EYESHENZHEN  /   Opinion

Seeing is believing, but not this time!

Writer: Don Rechtman  |  Editor: Jane Chen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-04-18

A doctor is taught that you can't identify the disease if you don't know about it. Similarly, if all one sees is the negative side of an issue, they may not see the full picture.

Several friends from the West sent me links to stories and videos about the pending downfall of China due to "the government's tyrannical treatment of citizens in Shanghai" in response to people's lack of basic services during the COVID lockdown. I responded by showing the multitudes of stories and videos of how the government and citizens are working together to provide for everyone's needs as part of the process to contain the virus.

When it became apparent to the government's health ministry that the virus had the potential of taking over Shanghai, immediate brakes were applied. Initially, people were sequestered into their current locations; in some instances parents and children were temporarily separated. Others initially had no immediate access to food or conveniences. As quickly as possible, mechanisms were established to ensure that adequate food, medicine, housing and family unification were available to everyone. Unfortunately, the BBC, CNN and other Western media neglected to show the updates, as they were not newsworthy. Their primary concern is to provide material that attracts viewers and therefore advertisers, upon whom they depend for their livelihoods. All the West got to see was some of the problems during the initial response.

I'm a U.S. citizen currently living in Shenzhen, and locally we've had our own COVID difficulties as has most of China. (Currently Shenzhen's neighboring city Guangzhou is under a lockdown, though not as strict when compared to Shanghai.) However, while admittedly there are those few who are less cooperative, I am proud of the Chinese people and the government's response to COVID, as collectively it is a response of unity and trust.

Although there is currently no "official" outdoor mask mandate in my community at the foot of Wutong Mountain, many still choose to wear masks outside. We are tested daily here and thus far everyone has shown as negative; however, as many Chinese correctly believe that much of the current COVID in China originated from foreigners entering China, I choose to wear my mask whenever outside as a show of respect to my neighbors.

Stories abound about the "pending downfall" of China due to economic collapse, rebellion, and COVID, and probably even space lasers! When you see such news or hear of it from your family or friends, please share the "other side" of the story. China and its people are here to stay, and will continue to be a role model for the establishment of global peace and prosperity.

(The author is a music teacher and freelance writer living in Shenzhen.)