Negative COVID Test Has Never Been So Meaningless
A string of negatives can still presage a clear-as-day positive.
Katherine J. Wu
June 10, 2022
Tests are not and never have been perfect, but since around the rise of Omicron, the problem of delayed positivity has gained some prominence. In recent months, many people have logged strings of negatives—three, four, even five or more days in a row—early in their COVID-symptom course. “I think it’s become more common,” says Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease physician at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Right now, experts are operating in a vacuum of evidence: “I don’t even know of any data that systematically evaluates this,” says Yonatan Grad, who’s studying the viral dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 at Harvard’s School of Public Health. But several phenomena could plausibly be muddying the testing timeline.
SARS CoV-2 is top of the evolutionary chain as far as its adaptability to survive is concerned.
Shanghai to lock down millions again for mass COVID testing
Brenda Goh and Martin Quin Pollard
June 10, 2022
China's commercial hub of Shanghai will lock down millions of people for mass COVID-19 testing this weekend - just 10 days after lifting its gruelling two-month lockdown - unsettling residents and raising concerns about the business impact.
Racing to stop a wider outbreak after discovering a handful of community cases, including a cluster traced to a popular beauty salon, authorities have ordered PCR testing for all residents in 14 of Shanghai's 16 districts over the weekend.
SARS CoV-2 and the CCP are not finished punishing Shanghai in Round 2 of testing, lockdown and quarantine.
China Plans for Years of Covid Zero Strategy With Tests on Every Corner
After a bruising lockdown in Shanghai and severe curbs in Beijing were needed to halt the spread of Covid-19, China is doubling down on mass testing in a move that’s dashing hopes for a shift away from its costly Covid Zero strategy.
“Absolutely it can help to detect omicron early, especially if everyone is having to test every two days,” said Mina, now chief science officer at eMed, a company that offers at-home Covid tests and telemedicine services. “However, it is an exceedingly difficult approach.”
This might be called "Double" Dynamic Zero-COVID Strategy. It goes way beyond Covid testing. It reminds the author of how prisoners in the West who have been granted probation must report to their probation officer once a week--but this is every two days. It probably takes the local government two days to evaluate a full test. China mainly uses the Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technique. 1.
Who knows what the results of the tests really are? The "usual suspects" can be locked up for several weeks if the government were to falsify the test results. You would be told you are locked up for your own benefit and the benefit of others. Recently, a Beijing man tried to avoid testing and hundreds of others were locked up with whom he might have come into contact.
Optimists are hoping this is a short-lived program or up until the 20th Party Congress in October or November. However, even if that is true, two days does not give people enough time to go home to another city during the National Holiday in October.
The hardest hit segment of the population will be the migrant workers who number about 221.21 million according to Statistical Research Service whose latest report was released in April 2022. The number comprises both Inter and Intra provincial workers in 2021. 2.
Pessimists would say that once the stations are in place that even if testing is not done every two days that they will be repurposed as surveillance stations. I remember almost three decades ago showing a friend from another city around my neighbourhood in Chaoyang district in Beijing. (That is where the first Covid lockdown in Beijing took place in 2022.) It was nighttime and we passed a a black, non-descript shack along the street. It was unlit. I casually asked him if he saw the man in the shack. He retorted that there was no one in the shack. He walked back to the shack to prove I was mistaken, but discovered the shack was occupied. He showed less incredulity when I pointed out the microphones in the bushes across from the four star hotel. Basically, I summed up the issue by saying that Beijing was the political center of China and that surveillance was everywhere. There were eyes watching you and ears listening to you all the time.
Ghostbusters spray disinfectant in Beijing's Chaoyang District to fight ghost Omicron subvariant BA-2 in 2022. In 2003, ghostbusters sprayed vinegar on hand railings and floors where the author worked in Chaoyang District at the graduate school of CASS. The spraying is an attempt to allay fear, but it has the opposite effect of instilling fear because it is neither an effective means to control SARS nor is it perceived by the public as such.
ZER0-Covid Dynamic Strategy as Preparation for War
The author's view on Beijing's ZER0-Covid Policy or its latest iterration called ZER0-Covid Dynamic Strategy seems to be an unrecognized probability. He has been saying that ZER0 is a preparation for war. It does not mean that there is not another more important reason for the policy such as a political one. The strongest political reason is a third term for the president. However, the affirmation of a third term is a prerequisite for an invasion of Taiwan.
First, consider the language used to fight the coronavirus. It is language used in war. Beijing wants to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the capital. As a result, the Hebei Daily reports that the province of Hebei has entered a "wartime mode". Hebei is regarded as a "political moat" to prevent the virus from escaping the province to Beijing.
At one time---Xiong'an---where Xi's Xiong'an New Area (习的雄安新区) is located, was purposely flooded. It was done at the time of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1027). According to Zhang Ling, the Song wanted to create a "Watery Great Wall" to defend its northern frontier from the Khitan nomads. 1. It was effectively a "political moat".
Today, Hebei has become the "political moat" in terms of ZER0-Covid Dynamic Strategy. Hebei Province protects the southern border of the capital of Beijing. It so happens that martial law (usually declared during an uprising or war) was declared in Baoding, Hebei on June 15, 2020. Authorities were concerned about the movement of people between Baoding and the Xinfadi Wholesale Market in Beijing (北京新发地农产品批发市场 ). 2.
Second, Beijing has already secured the frontiers in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan. It began with Tibet in the West (occupation) followed by Xinjiang Province in the North (prisons), Hong Kong in the South (suppression of freedom) and lastly Shanghai in the East (ZER0-Covid Policy). Of course, COVID-19 policies have also weakened the status of Hong Kong and Shanghai as financial centers. This seems to be as deliberate as the campaign to eliminate "capitalist roaders" ie. political opposition to its authoritarian rule.
The political opposition in Shanghai may stem from former President Jiang Zemin. He was a supporter of Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms. In addition, he was a former Mayor of Shanghai, and subsequently the Party Committee Secretary of Shanghai. "At the very least, Mr. Xi is likely using his failed zero COVID policies in Shanghai as an excuse to clean house both Shanghai’s local ruling cadre and attack the “Shanghai Gang” led by Mr. Jiang." 3.
The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 20th National Congress is set to re-elect General Secretary Xi Jinping for a historic third term. His re-election may be interpreted by him as support for an invasion of Taiwan. On October 09, 2021 he stated explicitly that “The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.”
Of course, war is a rather messy affair to say the least. Taiwan could target cruise missiles at the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai which is the country's "warship factory". It is here that a Type 003 aircraft carrier is being constructed.
One can say that the Chinese government has used ZER0-Covid Dynamic Strategy through a rotating series of lockdowns and martial law policies of various degrees to restrict freedoms and exert control over the general population. They have worked out the "bugs" so to speak in application of "thought control". They know now from where the resistance will come. They acclimatize the population to martial law, shortages, check-ups and lock-downs. They instill a sense of self-sufficiency. All of this is done in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan. The government does not want to fight a war on two fronts---namely the foreign and domestic.
While the WHO says that 15 million people (as of May 05, 2022) have died world-wide due to COVID-19; nevertheless, China denies the pandemic started in Wuhan. They deny it began in either the wet market or the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They deny it was released accidentally or by design. They affirm that new cases in Beijing are imported ie. the embassy district is rated China’s only coronavirus “high-risk zone”. They assert that the disease has foreign sources of transmission and origin. Truth is certainly a casualty of a pandemic or preparation for war when it comes to Chinese propaganda.
D. Carlton Rossi
May 06, 2022
Has Shanghai Been Xinjianged?
May 06, 2022
Shanghai used to be the glamorous China, while Xinjiang was the dark China. Now both are casualties of authoritarian excess.
The political slogans in the government’s zero-Covid campaign echo those in the Xinjiang crackdowns. Residents in both places are subject to social control and surveillance. Instead of re-education camps in Xinjiang, about half a million Shanghai residents who tested positive were sent to quarantine camps.
Both the Xinjiang crackdown and the Shanghai lockdown are political campaigns that can be explained only through the governing rationale of the ruling Communist Party: Do whatever it takes to achieve the leadership's goal.
In Xinjiang, the “strike hard” campaign sent about one million Muslims to re-education camps for what the government considered problematic behavior, such as giving up alcohol, praying or visiting a foreign country. They were interrogated, beaten up and forced into endless indoctrination sessions.
In Shanghai, the authorities sent people who tested positive for Covid to makeshift quarantine camps. It didn’t matter that some of the people have recovered from the infection and have tested negative. It didn’t matter whether they were 2 months old or 90 years old. The conditions of some quarantine centers are so abysmal that they’re referred to on social media as refugee camps or gulags.
To paraphrase SUN Dawu, anyone can be arrested anytime for anything in China. You could be the next one.
In Xinjiang, a million Muslims are locked-up. In Shanghai, 21 million Chinese citizens are locked-down under martial law.
Tian Han (田汉) wrote the lyrics of the Chinese national anthem called March of the Volunteers in 1934 while he was in Shanghai. Its first line read ‘Arise, those who do not wish to be slaves!’ 起来！ 不愿做奴隶的人们！
Unfortunately, he was executed in 1968 for his counter-revolutionary views during the Cultural Revolution.
He rose after death when he was “posthumously rehabiliated”. He's become a cause célèbre today in Shanghai for those who think ZER0-Covid doesn't contain the Covid virus but rather them.
It was Karl Marx who said "The existence of the state is inseparable from the existence of slavery."
China’s economy facing ‘serious danger signs,’ this economist warns
April 18, 2022
Growth could be ‘significantly lower’ than government’s target of 5.5% annual rate in 2022, Mary Lovely says
There are “real danger signs” for the Chinese economy, which could even stall out in the current quarter, a top China watcher said late Monday.
China is facing difficulty, in part, because it can’t settle on a “coherent” COVID policy, and policymakers are wary of cutting interest rates, said Mary Lovely, who heads the China program at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Although there are conflicting reports, perhaps 87 Chinese cities are in lockdown or have some form of restraint due to the government’s zero-tolerance policy toward the coronavirus.
Two drivers of growth have been consumption and net exports. “When we look at those two drivers going forward, we see some serious danger signs,” Lovely said.
“I think the bottom line is that the growth forecast in China will have to be downgraded again,” Lovely said.
China’s annual growth this year is likely to be “significantly lower” than the 5.5% growth target set by the Chinese government, she added.
China’s economy grew by 4.8% annualized in the first quarter, topping expectations of a 4.4% increase. But growth slowed in March and the country could experience a “growth recession” in the current quarter, Lovely said. A growth recession is when an economy grows but at such slow pace that the unemployment rate rises.
As a result, China won’t be the same engine of growth for the troubled global economy, Lovely said. Supply-chain woes are likely to be noticeable in the second quarter, she added.
High Inflation is the bogey-man to paraphrase SUN Dawu or to quote the author is confiscation of wealth. If young people can't find jobs and old people are forced to retire early then the middle-class must bear the burden of taxation through inflation even though they are under forcible lockdown due to ZER0-COVID. Neither inflation, unemployment and deaths of seniors due to COVID is ZER0. The only zero about ZER0 is that the "word" ends in zero. ZER0 is an utopian abstract that doesn't exist in the real world.
Breaking news: Shanghai lockdown spills over as police evict residents
The extreme lockdown in Shanghai, deemed unnecessary by many, has resulted in violent clashes with police who evict residents so their homes can be used to house the infected.
Video that has appeared online and broadcast by the BBC shows residents being evicted as the city turns whole residential compounds into quarantine centres.
The centres are needed to house those quarantined, anyone who tests positive is required to enter a quarantine centre, with the government having run out of space in schools, hospitals and exhibition halls.
Jennifer Zeng 曾錚
How China’s new ‘Covid-proof’ city paves the way for easier lockdowns
Xiong’an is being championed by President Xi Jinping as a ‘new standard’ for post-coronavirus era
September 09, 2020
The Chinese government is constructing a “Covid-proof” city designed to make the implementation of lockdown measures easier in future pandemics.
But the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the focus of the project, with architects commissioned to create “blocks of apartments that are equipped to allow residents to continue to function under lockdown conditions”, The Telegraph reports.
The coronavirus outbreak has seen Beijing reframing the project to accommodate pandemic-friendly apartments where residents can “live in style during lockdowns”, The Sun says.
I seem to remember that Wuhan which was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from lockdown around September 2020. Was this why Xiong'an was rebranded as a "Covid-proof" city by the Chinese government at that time?
It's more a "COVID poof" city rather than "COVID proof" city under the Omicron variant. Omicron rules. No wonder the COVID lockdown of Xiong'an on January 27, 2022 was kept so secret----so much for "reframing" Xiong'an as "pandemic friendly" back in September 2020.
"Xiong’an New Area: your timing is wrong, you’ve chosen the wrong place, and the people you are relying on to run the project are ill-suited to the task."
XU Zhiyong (许志永)
China’s ‘city of the future’ has been under a secret COVID lockdown
January 28, 2022
The German outlet Die Zeit reported on Thursday that Xiong’an, a city of 1.3 million people less than an hour's drive away from Beijing, had gone into lockdown on Monday without any official government announcements, news reports, or pronouncements on social media.
"We expect this [lockdown] to last around a week, but the exact timing is uncertain," a government official said to AFP on Friday, confirming Xiong'an's lockdown.
Instead, authorities set up roadblocks in the city and told people that they had to go into home quarantine. Die Zeit reports that some city residents received messages on Monday from anonymous accounts on WeChat, a social messaging app, telling them that the city would be under lockdown for the next seven days.
But Xiong'an's growth may not prove as organic as cities like Shenzhen or Shanghai. Last year, the Financial Times reported that Chinese firms have been reluctant to move their offices there amid construction delays. Xiong'an's proximity to power players in Beijing may be a selling point for the city, but critics of the urban project also say the city is built on marshes and wasteland and has little hope of becoming an economic engine in China due to being far from the sea.
The area is close to Dawu Group in Langwuzhuang, Xushui District.
Xifan Yang 杨希璠
14/ In Xi's vision of China as a future innovation powerhouse, Xiong'an plays a crucial role: Big high-tech companies are supposed to settle there, "attracting talents from all over the world", as Xinhua promises.
Xifan Yang 杨希璠
15/ Why has Xiong'an not announced its lockdown like any other Chinese city? It's too much of a face loss for Beijing, and especially Xi Jinping. So they rather play it sneaky - and bet on no one noticing it.
Lockdown of Xiong'an Video
Chinese Cities in Lockdown as Police Warn People Not "to Spread" 'Rumors'
In Hebei's Xingtai city, the CCP issued a directive calling for donations from the private sector to support the healthcare industry during the pandemic.
A Jan. 10 directive signed by the CCP's United Front Work Department, which mobilizes support outside of the ruling party, called on local authorities in nearby Nangong city to "levy pandemic supplies from private entrepreneurs, including single beds, mattresses, quilts, pillows, buckets, medical waste bags, and so on."
Is it a rumour "to spread a fact"? SUN Dawu is a prisoner at the Xingtai Prison (XingDu General Machine Factory) just outside of Xingtai City. He hasn't been able to see a lawyer according to unknown government officials due to COVID restrictions.
China Officials continuing COVID-19 restrictions in parts of Hebei Province as of Feb. 3/update 7
As of Feb. 3, officials are designating Gaocheng District in Shijiazhuang and Nangong City in Xingtai as high-risk areas. The government continues to ban nonessential travel from high-risk areas; however, some businesses within designated communities have reopened.
Chinese Citizens Needing Urgent Medical Care Are Neglected During Strict Lockdown
- Publish Date: 2021-02-13
The Epoch Times obtained a series of classified documents from Xingtai municipal government revealing that many residents who were not affected by COVID-19 had struggled desperately to get treatment for heart disease, kidney failure, and tumors due to the harsh and inhumane lockdown measures that were imposed.
China’s Latest Lockdown Shows Stubborn Resolve on Zero-Covid
New York Times
Jan. 6, 2022
“The district security guards are like prison guards and we are like prisoners,” said Tom Zhao, a Xi’an resident. Mr. Zhao, 38, said he had joined dozens of chat groups last week searching for anyone who could help him find medicine for his mother, who has early-stage diabetes.
It is rather paradoxical that a man-made crisis magnified by the government in order to exert control becomes a mechanism for citizens to express and exert their independence.
China: Xi'an residents in lockdown trade for food amid shortage
3 hours ago
Some residents under quarantine in the Chinese city of Xi'an have resorted to bartering supplies in recent days, as worries of food shortages continue.
Posts on social media show residents swapping supplies and even tech gadgets in exchange for food.
About 13 million have been confined to their homes since 23 December, and presently cannot leave to buy food.
There seems to be a disconnect here. China is testing a digital currency throughout the nation, but residents of Xian have retrogressively resorted to a barbaric, barter economy. The people just trust barter. They neither trust a digital currency nor the government.
It must be disconcerting, to say the least, for Xian residents to become prisoners in their own apartments. No longer are prisons on the outskirts of the city. The city itself has become a giant prison. The prisoners are housed in smaller prisons called apartment buildings. Separate apartments of those buildings become cells. Using their cell phones the prisoners leave messages in a bottle, so to speak, which are transferred from cell towers in a random way to any other prisoner who will listen on their cell. These messages are also monitored and censored by wardens of the cell phone system.
Desperation as China’s locked down cities pay price of zero-Covid strategy
In another account posted to social media, a woman in labour lost her baby after she was prevented from entering a Xi’an hospital. In a since-deleted post, a relative described calling emergency services on the night of 1 January for their aunt after she started feeling pain, but the phone rang out.
Instead they sent her to hospital at around 8pm but “the front door security wouldn’t let us in, because the nucleic acid test result had been more than four hours ago”, they said.
“While she was waiting outside, I saw the video her husband sent me, she was holding the chair, struggling to sit on it, and her blood streamed down the chair and her pants.” They said hospital staff saw and brought her inside and to the operating room, but the child died.
Fundamentally, restrictions are in place not to control the virus, but to control the individual who may or may not have the virus. One is presumed guilty until proven innocent with a recent, nucleic acid test.
Xi’an residents face shortages of food and critical supplies as lockdown continues
COVID-zero policies in Xi’an are tough after the recent outbreak. People are complaining on social media.
December 29, 2021
As of today, the hashtag “It’s difficult to buy groceries in Xi’an” #西安买菜难# has been viewed over 290 million times on Weibo. Many Xi’an residents sought to tag news outlets, journalists, and other prominent individuals in their Weibo posts in the hopes that their messages would be shared widely and eventually answered.
Medical services appeared to be in a state of chaos, too. In a viral Weibo post (in Chinese), a university student in Xi’an documented the difficulties she faced while seeking treatment for her fever. She claimed that after she woke up with a high temperature on December 26, a total of six hospitals rejected her, citing concerns about taking in patients showing COVID symptoms. At the same time, her calls to multiple health departments and COVID hotlines went unanswered. After she shared her experience on Zhihu, a Quora-like Q&A platform in China, she said that several community workers, who previously ignored her calls for medical assistance, asked her to delete the post. Eventually, the story was censored on Zhihu for reasons unbeknownst to her. “If these community workers keep focusing on controlling public opinion, playing the blame game, and deceiving people, instead of containing the spread of the virus, when will the outbreak in Xi’an end?” she wrote.
It's difficult to buy groceries in Xian #西安买菜难#
To the author this means that people want to buy groceries rather than be given groceries. They want to maintain their dignity and their independence. Furthermore, they don't want to be placed in a situation of being given food in a crisis that seems to have been artificially created in order to foster submission to control.
On the other hand, if people really need help as in the case of a fever which may be COVID related or another life threatening disease then they don't want to be turned away at the doors of the hospital or worse, yet, not be able to get out of their apartment building in order to seek help. Ultimately, people know the difference between the artificial and the real. If they are in an artificial bubble then there may be a time when the bubble bursts.
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