Alternative Options When Lockdowns Fail to Contain the Pandemic
(Minghui.org) In early January 2021, the Chinese authorities locked down several major cities in Hebei Province including Shijiazhuang and Xingtai. Several days later, lockdown measure escalated to centralized isolation with residents taken to designated locations to be quarantined.
One mother of a three-year-old who lives in Nangong, Xingtai City posted a message on January 11. She said that when she and her child were forced to stay at home, officials locked and sealed her door from the outside. Later, she was told to report to a centralized isolation facility at Fengyi Middle School, where the chaos made her even more worried.
Right now, the number of at-risk areas in China has reached 73. The “epic success” in fighting the pandemic, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda always touted, has turned out to be a big lie.
China: Numbers Games and Cover-up
Centralized isolation has been enforced in many places across China. Video footage posted on social media showed all villagers in Sanlizhuang of Nangong, all residents of Zengcun Town of Shijiazhuang (about 20,000 people), and several communities in Harbin City of Heilongjiang Province, have been transported by buses to designated quarantine locations.
This has caused confusion and worry in the public, because the CCP has always claimed that the pandemic was under control. In addition, the Chinese authorities have also used the pandemic to advocate the communist ideology (claiming that only China has achieved success in controlling the pandemic) and the excessive surveillance system (which was claimed to be needed to identify and track infection cases).
“In the past one year, we have been told that the anti-pandemic campaign has been successful. How come as Chinese New Year comes I cannot go back to my hometown due to increased confirmed cases?” one person wrote on social media, “Plus, how many people have been infected without showing symptoms yet? How do we know where those asymptomatic people have been?”
Number manipulation has also appeared again. According to information from China’s National Health Commission, there were 90 confirmed cases every day in Hebei Province between January 12 and January 15, except for 81 cases on January 13.
“Was the virus so good at math as to produce such tight data?” wrote a person on China Central Television's (CCTV) page on the Weibo social media platform. “The officials must have worked very hard generating these neat numbers,” another posted. “I think these numbers cannot be correct at all,” someone else wrote, “the reported cases have increased dramatically these days. How come we don't see it in the numbers?”
Since the initial outbreak of the virus in late 2019, the CCP has been covering up cases without transparency or consistency, leaving people in a maze and guessing at what is really going on.
British Epidemiologist: Limited Effect of Lockdowns
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on January 22 that the coronavirus infection rate had remained “forbiddingly high.” Furthermore, the British New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) concluded that the new variant B117 may increase the death rate by 30-40%.
While some scientists urged controls based on the prevalence of the new variant, Steven Riley from Imperial College London found that the third national lockdown recently imposed in the U.K. has little impact on containing the virus.
Despite tight measures in many states against the pandemic, U.S. President Joe Biden admitted that the situation would continue to get worse for the short term.
These make people rethink the trade-off of lockdowns.
A January 23 New York Times article cited a study in Science that analyzed the cases in Hunan Province, China during the initial outbreak. Although curfews and lockdowns seemed to reduce the spread within the community, it did raise the risk of infection within households. The same article, titled “Do Curfews Slow the Coronavirus?” also discussed drawbacks of the tight restriction, such as economic downturn for workers and their families. “Is the curfew worth the price?” asked Stanford economist Maria Polyakova.
Similar concerns were also shared by other health experts. In October 2020, for example, over 6,000 scientists signed a petition against lockdown measures, saying it had caused irreparable damage. Co-authored by Harvard professor Martin Kulldorff, Oxford professor Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya, this petition was called the Great Barrington Declaration.
“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection... Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” reported Newsweek on October 7, 2020, in an article titled “Over 6,000 Scientists Sign ‘Anti-Lockdown’ Petition Saying It's Causing 'Irreparable Damage.'”
Sweden believes its no-lockdown approach is a more effective strategy against the coronavirus. Peter Nilsson from Lund University said that due to the slow economy, the deaths from coronavirus are much lower than those caused by the lockdown and the weakened economy associated with it.
Herd Immunity No Longer Works
Scientists have been counting on herd immunity to curb the coronavirus. The theory is that, when a sufficient percentage of the population becomes immune to the disease – through vaccination or previous infection, the community would provide an indirect protection to those who lack immunity.
But that has not worked for the coronavirus. For example, Nuno Faria from Imperial College London was surprised to find that the number of cases continued to increase in Manaus, Brazil. This was confusing because he had co-authored a paper in Science estimating that three-quarters of the city's residents had been infected by COVID-19, more than enough to provide herd immunity.
Further analysis on samples collected in December 2020 revealed a new viral lineage called P.1. Faria found that P.1 eludes the human immune response triggered by the lineage that harmed the city earlier in 2020. Together with the new variant B.1.1.7 identified in the U.K., scientists are now “focusing on a potential new threat: variants that could do an end run around the human immune response. Such ‘immune escapes’ could mean more people who have had COVID-19 remain susceptible to reinfection, and that proven vaccines may, at some point, need an update,” stated an article from Science on January 15 titled “New coronavirus variants could cause more reinfections, require updated vaccines.”
This situation is alarming because COVID-19 is different from other diseases that people have dealt with. First, its neutralizing antibody dropped by half in merely 36 days, according to a July 2020 article in the New England Journal of Medicine while other coronavirus such as SARS and MERS could maintain a high antibody level for one or two years. “The results call for caution regarding antibody-based ‘immunity passports,’ herd immunity, and perhaps vaccine durability, especially in light of short-lived immunity against common human coronaviruses,” stated the article titled “Rapid Decay of Anti–SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Persons with Mild Covid-19.”
Secondly, with new variants identified in the U.K., Brazil, South Africa, and California, the hope of putting the coronavirus under control has met unprecedented challenges. Thirdly, the recent discovery that the virus could elude immune responses means that the future is gloomier than previously expected.
Coming Back to Basics
Since ancient times, people across cultures have been exploring many fundamental issues about health, life, and society. In Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor), for example, one of the most respected books on Chinese medicine, there was a conversation between the Yellow Emperor and Qi Bo, an ancient physician.
Emperor: I heard when plagues come, people would infect each other regardless of their ages. Their symptoms are similar and it is difficult to treat them. Do you know how to prevent the infection?Qi Bo: When a person has righteous qi residing inside, no viciousness is able to invade.
This was further demonstrated by Falun Gong, a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. With its inherent connection with traditional Chinese culture, the practice has attracted about 100 million practitioners, enabling them to improve their health and uplift morality.
The miracles of Falun Gong date back to 1992 when the practice was first introduced to the public. During the Oriental Health Expo in December 1992, Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, helped many people cure their illnesses.
One middle-aged woman came to the Expo with her husband. She had a belly bigger than that of a nine-month pregnant woman's. As people watched Mr. Li adjust her body, her belly flattened instantly. People were stunned and remained silent. Then thunderous applause broke out. The woman and her husband knelt down to thank Mr. Li. They also wrote a letter of appreciation right away and delivered it to the Expo organizer.
Li Rusong, general manager of the Expo, said the most positive feedback received from attendees was for Falun Gong and the largest amount of feedback received was also for Falun Gong.
Because of this, the China Foundation For Justice And Courage, an organization jointly launched in June 1993 by the Chinese Public Security Ministry and the Propaganda Department, invited Mr. Li Hongzhi to give a lecture in August 1993. The foundation also released a letter from the Chinese Public Security Ministry thanking Mr. Li for the positive impact of Falun Gong.
During a survey by the National Department of Sport conducted in May 1998, returned questionnaires received from 12,000 practitioners showed that 98% of practitioners experienced improved health through practicing Falun Gong.
Currently, Zhuan Falun and other teachings of Falun Dafa have been translated into over 40 languages, and the practice is well accepted in countries across the globe.
Ancient Prophecy and the Modern Day Tale
French prophesier Nostradamus once wrote,
“The man from the East will come out of his seatPassing across the Apennines to see FranceHe will fly through the sky, the rains and the snowsAnd strike everyone with his rod”
On July 5, 1994, two French men showed up at Mr. Li’s lecture series in Dalian City, Liaoning Province and said they were the father and grandfather of a child. The child was about 7 and had a rare disease that doctors could not cure. The boy had an intellectual disability, could not speak, and was bedridden. The two men said that their god asked them to come to China for help from Mr. Li.
After asking for information about the child, Mr. Li began a treatment that looked like he was pulling threads. After a while, he said the boy was all right and suggested the two men call France. After returning to their hotel, the men called back home. The child’s mother said that a miracle had happened. The boy's room was filled with golden light, and he was suddenly able to move and speak. “What has happened, Mom?” he asked.
In 1995, Mr. Li was invited to give a seminar at the Chinese Embassy in France. Many of the practitioners were embassy staff members. After that, Mr. Li gave a lecture series in Paris, which was the first time Mr. Li introduced the practice overseas.
During a 2003 survey of 235 practitioners in North America, 224 of the surveyed practitioners said they had experienced significant health improvement, including recovery from chronic illnesses.
After the coronavirus broke out, many infected people recovered by sincerely reciting “Falun Dafa is good,” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
As the ongoing pandemic ravages the world, it may be time to rethink where we are based on the lessons of history. By cherishing virtue and rejecting the vicious, we can be blessed with health and safety in this historical period filled with uncertainty.
We hope this helps shed light on how to stay safe amidst the pandemic.