COVID Breakout – The Infection Increase in China
It was never going to be simple for China. After 3 years of strict, “zero-COVID” policies instituted by the government, they were able to keep COVID cases extremely low even though it originated from their own country. To put this in perspective, China has roughly the same amount of COVID cases as the small country of Georgia despite having 380 times the population. The cost, however, was their economy, which had a massive slowdown because of lockdowns placed throughout the last few years. For a country who looks to be the largest superpower and dethrone the United States, zero-COVID simply couldn’t achieve that. Paired with the fact that citizens started to get annoyed, leading to protests, China finally chose to open up and let its economy free.
Now, China has had to deal with the consequences of completely opening your country up, something the rest of the world has eased into in the last 2 to 3 years. COVID infections have shot up as human interaction has increased, and hospitals are now being overwhelmed. Although the numbers might not show it, public health experts believe that China is underestimating the number of infections and deaths. After all, satellite images show that Chinese funeral homes and crematoriums are rising in demand. The sentiment from the Chinese government regarding COVID has changed, now dismissing it and its dangers to promote economic growth. The sudden turnaround in COVID policy comes as the Lunar New Year is approaching for Chinese citizens and tourists, increasing interaction. Businesses across the country are seeing a spike in demand, streets are filled with citizens interacting, and China suddenly looks like a normal country, but at what cost? Rural areas with underdeveloped healthcare are struggling, and it begs us to ask why didn’t China just ease COVID restrictions in a more gradual fashion? If COVID continues to spread to the point where the economy gets negatively affected, they will end up losing both battles.
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I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.