The world is learning to let go of face masks as the Covid-19 situation has improved significantly. But, in China, the story is very different. Videos of people fleeing factories, walking along the highway for miles to reach their homes, and getting stranded for days in the most unusual of places are going viral.
Such scenes bring back the haunting memories of 2020 from various parts of the world including India. In China, these scenes are still very common.
The reason: The Chinese Communist Party's zero-Covid policy.
Remember when Chinese Premier Xi Jinping said there is no going back on the policy anytime soon during the recently concluded National Congress gathering?
Now, two particular videos reveal the horrors of Xi Jinping's zero-Covid policy:
Video 1: iPhone factory workers escape
Foxconn workers in Zhengzhou City, Henan province , #CCPCHINA escaping. There was a shortage of food inside the Foxconn factory after the #COVID outbreak and lockdown. only by escaping can they survive. #AmazingChina pic.twitter.com/IYca5k9GCW— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferzeng97) October 31, 2022
Why did they flee? According to reports, the factory area has been put under a severe Covid lockdown.
The scary angle: Soon after the escape videos went viral, another video claiming to be taken from outside a Foxconn dormitory said that Covid positive workers confined into isolation had died due to lack of food and basic necessities in Room 726.
Response of Foxconn: The Taiwanese global manufacturer of Apple iPhones said that they are not stopping workers from leaving.
Video 2: Shanghai Disneyland becomes a jail
Breaking：Guests entered park earlier today were required to have PCR test and didnt leave park untill the result came out. They were leaving the park about 1 hr ago #Halloween #Halloween2022 #ShanghaiDisneyland #SHDL #上海ディズニーランド #ディズニーランド #上海ディズニ pic.twitter.com/OpgefYWz3z— DONGDONG (@gourmetdyy) October 31, 2022
This sort of situation is not too uncommon in China. Videos had gone viral earlier showing Chinese people trying to flee stores, shops, and famously an IKEA store to escape being trapped over the Covid shutdown.
Ikea Shoppers Panic After Security Locks Down Store on Covid Risk in China pic.twitter.com/s8vlEDnJuZ— 🇯🇴🇭🇳🇾 🇿🇮🇩 ♥️🇮🇳 (@Johny_mera_name) August 15, 2022
On the other hand, Chinese netizens on Douyin (Chinese TikTok) have adopted an unusual way to protest against the unpopular Covid policy - by grooving to late Indian musician Bappi Lahiri's Jimmy Jimmy song from 1982 film Disco Dancer.
The only change is that "Jimmy Jimmy" has become "Jie mi, jie mi" which, loosely translated from Mandarin is, "Give me rice, give me rice".
In China, Bappi Lahri’s Jimmy Jimmy song is going viral because Jie Mi means “Give Me Rice” in Mandarin— Monica Verma (@TrulyMonica) November 1, 2022
Zero Covid Policy has left people food-less. pic.twitter.com/sFj2Q7XWGl
Chinese people during long lockdowns have struggled with stocking up on essential supplies, with some running out of basic food items. So far, the protest has escaped the axe of China's censors.