Several countries, the Philippines included, have started to move towards a post-pandemic world. But there’s one country where the first cases of the coronavirus disease have been detected that still implements tough anti-Covid rules—China.

Even if one is not a Chinese citizen, one could sympathize with the Chinese people having a hard time under the authoritarian regime’s “zero-Covid” policy.

Imagine a Chinese family living under lockdown and it does not know when it will be lifted by authorities. A lockdown lasts until no new infections are detected and reported.

China’s lockdowns are hurting its economy and other economies as well.

Filipinos have experienced lockdowns, and it was difficult and miserable. Many lost their jobs as several businesses closed.

Apart from imposing quick lockdowns in areas even if there are only few new cases detected, China’s stringent anti-Covid measures also include the following: Mass testing is carried out in places where cases have been reported; people with Covid are isolated at home, or placed under quarantine at government facilities; businesses and schools are closed in lockdown areas; and shops must also close–except for those selling food (BBC).

These measures are similar to the Philippine experience at the height of the pandemic–except for the mass testing part, of course.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party is hyper-strict; perhaps it does not want its country to suffer the same fate as that of the US and European countries where the Covid-related death toll is high.

The party leadership under President Xi Jinping definitely wants to project to the world that China is better than any other country when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.

But now Chinese people have had enough of their country’s strict anti-Covid protocols.

Dissent is no longer confined in the heavily censored Chinese cyber space. It has boiled over to the streets.

Chinese people have demanded that the government ease its Covid protocols.

The Chinese government must not brutally repress them.

If it does, it would put the country in a notoriously bad light.