Getting personal about China's COVID policy shift 03-01-23 05:23 Updated BJT
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Thomas W. Pauken II is the author of "U.S. vs China: From Trade War to Reciprocal Deal," a consultant on Asia-Pacific affairs and a geopolitical commentator. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily those of

The sudden reversal of the Western media's narrative on China's COVID policy has been dramatic but unsurprising. The critics of China hold firm to the belief that Beijing never does good, under any circumstances. This is more commonly known as the "damned if you, damned if you don't" statement.

The naysayers have been saying for three years that China's COVID policy was "draconian, authoritarian and destructive to the domestic economy". Well, I have lived and worked in Beijing ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic and witnessed China's response to COVID-19 firsthand.

One could make an argument that China was too tough on imposing strict social distancing measures to curb the virus. But based on my experience and observations, the real problem was not the COVID policy. China's COVID-19 policies over the past three years have been an amazing success story, placing the people's life above everything. The Chinese government has worked tirelessly to contain COVID-19, first in Wuhan, and throughout the country. China's economic performance has been among the top in the world in the past three years, the country has tried its best to balance its epidemic prevention and control efforts with its economic and social development.

Despite the three-year duration of living under the strict social distancing measures, the Chinese government held legitimate reasons for enforcing them as well. The virus was spreading rapidly and wreaking havoc on medical care facilities in countries and regions all across the globe. It is believed that over one million Americans had died from the virus.

Much of the world was suffering under the pandemic, particularly from 2020 to 2021. This was also a time when COVID-19 as a virus was much stronger and could cause severe health repercussions to those infected by it. The Delta virus was severe. But as in the case with all pandemics and plagues, the virus would inevitably burn itself out, first with weaker strains and we had witnessed this with spread of the Omicron this year.

Yes, the Omicron cannot be ignored and earlier this month, my family and I had gotten struck with COVID-19 as well. I was hardest hit and the sickness lasted for about four to five days until I felt much better

Nonetheless, I recovered in about a week's time while my wife was sick for three to four days and my son was only sick for a day. Health officials have said that children are least affected by COVID-19 and I believe it.

Anyway, our family survived and I know many others in China who had similar experiences in early December.

And what's most notable is that even though they had experienced strong symptoms from COVID-19 they were eager to recover and look forward to next year when life returns to normal. Most people in China are excited the country will open up its international borders on January 8, 2023, which symbolizes hope for them.

Many cities have witnessed a surge of infectious cases, soon after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. On the other hand, life is returning to many parts of the country. Urban centers are seeing renewed vitality after three tough years. The health and well-being of the people have been the top priority all long.

Editor: MaoZongjin
03-01-23 05:23 BJT
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