The conditions at the Beijing Olympics are almost unbearable. Reports of strict measures, testing and isolation being done has caused some, such as Polish speed skater Natalia Maliszewska to turn to social media and expose their anxiety.
“I’ve been living in fear for over a week . These mood swings, the crying that makes me breathless.” She told Reuters in an interview that she cried “like crazy” in the back of an ambulance after a 3 a.m. knock on the door of her isolation hotel room because she did not know what was happening” reports NBC News.
Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans posted a video crying over facing seven days of isolation away from the Olympic Village. The Finland men’s ice hockey team accused China of not respecting human rights for one of his players Marko Antila who was not getting good food’ and was under tremendous mental stress.
Over 150 athletes and team officials have tested positive since Jan 23, making the game more about strict isolation policy than athletic performance. NBC News reports of the conditions:
Competitors are living and competing inside an Olympic bubble, or “closed loop,” and have to take Covid tests daily. If they test positive, they are taken either to an isolation facility or a hospital, depending on the severity of their symptoms, until they are discharged either through negative tests or the sign-off of a panel of medical experts.
U.S. figure skater and medal hopeful Vincent Zhou was among the latest athletes to test positive for Covid, and he was forced to withdraw from the individual event starting Tuesday.
“I have been doing everything in my power to stay free of Covid,” he said in a tearful video posted on Instagram on Monday. “I’ve isolated myself so much that the loneliness I’ve felt in the last month or two has been crushing at times.”
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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