Chinese Americans in Fargo compare ‘extremely opposite’ COVID responses in US, China – InForum

FARGO – Face masks have been one of the most controversial topics in Fargo at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and the arguments for and against them have led to threats and protests against school boards.

But in China, face masks were mandatory, as were negative COVID-19 tests.

The differences between the United States’ and China’s responses to pandemic protocols could not be starker.

In the US, guidelines issued by the federal and state governments have temporarily closed some businesses, but have also provided financial relief to citizens and companies.

China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic included “entrenched patterns of authoritarian control characterized by top-down management and rigid local implementation,” according to the Congressional Executive Committee on China.

According to Jeanne Sun, the country offered little or no aid laobaixingor citizens.

For three years, he stood in line for the coronavirus test every day. He could not leave his compound without a daily negative effect on himself. He couldn’t buy groceries or open his tattoo parlor for business.

In November last year, shortly after the October session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a 41-year-old Chinese woman was locked up without the proper daily test result, which works like a pass.

He hid in the trunk of a car while a friend took him to a safe house. There, he waited about 24 hours for a new test result before going home.

Zhanna Sun in the tattoo parlor.jpg

Zhanna Sun in her tattoo parlor in Beijing.

For a special forum

After widespread protests, China relaxed its epidemic rules in late December, but the government is now blaming Chinese citizens for the rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19, saying: “You wanted freedom, now you got it,” Sun said.

“It was a terrible three years, but many people got used to this life. After the government meeting, people were still kept at home. … People are really tired of it,” Sun said in a video interview from his apartment.

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He said about 300 people from his compound spoke with the mayor and some met with police to negotiate to open the compound.

“People are angry why the government has been lying to us for three years,” Sun said. “Every day they showed the number of deaths in other countries, and in the end we also have a lot of deaths. “

“Circumstances are very different”

Young Jun, president of United Chinese Americans of Fargo/Moorhead, has spent most of the past decade in North Dakota, but he keeps up with news from his home country.

When asked which country’s response to the epidemic was the most appropriate, he thought for a long time.

“That’s a very difficult question to answer,” Young said. “The rules of these two countries were extremely opposite. There are many people in China, and the communities in China are very diverse. In the last three years, they controlled. Now they believe the virus has weakened. They know they need to release control now to keep the business going.

“The circumstances are very different. Americans feel that they reacted correctly, while in China they think that they are correct,” Yang said.

One difference he noticed is that political leaders in China, rather than health professionals, have been making decisions regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are cities that are hit very hard. The place where my family is, there are many positive people, and some are very serious. Some have died. But in Beijing, I heard that there are many,” he said.

“There are many small businesses that have closed and there is no government assistance. they devoured their savings. Many large corporations are also affected and the revenue is terrible,” he said.

Xinhua Jia, a professor at North Dakota State University for 16 years, said he returned to China shortly before the outbreak of the coronavirus, but has not been able to return home to Urumqi, Xinjiang since then.

He encouraged his elderly parents to stay at home, and when they fell ill, they secluded themselves and recovered.

Jia also wasn’t sure what the best response was to fight the coronavirus.

“My younger brother has his own business in Beijing, and the government has never helped him. He suffered financially during the epidemic. China’s economic situation has made everyone suffer to some extent,” he said.

Because of China’s dense population, he agreed to initial strict protocols to fight the epidemic.

“In the beginning, if there wasn’t so much control, things would have been worse,” Jia said.

Now that the peak of the epidemic in the United States has passed, he looks back on the past three years and realizes that “the biggest difference I’ve seen is that the Chinese have paid a lot of attention; shen sior life and country, but Americans weren’t so concerned about that, especially when it came to wearing a mask.”

Normally prone to the winter flu, Jia began wearing face masks when the epidemic began. He has never been sick since then, he said.

Although China’s official figures are imprecise and they stopped reporting many cases in December, the latest statistics show that China has had more than 11 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 34,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Those national figures are likely low, as some regional reports, such as those for Zhejiang province, say they’re seeing 1 million new cases a day in December 2022, according to the PBS News Hour.

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The United States has had more than 100 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1.1 million deaths, according to the WHO.

North Dakota has more than 280,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with more than 2,400 deaths, according to North Dakota Health and Human Services.

In Beijing, where Sun lives, data fluctuated and the death rate was not known.

Sun lost his business, like many others in China, and can no longer rent. Even after restrictions are lifted in December, he has little hope. His old customer base is gone. His businesses were forcibly shut down last April by law enforcement and agents of the Bureau of Industry and Commerce.

Jeanne Sun was on a much needed vacation in China.jpg

Zhanna Sun just before the start of the coronavirus epidemic.

For a special forum

He received no government assistance and, being self-employed, his health insurance premiums have recently increased.

As in the US, groceries are more expensive.

Famous artist and musician Suni refused to issue a new passport. He’s not sure what he’s going to do, but he’s trying to rent out his apartment and the business he still owns.

For the first year of the epidemic, people mostly succumbed, hoping the hard times would pass, Sun said. In the second year, people began to use up their savings. The third year they got angry, he said.

“A lot of people lost their jobs and China lost a lot of foreign companies that were investing. For me, my tattoo clients are mostly expats, and they’ve all left because they don’t want to stay in China anymore,” he said.

“We made all efforts for three years for the government to contain the virus, but in the end the result is the same. It is the same virus. At this point, everyone is sick and many old people have died. Nothing has changed,” Sun said.


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