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World Cup highlights COVID-19 lockdown blues for Chinese language followers

BEIJING: Photos of mask-free followers having fun with the World Cup in packed Qatar stadiums, or bars and streets overseas, have underscored to many pissed off Chinese language the distinction between their nation’s heavy COVID-19 curbs and a world that has moved on from masks and lockdowns.

Social media feedback from individuals within the football-mad nation reveal a rising sense of isolation among the many inhabitants, in addition to weariness and anger over China’s chosen zero-COVID path of lockdowns, frequent checks and closed borders.

In a single instance from the early hours of Thursday (Nov 24), a video of a whole lot of Japanese followers going wild at Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing after Japan’s sudden 2-1 victory over Germany went viral on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

“Is that this the identical world as ours?” requested one Weibo consumer from Sichuan province in a remark preferred 1000’s of occasions.

“Have they performed a COVID-19 take a look at?” wrote one other, mocking testing necessities in China that in some locations are actually day by day amid a resurgence of circumstances. “Why aren’t they sporting masks?”

Feedback like these have flooded Chinese language social media for the reason that World Cup started on Sunday night time, an indication that some Chinese language really feel they’ve discovered a secure area to vent over the nation’s COVID-19 insurance policies. 

China’s “dynamic-zero” stance, a signature coverage of Chinese language President Xi Jinping, is politically delicate, and direct criticisms on-line are sometimes blocked on the nation’s closely censorsed Web and may even result in arrest.

“It has been three years, are COVID-19 circumstances not cleared but?” wrote a consumer in Guangdong province.


An open letter to China’s Nationwide Well being Fee requested if the nation was “on the identical planet” as Qatar and went viral on Tuesday earlier than being deleted.

“My largest takeaway from watching the World Cup: Nobody is sporting a masks, and nobody is afraid of the pandemic!” wrote a Weibo consumer surnamed Wang. “How lengthy will the insurance policies preserve us in lockdown? Are we not the identical species with these from the remainder of the world? Are we closing off the whole nation from the world now?” 

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