#COVIDCatLady, Day 1022
Starting around midnight last night, my WeChat moments feed flooded with Do You Hear the People Sing from Les Misérables. Again. The announcement of Kris Wu's sentencing was an obvious news cycle distraction that fooled no one, front of mind for everyone in China is still the fire in a locked down Urumqi, official reports said it took 10 lives, but locals are reporting 42. A woman has reportedly been sentenced to 10 years in prison for "spreading misinformation" about the death toll. Hundreds more are injured and homeless. There's a resource thread already spreading in Urumqi, people offering their homes for those affected. But how do they get there? There were reports that even the firefighters had to show their green health code before being allowed to... Fight a fire. There are also protest videos surfacing from all corners of China. It's been going on for weeks, really. Foxconn employees marching towards hazmat-clad "stormtroopers," smashing up PCR testing booths (very satisfying to watch), or residents physically, violently clashing with local police, using the covid barricades as weapons (even more satisfying to watch). A lot of this can't be confirmed. Too many journalists have been ejected from China.
I grabbed whatever I could off the feed before things were censored. Among them, a chilling video, credited and dated May 2022. Another, an article simply titled: They spent the last 100+ days of their lives under lockdown. By this morning, Urumqi officials announced that they're easing lockdown measures based on "societal covid zero." We've heard that before. China announced that they would ease covid measures, and within weeks Shanghai got slapped with a, hey, if you leave and come back, you basically have to self-quarantine for 5 days... But still go to the office because that's obviously a different kind of gathering than a restaurant. The economy must go on. There are still reports of people experiencing lockdown over secondary contacts, even though that was explicitly banned at the national level. So much zero covid's horrors were inflicted at the local, neighborhood level. It's down to luck. If you happen to have a heart attack, a gas leak, a fire and run into one (or a string of) local official who's a jerk, you're f**ked.
Yet again, I find myself screenshotting everything, trying to write, trying to repost, feeling useless, and wondering if, when, and how this will stop. Or when the world will care.
People seem eager to stand behind Ukraine, the women of Iran, BLM, and I stand with them. And I know why it's harder for my fellow Taiwanese to stand with Chinese people. We've been bullied, terrorized, belittled. But lest we forget, and to be very Vickie of me and quote from Captain America: People often forget the first country the Nazi’s invaded was their own. — Dr. Abraham Erskine Isn't speaking up for the Chinese exactly the point? To use our hard-earned, precious freedom of speech to promote democracy with a people who share our heritage? Whose sufferings many of our grandparents narrowly escaped? It feels poignant that today is Taiwan's election day. It's has delighted me to no end to see the peaceful, quirky, friendly competition amongst the candidates. I am grateful for our democracy. It matters who you vote for, so make sure you vote, y'all.