On Controlling the Pandemic
(Minghui.org) Since the beginning of this winter, coronavirus variants have been spreading around the world, affecting over 80 countries. The situation in China, however, appears relatively mild. Chinese authorities have claimed there have been only over 1,000 cases, including two deaths, in the past few months.
Because of the massive cover-up, censorship, and disinformation by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the coronavirus outbreak, many people referred to the disease as the CCP Virus. The recent situation, however, is somewhat perplexing: how come this disease is treating the CCP well while hitting other countries so hard?
In the meantime, the CCP has been actively advocating its three-pronged approach to control the pandemic, namely, lockdown and isolation, widespread testing, and vaccination. This approach has left an impression on many Chinese people that it is safer in China than in other countries and that the CCP has been effective in controlling the disease.
Is it really true that the virus is going easy on China and that only by copying the CCP can other countries get the pandemic under control?
We know plagues have existed for thousands of years. Almost every time, they came with little warning and then mysteriously disappeared with no explanation. Similarly, there are many unknowns with the current pandemic. As we explain below, without addressing the underlying issues of why the pandemic arose and where it went, the “success” claimed by the CCP could be limited and short-lived. Instead of blindly following the CCP, a better approach on the part of Western countries might be to identify the root cause of the catastrophe and resolve it fundamentally.
The Cost of the Wuhan Experience
The CCP is notorious for its human rights violations. Similarly, the way it bluntly deals with the pandemic also has serious consequences. Zhang Wenhong, Director of Infectious Disease at Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, recently said the CCP’s approach to combatting the coronavirus is like chasing rats in a china shop, referring to the high price of such a chase.
In a recent video, Zhang further pointed out the Chinese epidemic control policies have caused excessive tension. “If life does not return to normal any time soon, there will perhaps be mental breakdowns,” he explained.
It can be difficult for outsiders to fully understand the pain caused by the CCP’s military-style lockdown. After the Ronghui community in Beijing was listed as a high-risk area, many neighboring communities were dealt with the same way. Here's how some of them reacted: “We have been forced to stay at home for almost a month now,” wrote one person on social media. “When will this nightmare end?” “If this is so-called safety, it rests on the loss of freedom for tens of thousands of people,” another person added.
It was similar in other regions. Even after Nangong City in Hebei Province was downgraded to a low-risk area on February 8, the authorities said residents would not receive a health pass until February 15 when the entire community is cleared of new cases. “We have been restricted to our homes since January 3 and our trash has piled up high like a hill now,” wrote resident Chen. “I tried to go out once to get medicine for my 11-day-old newborn. But I was driven back home by the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT) team.”
The mental stress and anxiety have soared. In some areas, there have been suicides and homicides, with isolated residents going to the extreme and killing volunteer gatekeepers to get out of their gated residential compounds. Because the anti-pandemic campaign has become a political task, it is being carried out as a military effort, similar to the Cultural Revolution, with one of the consequences being that nearly everyone has been turned into a victim. Sometimes, the relationship between quarantined residents and those monitoring them is like class struggle enemies. Some ordinary citizens applauded the draconian lockdown without realizing the underlying communist ideology and its brutality. Some of them even praised the extreme measures undertaken in North Korea, where those infected with the disease would be executed.
But is such a pandemic control model a success or a tragedy? In the past few decades, the CCP has killed about 80 million lives to advance its agenda. One particle of dust from the gigantic political machinery could become a mountain when it lands on an ordinary citizen. The truth is, although we may praise the seeming “efficiency” of the CCP's pandemic control measures, who knows if we will one day become its victims and ruthlessly crushed? In other words, the one being targeted and quarantined probably would be in no mood to sing the praises of the lockdown policy.
The Limitations of Isolation
Besides the cost, the CCP’s pandemic control campaign may not be as effective as is claimed. Zhong Nanshan, a top CCP health official, has also admitted this. In a speech on January 13, he said that, when the government escalates the coronavirus risk level by one notch, it could reduce the infection rate by 20 or 30%, which shows the prevention measures' limited effect given the cost of the lockdowns.
The real situation goes beyond the number of confirmed cases. In China, sometimes the virus is not detected until the 11th testing. This shows the actual number of cases could be much higher than reported. Furthermore, many people who are infected with the disease did not show symptoms. When combined, these two factors could point to a dire possibility.
In fact, based on patterns and potential infection routes, it seems that the virus has never stopped spreading since its outbreak in Wuhan in late 2019. If that is the case—as it had been the case during numerous plagues in history—and the virus suddenly breaks out across regions all at once, what could be done to battle the disease then? If what Zhang Wenhong said about chasing rats in a china shop is true, when countless rats swarm into a china shop at the same time, wouldn’t that chasing around lead to complete disaster?
Such worries are legitimate concerns, especially because the Chinese authorities have yet to provide a convincing explanation for the sporadic cases that have emerged in various places in the country. Very often, CCP officials attribute new cases to importation from travelers or frozen food. Zhang said the chance of spreading disease through frozen food is smaller than a plane crash—meaning it is essentially negligible. As for the theory of importation, judging from either the number of travelers or frequency of flights, those hubs of air travel, institutions associated with foreign affairs, or education would be the hardest hit. But the reality is that these new cases were often found in the countryside or small cities in Sichuan Province, Hebei Province, or northeast China, where there are very few (if any) out-of-country visitors.
The CCP's theories aimed at explaining the emerging cases, as well as its numerous versions of narratives on patient zero and the virus' route of transmission, have deceived many people who've gotten lost in the maze and not gone after the root cause of the virus.
Lessons from History
A lot can be learned from the Black Death. In 1347, the disease traveled to Paris and then Britain, before striking other countries. Within several years, it killed 25 million people, about one-third of the population of Europe. Physicians were in despair since they were unable to offer help.
Scientists believe the disease started in Asia and spread to Europe. But it remains a mystery as to how it could spread so quickly and break out in multiple areas at the same time since there was no air travel at the time.
Similar plagues have come and gone mysteriously in China. In October 1910, a plague broke out in Manchuria (northeastern China). Lian Wude, an epidemiologist from the University of Cambridge, introduced the quarantine system in the infected area of Fujiadian. Beginning on January 13, 1911, the Qing dynasty stopped railroad operations in the region and dispatched military forces to stop incoming travelers. Prevention and control measures were also implemented in nearby provinces. Since the disease was associated with rats, a massive campaign was launched to eradicate rats, with about 81,000 rats killed in Fengtian (today’s Shenyang City, Liaoning Province) alone.
But the disease continued. About 40 to 60 people died in Fujiadian every day, sometimes as many as 183 per day. The pandemic then mysteriously stopped in late March after taking 60,000 lives in six months.
Scientists believe the Black Death was caused by bacterial variants. “Only a few genetic changes were enough to turn an ordinary stomach bug into the bacteria responsible for the plague,” according to a November 2015 Scientific American article titled “The Mutant Genes behind the Black Death.”
But viruses, on the other hand, have a much higher tendency to mutate, which makes them more likely to produce new variants that cause illnesses. To make things worse, scientists found one liter of seawater usually contains about 100 billion viruses. This adds up to 1031 viruses on earth, 15 times the total number of all other creatures in all the oceans in the world.
Facing these challenges, modern science and technology seem to offer limited help to combat plagues. This has convinced some scholars that mankind cannot outwit nature, including the virus.
Plagues: Scourge of God
In ancient times and traditional Chinese culture, it is generally believed plagues arise when mankind has deviated from proper moral standards.
Caecilian (or Caecilianus) in the ancient Roman Empire, for example, described plagues at the time as a result of the persecution of the Christians.
Scholars at the University of Paris considered the Black Death that started in March 1345 a result of “a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius, occurring on the 24th of March 1345.” Other atypical phenomena such as earthquakes, floods, comets, and solar eclipses were also observed.
Historian Gregory of Tours, documented a series of phenomena during the plague years, including bright lights appearing around the sun as if the heavens were on fire. Other reports from France mentioned a brightly illuminated night sky, making it like a day, and immense, dragon-like creatures floating through the city and down to the sea, which preceded an immediate outbreak of the plague in the area. Many historical reports on plagues mention a smelly mist that would precede the outbreak. At the same time, strange bright lights in the sky would be reported from multiple locations.
Similar to the Black Death’s triple-planet conjunction, there was a six-planet alignment (the sun and moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury) between February 10 and the Chinese New Year on February 12, 2021. Such a phenomenon has only occurred 7 times in the past 4,000 years.
A similar six-planet alignment also happened on May 3, 2000, several months after the CCP started to suppress Falun Gong, a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. With tens of millions of innocent practitioners being persecuted for their faith, that campaign has probably been the largest suppression of human rights in modern times.
Another event that happened around May 2000 was the unprecedented support from the United States to foster the growth of communist China. In his last year in office, former U.S. president Bill Clinton called on Congress to help him change the trade policy with China to permanent normal trade relations (PNTR). Legislation was introduced in May 2000, which was later approved, clearing the path for China to join the WTO in 2001.
Twenty years later, communist China has become a leading world power, giving it unparalleled momentum to advance its communist ideology globally. Its strong economy and propaganda have dominated the international stage, including world organizations such as the WTO. By the time the coronavirus pandemic arrived, virtually no country or government has had the ability to fend off the tragedy. So far, over one hundred million people have caught the disease, with a death toll of more than 2.4 million. About one-fifth of those deaths have occurred in the U.S. alone.
Back on Track
People often talk about learning from history, but that is easier to say than to do.
In ancient China, there was a well-known story called Nan Yuan Bei Zhe (Facing South While Traveling North). A person was planning to travel south to the kingdom of Chu, when others told him he was headed in the wrong direction. He simply dismissed it. “My horse runs very fast... I have more than enough resources... my coachman is very skilled,” he boasted. The truth is, when one heads in the wrong direction, advanced technology and skills offer little help.
In the past decades, the CCP has suppressed people economically, destroyed traditional culture, deprived people of their freedom, and undermined their faith. Were such a situation to spread across the world—such as adopting a socialist agenda in the U.S.—the CCP would be even more reckless in turning people around the globe into victims of communism.
In ancient China and Western societies alike, people repented their wrongdoings after plagues or other catastrophes occurred, hoping to learn from their mistakes and get back on track. If we dismiss this possibility and continue on the wrong path, what’s next could be even more dire.
Here is one example that explains this. In ancient China, people believed in the harmony of heaven, earth, and mankind. That is, when a person or a community is morally corrupt, misfortune, disease, or plagues would arise. If we just want to tackle misfortune by focusing on superficial factors without tending to the root cause, it simply won't work.
It is just like a community in which many parents gamble, drink, deal and use drugs, or engage in deviant sexual behaviors. Children who grow up in such a community would pick up their parents' bad habits and do the same. Parents may, in turn, simply ground their children to prevent them from doing bad things. But will such kids naturally become better parents? Probably not.
The CCP is like those corrupt parents in that hypothetical community, and the virus is like the troubled kids who grow up in that community. Simply quarantining the trouble kids wouldn't turn things around for the better. One has to target the root cause to treat the problem.
The CCP's suppression of people, especially its persecution of Falun Gong over the past two decades, has resulted in millions of deaths. According to traditional Chinese culture, when the ruler commits unpardonable sins, plagues or other misfortunes might strike. Many people have quit the CCP and now support the innocent, including Falun Gong practitioners. That will help them avoid being held responsible when the time comes for the CCP to be brought to justice for its crimes.
In summary, the cause and the spread of the virus are beyond mankind's control. What we can control, though, are our moral standards and behavior. From Chinese tradition to Western culture, there is a belief that, despite all this chaos and tragedy, we are watched and being saved by the divine. But that is based on the premise that we are true to our conscience and virtuous. After all, the divine can only help those who are willing to help themselves. We hope more people can see through the CCP's true colors and sever ties with it so as to stay safe in the pandemic.