Bloomberg’s inhuman curse won’t stop Chinese from enjoying jubilant Spring Festival
Published: Jan 20, 2023 07:25 PM
People select new year decorations at a market in Zhengding County of Shijiazhuang, north China's Hebei Province, Jan 18, 2023. Photo:Xinhua

People select new year decorations at a market in Zhengding County of Shijiazhuang, north China's Hebei Province, Jan 18, 2023. Photo:Xinhua

The day has come - the first Spring Festival since China optimized its COVID pandemic responses, as well as restored social life back to normal. Some are looking forward to reuniting with family, some are on the way home and some have already started enjoying a beautiful time with loved ones. It is supposed to be a sweet moment. However, certain Western media outlets are observing it only through a negative lens, choreographing eye-catching negative stories about China, without scientific manner or professionalism. Worse, they seem to have even dropped humanitarianism.

Take Bloomberg for example. It published an article on Friday titled, "COVID Catastrophe Looms for China's New Year Travelers," saying that "known as the world's biggest human migration, the holiday traditionally involves packed planes, trains, buses and ferries" and that Chinese people may be bringing COVID-19 with them, spreading the virus to every corner of the country. "This New Year travel could bring about inevitably catastrophic consequences for many families," the article concluded with a shrill warning.

A sense of a malicious curse is spilling over from this narrative. This is not a scientific forecast based on rigorous analysis, but comes, to some extent, from the wishes of some Westerners deep down in their hearts. They have long been anticipating a catastrophe in China and they cannot wait to make a fuss every once in a while when they see some fragmented clues. Whether they are looking for a chance to embarrass China, or casting an evil spell on China, their voices have exposed their inhumane nature.

The problems raised in Bloomberg's article have been effectively relieved over the past month. Every corner of the country is working around the clock to be better prepared for Spring Festival, the most important festival for the Chinese people. For instance, the article specifically singled out the coming risks in rural China, as some are unfamiliar with the virus, with no exposure or natural immunity, and medical resources in remote areas being scarce.

The truth is, according to the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, 98.7 percent of hospitals at township and community levels have fever clinics as of January 7. Chinese medical institutions at all levels are taking all the necessary measures to increase resources and personnel.

Granted, the risk of the virus spreading does exist, but is far from a "catastrophe." A medical expert who asked for anonymity told the Global Times that if China's infection peak had overlapped the period of Spring Festival, observers would have due reason for concern, but since Chinese provinces have already passed this peak it will make all the difference.

The National Health Commission noted that the number of fever clinic visits nationwide peaked on December 23, 2022 and decreased by 94 percent by January 17. The national number of emergency department visits peaked on January 2, and decreased by 44 percent from the peak on January 17.

According to the expert, the situation has two significances. First, the number of infected people have largely reduced, meaning infection sources have evidently decreased. Second, short-term herd immunity has already been established among Chinese people, and the efficiency of the current immunity is relatively high, which could help block the spread of not only the existing virus in China, but also imported viruses. Small-scale outbreaks could happen, but large-scale resurgence is unlikely.

Nevertheless, US media outlets are not interested in the truth, even if they have already underestimated China's resilience and flexibility to cope with challenges time and again. It is because of this mentality that Washington's own pandemic response went off the rails, and the US has even dented global cooperation in the face of the public health crisis.

Smears and curses from the West started from day one of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over time, such badmouthing has become growingly careless, unscientific, wicked and even inhumane. But China has come to where it is today, through all ups and downs. This time too, no matter how pessimistic US media is when screaming about China, their narrative will go bankrupt, as before. Very soon, they will find themselves incapable of stopping Chinese people from enjoying Spring Festival.