Thinking Citizen Blog — Grading China’s Zero Covid Policy: “A,” “B,” “C” or “D”?

John Muresianu
3 min readMay 27, 2022


Thinking Citizen Blog — Thursday is Health, Health Care, and Global Health Policy Day

Today’s Topic: Grading China’s Zero Covid Policy: “A,” “B,” “C” or “D”?

Do we even have enough information to make an assessment? By what\ objective yardstick can the performances of very different countries be compared? Are Covid death counts country to country comparable? Are lockdown cost estimates remotely accurate? Today, a few excerpts from an article in the New York Times on the disillusionment of the young in China. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “Four years ago, many young Chinese liked to use the hashtag #AmazingChina. Two years ago, they said that China was the “A” student in pandemic control and urged the rest of the world, especially the United States, to “copy China’s homework.”

2. “Now many believe that they’re the most unlucky generation since the 1980s as Beijing’s persistent pursuit of the zero Covid policy is wreaking havoc.”

3. “Jobs are hard to find. Frequent Covid testing dictates their lives. The government is imposing more and more restrictions on their individual liberty while pushing them to get married and have more children.”

“I CAN’T STAND THE THOUGHT THAT I WILL HAVE TO DIE IN THIS PLACE,” (Cheng Xinyu, 19 year old student in Chengdu)

1. “I like children, but I don’t dare to have them here because I won’t be able to protect them,”

2. From what? “pandemic control workers breaking into apartments to spray disinfectant, killing pets and requiring residents to leave the keys in their apartment door locks.”

3. “Ms. Cheng is part of a new trend known as the “run philosophy,” or “runxue,” that preaches running away from China to seek a safer and brighter future.”

NB: “She and millions of others also reposted a video in which a young man pushed back against police officers who warned that his family would be punished for three generations if he refused to go to a quarantine camp. “This will be our last generation,” he told the police… His response became an online meme that was later censored.”


1. “Not bringing children to this country, to this land, will be the most charitable deed I could manage,” wrote a Weibo user under the hashtag #thelastgeneration before it was censored.”

2. “As ordinary people who’re not entitled to individual dignity, our reproductive organs will be our last resort,” wrote another Weibo user.”

3. The “run philosophy” and the “last generation” are the rallying cries for many Chinese in their 20s and 30s who despair about their country and their future. They are entering the labor force, getting married and deciding whether to have children in one of the country’s bleakest moments in decades. Censored and politically suppressed, some are considering voting with their feet while others want to protest by not having children.”

NB: “A new survey of more than 20,000 people, mostly female between 18 and 31, found that two-thirds of them didn’t want to have children.”

China’s youth are disillusioned amid harsh zero-Covid policy enforcement.

China’s ‘Zero Covid’ Mess Proves Autocracy Hurts Everyone

Zero-COVID — Wikipedia


PDF with headlines — Google Drive


#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20


Please share the most interesting thing you learned in the last week related to health, health care or health care policy — the ethics, economics, politics, history…. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to health are or health care policy that the rest of us may have missed. Or just some random health-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something really important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters.



John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.