With unprecedented growth of diseases China faced after the lifting of quarantine restrictions. The elderly had the hardest time. One interlocutor of the publication said that his sick 85-year-old father was denied hospitalization – it’s trite there there were no empty seats and ventilators. The old man was only offered to sit under a drip in the corridor. When, in the end, the son, through acquaintances, was able to arrange for his father to another hospital, he had already developed serious pneumonia.
It is not easy to find medicines – another BBC interviewee said that after a long search, her daughter was able to buy Paxlovid on the black market, the package cost her more than $ 900.
A 29-year-old woman from a state-owned company in Jiaxing City, northern Zhejiang Province, says she was thrilled to learn that the country’s borders open again:
“Life was funny when I had to ask permission from my manager to travel. I just want life back to normal. But I’m worried about the elderly.”
When her grandfather fell ill with Covid, he categorically refused to go to the hospital, even after his condition worsened. Reports of overcrowded hospitals and crematoria add to the worries – the girl says she has heard stories of corpses piled up in funeral parlors.
In China’s big cities, life is returning to normal as people return to malls, restaurants, parks and line up for visas and travel permits. The Global Times stated that “normal times are back”. But if normal days are indeed back, for many, this is an extremely uncomfortable return. Although they believe that “in any case, the opening is favorable for the economy. Business recovered quickly.”
Outside of metropolitan areas, it is difficult to understand how people, especially those living in rural areas, are reacting to changes in government messages. For three years, state media has portrayed the virus as a dangerous threat to society, promising it will reach “dynamic Covid zero” to keep the public safe.
However, the rhetoric has been turned on its head in recent weeks, with doctors regularly calling for calm. Ms Li, a 52-year-old Beijing resident, says the government “did the right thing” for the first two years, but had to end its anti-coronavirus policy in early 2022:
“Now we have finally relaxed all controls, but this is too sudden. The government could do this in stages, region by region. Besides, winter is the worst season for it. Why not wait until next spring? did the government prepare enough resources before opening? 2022 was the worst year for us. I can only pray that 2023 isn’t even worse.”