Three years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and major world powers are still struggling to return to normal. After gradually easing restrictions over the months, China has finally returned to a zero-COVID policy. It started with the first record of Covid death in Guangzhou in almost six months. The authorities quickly imposed a strict lockdown, and mass testing commenced.
China’s approach to curtailing the spread of the virus has come under fire from many angles. Apart from calls from the international community, citizens in restricted areas are starting to call out the government for its policies. This attitude is undoubtedly connected with the unpleasant effects of the lockdown on citizens.
The call worsened as Chinese citizens took to their social media networks after a young girl died of non-covid related causes due to the inability to access healthcare. Several such cases have been reported as people cannot access food, healthcare, and other daily essentials from their homes.
The strict policies were also enforced in Beijing, as residents of the capital were restricted from traveling between city districts. Major businesses like offices, restaurants, malls, shops, and apartments were locked down as schools moved online. Despite the call to ease restrictions and facilitate a system of living with the covid virus, it is clear that the Chinese government is not interested in changing its stance.
This stance is influenced mainly by the fear of the medical system collapsing under the strain of another massive virus spread. However, analysts believe China’s approach to the pandemic is now more about the political impact than social effects.
On the other side of the world, the United States is battling with the leftover of the pandemic. The recent spike in the number of affected persons has shown that the ghost of the Covid-19 pandemic is still haunting the country. For instance, more calls have been made for mask regulation to protect people from long covid.
Long covid is defined as having signs, symptoms, and conditions of the covid-19 infection long after the initial infection. The calls for regulation are, therefore, geared toward enabling people to recover fully from the remaining effects of Covid. In addition to enforcing mask regulations, experts also encourage social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus.
These calls are valid now that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the covid virus to be transmittable by air. The HHS report by Conforma has led the call for government involvement in managing the lingering effects of Covid. The report contains suggestions for short-term and long-term solutions to the problem.
Short-term suggestions include mandating that people wear masks and practice social distancing in public spaces. Long-term recommendations include a multidimensional approach involving an awareness campaign, vaccine promotion, and financial support for affected people like students and workers. It also suggested new health benefits to Covid victims and funding for Long COVID support groups.
All of these are geared towards ensuring that the ghost of covid is left behind when it is over. People living with trauma from past infections can significantly affect their lifestyle and prevent them from living fully. The governments in the United States and China are expected to step out of their comfort zone and implement policies that best address the need of their people.