Closed loop of Beijing 2022 protects lives, despite West media noise
Published: Feb 19, 2022 08:10 PM
A man takes photos of the mascots of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ad Paralympics outside the Main Media Center of Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 13, 2022. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

A man takes photos of the mascots of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ad Paralympics outside the Main Media Center of Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 13, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

It appears that "but at what cost" has become West media's must-use narrative when they talk about China's anti-epidemic policy. A recent article from the Washington Post reluctantly admitted that China's closed-loop system helps eliminate the virus at the Beijing Winter Olympics but quickly turned to accuse Beijing of killing the "joy" of the Games. 

"The elimination of covid from the Olympics placed a psychological burden on athletes. It forced hordes of unfailingly cheerful Chinese volunteers, many of them students, to spend laborious weeks away from family. It caused financial budgets to balloon. It cast a pall of pervasive joylessness," read the Washington Post article entitled "The closed loop eliminated covid, and joy, from the Olympics." 

Safety is a crucial factor for the successful hosting of the Olympic Games. It is China's responsibility to protect the health of international athletes and all participants as well as maintain the daily life of the residents in the hosting city. China's strict measures against the virus, such as introducing the "closed loop" management system of the Games, is precisely based on the aim of protecting people's lives and public health, and to ensure a smooth holding of the Winter Olympics. 

In fact, athletes from around the world posted on social media platforms, showing how they enjoyed their time in the Olympic Village. These include playing virtual reality games, learning tai chi at the village's traditional Chinese medicine experience hall,  enjoying hairdressing, facials and manicure services at the village's hair salon, enjoying a snowball fight with volunteers following heavy snow, and celebrating the traditional Chinese festival with special snacks and festive activities like lantern riddles, lantern making and performances. 

Many overseas athletes speak highly of their time in Beijing, saying they felt very safe in the closed loop. Vicky Persinger, an American curler, said "We've felt super safe with everything around COVID and I'm super grateful that these Games can happen." 

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Friday that the Beijing 2022 has achieved success so far with extreme satisfaction and unprecedented Olympic spirit from the athletes. In terms of the COVID-19 countermeasures at Beijing 2022, he noted, "With an infection rate of 0.01, it was one of the safest places on the planet, if not the safest place on the planet and this is a great achievement."

Some US media's attacks on China's anti-epidemic work appear to partly come from their sour-grapes mentality. It seems that China's success at tackling the COVID-19 pains them to a point that they have to find some flaws with China with a magnifying glass. 

As US' death toll from the COVID-19 surpassed 934,000, instead of reflecting on why Washington failed to protect the American people, some US media turned to China and asked "but at what cost" did China save thousands if not millions of lives. 

The absurdity of this narrative is beyond baffling. It once again shows that China should ignore these noises and focus on doing the right thing. Rumors and slanders will eventually collapse in the face of facts.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn