The world’s dictators laughed their heads off when seeing how the West bungled the coronavirus pandemic. Freedom to misbehave, lies about the science of health, corporate profits, and Western favoritism killed millions. For them, it proved that democracy is a big failure.
Dictatorship did much better. They locked up buildings, streets, cities, and provinces to prevent the spread of corona. If it was too expensive, they just did nothing and lied that no one had died. Cost a lot of people, but in a dictatorship, people are expendable. China got rid of all COVID-19.
Democracies did do a poor job. But in the end, we got it under control in the rich countries. Partly because of vaccination and partly because the rich frequently travel and infected everyone else, building group immunity (while the elderly perished). Travelers from poor countries are their only problem because there, the virus is still endemic and mutating.
One of these variants, Omicron, hit China, and hard. While the rest of the world built experience, vaccines, and group immunity, China did nothing.
- China never noticed that Omicron is much more contagious, so that the measures against the original Sars-2 don’t work. They’re still scrubbing streets and disinfecting houses to fight Omicron. And because it lacks a democratic overview, mismanagement continues.
- They needed to make their own vaccine, but it doesn’t work so well. Lacking a critical press or parliament to demand better, that’s stuck.
- Because humans are valueless there, people are locked up and starving at home or work, also unable to go to work/home. ‘Essential workers,’ after their shifts, can’t go home but need to sleep in little tents waiting for ‘their houses to be disinfected.’
- Because there is no democratic overview, big shots, no doubt, take privileges that make them and everyone around them infected.
- Shanghai is the most densely populated city, but we need not doubt that in all of China’s million-plus inhabitant cities it’s a total mess now. Lack of press freedom will ensure we’ll never hear about it.
People living in dictatorships need to be liberated. Those in democracies need to limit their freedoms since there should be no freedom to destroy democracy or yourself. It’s a good (a useful) time to be an activist.