As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, China has seen a roller coaster of emotions from its citizens. After a long period of relative success in combatting the virus, the recent rise in new infections in the country’s capital, Beijing, has sparked renewed anger and worry.
At the start of 2021, Beijing was in a state of near-zero COVID infections. The city had implemented strict quarantine measures, such as closing schools and restricting travel, and citizens were cautiously optimistic that the virus had been contained. However, starting in mid-June, Beijing saw a sudden spike in cases. In just a couple of weeks, the city had counted hundreds of new cases, leading to a rapid reversal of its earlier success.
This sudden swing from a state of near-zero infections to one of active contagion has been a source of anger and frustration for many Beijingers. It is believed that the source of the new infections is a major food market. The city’s government has responded to the situation by quickly shutting down the market and conducting widespread testing and contact tracing.
Yet, despite the anger over the sudden rise in infections, Beijingers have also been forced to accept that the virus is still present in their city. Many have now resigned themselves to the fact that the virus is here to stay, and must be managed in order to prevent further outbreaks. New measures, such as wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, have been adopted by citizens as part of their daily lives.
The situation in Beijing highlights the fact that the fight against the virus is not over. While the city has seen some success in containing the virus, it is clear that vigilance and adherence to preventative measures remain essential. Beijingers must remain mindful of the virus and continue to follow the guidelines in order to keep the city safe.