China continues implementation of COVID-19 lockdown


Chinese street cleaners ensure the cleanliness of surfaces susceptible to viral transmission. (Courtesy of GIS Reports)

In China, it’s still head-to-toe hazmat suits and young children knowing to stick their tongues out when seeing a cotton swab. While it seems the lives of those in other countries, including America, are continuing on from COVID-19 with travel and school, China is still very much on a routine that makes it quite difficult to enter or exit the country.

Not only does China’s decision to keep its borders strict during these times prove itself to be a struggle for Chinese residents looking to exit the country, but there has also been a large global and national impact on residents in other countries looking to return home or visit China. Most commonly, American citizens with family in China have forgone connection for years.

In addition, this past Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping once again reminded the public of China’s “zero COVID” arrangements. Jinping also mentioned that the rules put in place were for the sole purpose of protecting the public’s health. However, there was no mention of the stagnant economic position of the country or the current struggles of the public.

The Chinese public has also been told by the government that if these measures were to be taken out of place, the public would struggle significantly with health and therefore, should accept the “zero COVID” policy.

Personally, I hold the status of a first-generation immigrant as my parents both immigrated from China. As an example of the effects of this policy, the last time I was able to see my extended family members was more than three years ago. Since then, a close family member of mine has unfortunately suffered a stroke and is currently losing her/his memory. However, due to the current decision of China’s “zero COVID” policy, I and many others in similar situations are not able to fly back. The decision was not by choice, but in the current state, it is extremely difficult to enter or exit the country. Many international exchange students who reside in China during the summer but attend boarding school in the United States during the school year are also experiencing the same, if not greater, problems.

Though there have been rumors of Jinping possibly deciding to take a step back from China’s “zero COVID” arrangements, the leader continues to make it clear that China will be following the same procedures for the next few months at a minimum.