qian27_HECTOR RETAMALAFP via Getty Images_chinacovidhospital Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

China’s Brutal COVID Winter

As most developed economies learned almost three years ago, reducing COVID-19 infection rates in high-risk populations requires self-distancing and other proactive measures on the part of individuals. Yet for far too many Chinese households, such precautions are not an option.

CHICAGO – Last month, China ended its zero-COVID policy, bringing a tumultuous end to restrictions after nearly three years. The suddenness of the move surprised nearly everyone. The process could have been much more gradual, with a slower shift from mass forced lockdowns to more flexible policies, such as voluntary self-quarantine and social distancing. Instead, the government has effectively thrown caution to the wind.