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Zero-COVID’s Long Tail

Although it has been almost a year since China rescinded its strict zero-COVID policy and allowed normal economic activity to resume, the costs of the country’s pandemic experience are still being tallied. As job and pay cuts continue alongside slowing economic growth, younger generations are confronting a disconcerting new reality.

SHANGHAI – For three years, China’s zero-COVID policy consistently received high-profile media coverage from the Chinese and the international press. During the first phase of the pandemic, China’s mass mobilization of resources and strict region-wide lockdowns were seen as highly effective – a testament to the advantages of autocratic power. But after vaccines arrived and Western countries resumed normal economic activities, China’s ongoing restrictions became a source of growing concern.