COVID-19: Beijing shuts businesses as millions urged to work from home – but government in China avoids calling it a lockdown | world news
Schools, gyms, hairdressers, parks, restaurants and bars are closed, millions have been told to work from home but don’t call it a lockdown.
The Beijing government assiduously avoids the term. Instead, the current preferred expression is jing mo, “keep silent.” And the city, especially Chaoyang, Beijing’s largest district, is very quiet indeed, with far fewer cars on the streets. And because everything is closed, life is pretty boring. Getting a PCR test – you need a negative one to enter supermarkets within the last 48 hours, or your district may have been asked for bulk testing – is one of the more interesting things you can do.
Beijingers themselves are calling this period “dynamic food storage,” a play on the official policy of “dynamic COVID-zero” because in the event of a full lockdown, people will have to keep replacing the fresh groceries they’ve bought.
In fact, the situation here is quite similar to the UK lockdowns, although households are still allowed to mix.
Of course, some people are actually locked away, locked in their gated communities with guards at the door, or sent to central quarantine if they are COVID positive or have a close contact.
Boredom is a thing here in the capital, but nothing compared to the lockdown misery in Shanghai. Again, they’re not calling it lockdown, although people have been staying indoors for six weeks now.
Some connections have been given some freedom to hit the streets or supermarkets over the weekend.
Other areas have been hit in the stomach by another official notice, telling them they cannot even order deliveries but are relying on the government to deliver groceries and will have to stay in their rooms for another two to five days.
People are skeptical about this time frame. You have been told that ICurfew in Shanghai would only last four days.
Videos circulating on social media continue to show shocking and bizarre scenes. A distraught woman being separated from her child by the da bai, meaning ‘great white man’, with full PPE worn by the ubiquitous officers.
Or workers entering someone’s house and dousing the whole place – sofas, pictures, clothes – with disinfectant, although the government has since said the practice should not be followed.
Is China’s lockdown in Shanghai an overreaction?
China’s coronavirus zero policy is actually two policies – it just depends on where you are
They don’t want to be in Shanghai right now, or actually Beijing, but the rest of the country seems to be doing better. Cases have declined and more cities have eased existing lockdowns or lockdown restrictions.
Authorities will take this as confirmation of COVID Zero and proof the juice is worth the considerable pressure.