The outside world has gone hand in hand with reducing COVID-19 restrictions. So when the televised spectators of the World Cup in Qatar could be seen not wearing face masks, the outraged Chinese, who love international soccer matches, but have been restricted by a harsh zero-COVID policy, started to protest.
According to a blog post by a Guangdong resident, which was geolocated and quoted by AFP: “Some people in the world are watching the World Cup without masks, while others have been locked up in their homes for months.”
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China’s zero-COVID policy
As of November 23, more than a quarter of the Chinese population has been quarantined in various forms due to the Chinese government’s zero-COVID virus patient policy, in stark contrast to the countless free people celebrating the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar without masks.
On November 24, i-Chongqing, the tourism site of State media Chongqing Broadcasting Group, promoting Chongqing’s largest vegetable market in Jiangjin District, told the authority’s narrative. “From the perspective of supply, vegetables are quite sufficient,” wrote the reporter alongside photographs of glossy-looking cabbages, carrots, spring onions, turnips, and leafy greens.
However, on November 24, in a viral video on the Chinese Internet, a man from Chongqing protested loudly in the street. He questioned the government’s COVID epidemic prevention measures, saying that the vegetables promised to protect the public were not available, except for high-priced carrots. He waved his mobile phone in the air, which showed a picture of two carrots.
The Chongqing protester said such prices are not much for wealthy people, but 70 percent of the people in China have incomes less than 3,000 yuan (US$427). “There is only one disease in this world, it is called no freedom and poverty, and we have them all now,” he shouted emotionally.
The man then turned the tables to focus on the government, choking on: “We are still being tossed around for a small cold, and the most direct reason is that the city government has been wrong, and they can only go on being wrong, or they must admit that they are wrong, and someone has to be held responsible for admitting it.”
In the course of the protest, the man shouted: “no freedom rather than death,” the people yelled back: “well said”; “you are a big hero.” Finally, the police saw that the situation was getting out of control and strangled the man, trying to take him away from the scene, but the people rushed across to grab the man and helped him get away from the police, cheering him as he went away.
The video has gone viral on the Chinese network. Netizens have left comments such as: “A star’s fire can start a prairie fire”; “I admire him from the bottom of my heart, I may not have such courage in my life”; “at the scene must give him Applause.”