Here’s What It’s Like to Be in a COVID-19 ‘Quarantine’ Camp in China

A new viral video posted to social media shows a woman in a Chinese COVID-19 quarantine camp being treated “like a zoo [animal].”

As the only major economy left in the world still holding onto a so-called “zero-COVID” policy China continues to endure massive economic blows and impose draconian measures on its citizens. In a new video posted to “social media” one Chinese woman shows how people can be forced into “quarantine” camps and treated like a zoo animal due to the policy; demonstrating both how dehumanizing the policy is, as well as why—in part—the country is apparently struggling to regain its footing after the PHEIC (literally pronounced “fake”) pandemic of 2020.

In the video above posted by The South China Morning Post we watch as the Chinese woman in the COVID-19 quarantine camp receives her breakfast. The meal, which apparently consists of the kind of food you’d get in-flight plus a (hastily thrown) banana, is delivered to her via an air-locked compartment with double doors. On social media, the woman wrote the delivery felt similar to how animals are fed “[at] a zoo.”

Despite the extensive quarantine measures—including hazmat suits for the camp’s operators—the woman was not, apparently, forced into the prison-like detainment because she actually tested positive for COVID-19. Or even had any symptoms of the disease. On the contrary, officials imprisoned the woman in the camp because of a supposed COVID-19 outbreak in the country’s Hainan province; she just happened to be unlucky, as she was in Hainan before heading back to her home province of Shandong.

The South China Morning Post reports that, along with those pushed into quarantine camps, there were 163,000 tourists stranded in Hainan due to the supposed COVID-19 “outbreak.”

“The evasive Omicron coronavirus variant continues to show how economically disruptive it can be, not just in the face of the world’s strictest measures to keep it at bay, but increasingly because of them,” The South China Morning Post wrote in an article reporting on the woman’s video. “And with all of China’s 31 provinces having reported infections in the past 10 days, the nation’s zero-Covid policy threatens to continue dragging down economic growth in the year’s third quarter…” the outlet added.

Indeed, it seems everyone is blaming the zero-COVID measures for China’s flailing economy. NBC news recently reported that “Chinese technology giants are coming off the back of their worst quarter of growth in history as a big slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, stoked by Beijing’s strict Covid policy, takes its toll.” The outlet added that e-commerce giant Alibaba (China’s Amazon equivalent) posted its first-ever flat year-over-year quarterly revenue growth. Tencent, a massive Chinese media and gaming company, also reported its first sales decline on record.

Compounding China’s economic troubles is the fact that it has massively overbuilt apartment complexes around the country that house exactly no one. The structures, which are now being demolished en masse, are—according to some experts—also a source of unproductive debt that can’t be wiped off balance sheets. (It’s perhaps interesting to note that the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, could use the economic damage due to the zero-COVID policy as a cover for the real implosion from mismanaged real estate, but that’s just speculation.)

Image: Worldometer

As for China’s actual COVID-19 numbers? According to Worldometer the country, which has approximately 1.42 billion people, had a yearly high case rate of 3,225—not for a single province, but for the entire country. And that’s with mass PCR testing for healthy people. For deaths, China saw a seven-day moving average high of 48 per day back in May of this year.

Feature image: South China Morning Post

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