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Some Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins speculates about the motivation behind the Chinese government’s deranged and dystopian pursuit of zero Covid. Three slices:

What exactly is the function of China’s zero-Covid lockdowns, which individually and cumulatively now are far bigger than even the Wuhan lockdown in early 2020, when the disease was poorly understood, treatments hadn’t been identified, and vaccines were still months away?

The current lockdown in Shanghai and a recently relaxed one in Shenzhen forced 43 million people to remain in their homes and rely on government food deliveries. These were the biggest shutdowns the country has yet tried, aimed at two vital entrepôts of the global economy.

The data China publishes are hard to make sense of. Daily reports indicate upward of 95% of cases discovered in relentless mass testing have been asymptomatic. Of the 130,000 or so cases reported in Shanghai since March 1, 5,000 were said to have been serious enough to require medical treatment. Two people were reported to have died. Government officials say the ratio applies nation-wide. Why lock down for a disease that is so mild?

The puzzle is both nagging and urgent given damage to China’s and the global economy over a disease that is cold-like, not even flu-like, in most cases. One theory, bruited even on Chinese social media, is that the government is bending over backward, whatever the cost, to preserve a zero-Covid talking point that Xi Jinping has adopted as proof of the superiority of Chinese governance.


By every report, Shanghai healthcare is already strained by a government requirement that anyone testing positive and their close contacts be hospitalized or, more recently, placed in a special quarantine facility staffed with doctors and nurses. Exhausted medics are standing guard over tens of thousands of healthy patients who have nothing to do but share their aggravation on social media.

Another problem has finally begun sneaking out of the corner of Chinese officials’ mouths: 24 months of zero-Covid propaganda has caused millions of Chinese not only to exaggerate Covid’s deadliness, but to be on the edge of panic about potential lockdowns, having heard repeated reports of hunger, missed medical treatments and the inability to bring help to loved ones.


The sane outcome may be impossible because the regime has caused its zero-Covid ideology to morph into something insane. If transmission must be suppressed and anything else is a defeat, then the Communist Party has set a game for itself in which no victory is possible.

Also writing about China’s Covid hysteria and Beijing’s deranged pursuit of zero Covid is National Review‘s Jack Butler.

And here’s Reason‘s Liz Wolfe on the on-going terror in Shanghai. A slice:

Due to strict containment and isolation measures in place for COVID-positive people, some mothers report being forcibly separated from their COVID-infected children by authorities. Health authorities allege parents will be able to appeal this and seek permission (!) to accompany their COVID-positive children to hospitals and isolation wards. It is unclear how this will actually apply in practice and whether this will end the brutal measure of separating parents from their young, sick children.

From UnHerd: “Inside Shanghai’s Zero Covid Camp.”

Vinay Prasad warns of medical-experts’ hypocrisy. Two slices:

On the one hand, there are many biomedical faculty who are passionately arguing why 2-4 year olds should be forced to wear cloth masks. (NY City is fighting this in the courts). Even though there is no randomized data, even though cloth masks failed in adults (let alone toddlers), even though it contradicts the WHO, even though it fails common sense, we must keep doing this!

On the other hand, doctors post pictures of them attending industry sponsored academic conferences. Getting drinks and partying. Packed in tight rooms. No masks. Praising each other for their work. Drenched in financial conflict of interest and pro-new and pro-costly bias.

How can both these things be true?

We are facing such a health emergency that we have to mask toddlers by force of law AND we can continue to enjoy entirely superfluous medical gatherings that risk viral spread.

Don’t say it’s vaccines.

Because the vaccinated, boosted 50 year old, elevated BMI doc with comorbidities has far higher risk than the healthy, unvax’d 4 year old.


COVID-19 policy reveals the selfishness of adults, the indifference to kids, and the hypocrisy of medicine. It’s disgusting to witness and history will judge it poorly.

Eric Boehm reports on some of the collateral damage done to the U.S. economy by reckless government Covid responses.

Here’s the great Great Barrington Declaration in Chinese. (HT Martin Kulldorff)