What’s the secret soy sauce?

The Spectator’s Cindy Yu hosted an interesting podcast this week; Has China really beaten coronavirus? in which she interviewed a correspondent in China who pointed out life has been back to normal since about May. Domestic flights are full, about one in ten people are wearing masks in public (which is a rational decision for anyone worried about pollution there) and nightclubs are operating as they did in 2019 with no social distancing restrictions.

That’s quite a turnaround from the situations we were seeing on the news, YouTube and social media back in January and February.

Do you remember? People were being welded shut inside their homes, others were collapsing on the street, including this man who died and whose photographed corpse made it on the Grauniad’s coverage on January 30th 2020:

Compare and contrast with practically every other country in the world and the varying levels of incursions into centuries’ old freedoms they have imposed. Going nightclubbing must see like a distant memory to New Yorkers, Londoners and Parisians.

So what’s going on? What’s the secret to China’s success?

That’s got to be the question of late 2020, surely?

As documented in the media in the early months of 2020, China enforced city-wide lockdowns, including the infamous door-welding.

But so did many other countries and cities. Why is it that, say, London is still moving in and out of lockdown on an almost weekly basis while the disco twinkies in Guangzhou can boogie the night away inside a steamy nightclub?

From the dead body in the pages of the Grauniad and the nightclubs being open was barely 4 months. How is it that New York, Paris, Milan, Barcelona and Sydney have nobody in their nightclubs?

Indeed, that famous Churchillian libertarian and free market advocate, Boris Johnson, is considering stopping Britons from going to the pub on Christmas Eve, something that wasn’t even implemented during both world wars.

So what on earth is going on?

Bill’s Opinion

I don’t know. I honestly don’t know why 1.3bn citizens in an authoritarian regime like China have, prima facie, greater personal freedom than the heirs to Magna Carta.

All I have is a blunt razor that suggests (not proves) the explanation requiring the fewest number of assumptions to be correct is likely to be the cause.

I’d love for people to offer alternate suggestions in the comments but my current view is the other countries are now dealing with a problem of fearful and incompetent leadership. They are fearful that the initial reaction was justified on the available data but, with what is known now, would be judged far too extreme. They are also incompetent at explaining the trade-offs required to be accepted for us to return to normal life.

Is it an international conspiracy of the Illuminati? Of course not.

It doesn’t really matter though; the impact is indistinguishable.

5 Replies to “What’s the secret soy sauce?”

  1. Quite easily explained when you remember that Boris is a (insert name of part of female anatomy here).

  2. Your explanation is supported by the fact that ongoing lockdowns and controls are truly global, not just in the West. It’s panicked populations screaming for action in the face of big-sounding numbers they don’t understand.
    Also, we can safely assume Covid continues to bounce around in China as it does elsewhere but the CCP is better able to suppress the news.

  3. I don’t believe the level of competence exists to pull off what we have seen this year as a single, grand plot. What I do see is a convergence of interests and opportunism, helped along by the following factors:

    Failure of leadership – Our leaders are not serious people. They are divorced from the means of production and well insulated from everyday life and normal people. They never face the consequence of their actions and lack the spine to admit they made a huge mistake.

    Money – There is serious money to be made, from pharmaceuticals and medical services, to online sales and all that re-tooling for remote working. Large corporations seem to be doing very nicely, unlike small businesses who don’t have deep pockets to fund legal action or the connections to lobby governments to further their interests.

    Arrogance – Those experts with all their qualifications who just wouldn’t accept that we already knew enough to handle this situation well, but managed to convince our leaders they could do better than reinventing the wheel.

  4. I came back for a second look. What stunningly brilliant diagnosticians the Guardians are, being able to tell that a man died of COVID simply from seeing a picture taken from ten metres away. Of course indubitably inexorably incontrovertibly as the body snatchers, who you will note are carrying a portable testing laboratory and have ascertained beyond all reasonable doubt the cause of death, are wearing hazmat suits, it has to be COVID, not merely Elfin Safety ordering the stiff collectors to wear full protective garb at all times. Fucking Guardians.

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