‘Since late December, the citizens of China have watched in sheer disbelief as the little freedom they had left was eliminated due to the coronavirus outbreak. Millions of people have been locked down in their homes, major cities have turned into ghost towns and those who dare venture out are arrested and thrown in internment camps. When citizens are allowed in the streets, drones equipped with facial recognition hover overhead to make sure they are wearing masks. Citizens are forced to download software on their phones so the state can track them and all of it is being carried out for their own “safety.” The fact is that China has become an Orwellian nightmare and experts are predicting that this police state will stay even if the coronavirus threat does not.
The police state is not only unfolding in China either. On Monday, as coronavirus cases continued to rise in Italy, Italian officials have begun rolling out similar police state measures. If citizens attempt to flee the country to avoid such tyranny, they face jail. Anyone leaving the “containment regions” risks three months in prison, or a fine of up to 206 euros ($234), Luciana Lamorgese said on Monday.
Unfortunately, most top officials are not questioning these measures and, in fact, many are praising them.
Despite such a hellish police state in China in which citizens are routinely spied on and arrested, the World Health Organization praised the Chinese government’s response. Of course, locking people down and disallowing travel and commerce will be effective in the short term. But other experts question whether or not these measures will be effective once children go back to school and workers return to factories.
“I think they did an amazing job of knocking the virus down,” said Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “But I don’t know if it’s sustainable. What have the Chinese really accomplished? Have they really contained the virus? Or have they just suppressed it?”
What’s more, even the NY Times doubts the numbers coming from China as the government has changed the way they count the cases of coronavirus several times over the past few weeks.’