April 23, 2021

Covid-19 in China, per The Week

I am doing something right now that I have never done before. I repeat, never.

I am posting for you an article from a major national magazine, The Week, about the fabulous success that China has had in coping with and essentially eliminating the killing disease among its people.

As we know, China is where the pandemic originated. Then it jumped to us, and as we also know, it has killed so very many of our people, changed our way of life, and disrupted our economy.

Now Covid-19 has become global, affecting people and countries all over the world. And it continues to spread and infect and kill.

Our only hope is an effective, one-time-only, affordable serum.

I am writing this for a special reason. Just recently I posted an account about the pandemic in China as explained to me by a Chinese man named Wu Bin.

He’s a young man. I could be his grandfather.

We met in Nairobi, Kenya.

Wu has been a close friend of mine for close to 20 years. He is a combo engineer and businessman living in Shanghai. I have been to China four times, all trips involving Wu.

He has traveled to many countries in the world, including the USA.

Does that sound familiar to you now?

I subscribe to The Week. It is a national, serious magazine covering anything important or interesting from A to Z.

I received the latest copy today.

The very first page always features what it calls the Editor’s Letter. It always runs 250 words or so. Always a commentary on something very important and always strongly written.

I am publishing it word for word, and in italic to make it stand out for you.  Here I go…

Call it a tale of two systems. In authoritarian China, where the pandemic first emerged, the coronavirus is now a mere inconvenience.

The disease has been almost entirely suppressed through a combination of strict lockdowns, face mask mandates, and mass testing and contact tracing.

As a result, China is going from strength to strength. Experts believe China will be the world’s only major economy to notch positive economic growth this year — the U.S. economy is predicted to shrink by about 4 percent — and for ordinary citizens there, life has largely returned to normal.

During this month’s Golden Week holiday, more than 600 million Chinese hit the road to visit residents and vacation resorts.

Here in the democratic U.S., it’s a different story. 

(Our traditionally big Fourth of July and Labor Day were muted — JGL)

With no national strategy in place to contain the virus, we’re now experiencing our second or possibly third wave of the disease (See Main Stories).

The U.S., (population 328 million), has so far confirmed some 8.5 million Covid-19 cases and over 226,000 deaths — more than any other nation.

China (population 1.4 billion) has recorded about 86,000 infections and 4,700 deaths. In a single day this week, the U.S. logged about 48,000 new cases, compared with 13 in China.

Of course, it was always going to be easier for an Orwellian surveillance state such as China to control its population and limit viral spread than for a society that values rugged individualism.

But as countries such as New Zealand and South Korea have shown, it is possible to push back the virus without resorting to totalitarianism.

It requires national leaders to listen to credible scientists, not berate them as “idiots,” and to sell the public on the idea that the short-term inconvenience of wearing a mask or not drinking inside a bar is worth it for the long-term gain.

Whether any politician can rally this divided nation around such common-sense ideas remains to be seen. But if we continue to fight among ourselves, a united China — not a disunited America –may dominate the 21st century.

            Theunis Bates, Managing Editor

A lot of food for thought, I believe. This is why I am sharing it with you. I suspect you will agree.

I fervently hope the first really big step to resolving this enormous problem and moving forward will be taken November 3.

John

P.S.  If you are wondering, The Week, which comes out weekly of course, has a circulation of 500,000. So it’s a biggie.

It’s a mix of news, opinion, features, and advice. It also has a large digital edition.

I own no stock in the company and I don’t know anybody who works there.

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