The Stream

Coronavirus: How is China faring post-lockdown?

Millions of people across country adapt to a reality far different from what existed before COVID-19 outbreak.

On Wednesday, May 13 at 19:30 GMT:
Round upon round of temperature checks at building entrances. Nervous glances between passengers on the reawakening subway trains. And a working day that bans close contact with colleagues. Millions of people across China are readjusting to public life after the lifting of weeks-long lockdowns and other restrictions that sought to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Governments in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan – the latter the first epicentre of what has now mushroomed into the coronavirus pandemic – are among those trying to walk a line between letting people resume a semblance of regular life while minimising the risk of future outbreaks. Yet the “new normal” in China is very different from life before lockdown. Apart from having to follow rules and regulations imposed by local authorities, people are also making major changes to their personal lives, from taking different commutes to working different hours. Many are cutting their daily outgoings, and some are even considering moving from expensive megacities to places where their money will stretch further.

Chinese authorities are placing big data at the heart of efforts to keep coronavirus at bay, with a QR code-based “traffic light” system tracking people’s movements and health. But critics say that coronavirus is being used as a pretext for increased surveillance of the entire population well into the future. Governments around the world are closely watching China’s strategy to combat the pandemic, amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington over US President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the origin of the coronavirus.

We will look at how people in China are adapting to daily life after coronavirus upended what came before. Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream we are joined by:
Katrina Yu, @Katmyu
China correspondent, Al Jazeera English

Xi Lu
Information technology scientist

Yaqiu Wang, @Yaqiu 
China researcher at Human Rights Watch 

Read more:
Home delivery network fuels China economy amid lockdown – Al Jazeera
Exclusive: Videos show huge medical equipment backlog in China – Al Jazeera