The Indicator from Planet Money - The View From Beijing

China effectively stopped the spread of the virus early in the global pandemic. Life there has subsequently been quite different this year. | Support public radio here.

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everyone is Cardiff. This is the indicator from Planet Money. Damn long lives in Beijing is an analyst at Gap Cal research. Reanalyze is Chinese technological Trends in the Chinese economy that we featured an on the indicator back in March because at the time things here in New York City where I live or terrible really tense Kobe cases and deaths were Rising fast. It was clear that New York and really all of the us we're going to have to endure a lot of restrictions on life in the economy in the coming months and speaking with Dan gave me hope back then because Beijing which has been hit with covid-19 in the year was already coming out of its own tough lockdown and is Dan told us at the time is Stephen to see the city getting back to normal and I think people are extra glad to be outside and even offered some parting words.

optimism for the rest of the world based on his experience wash her hands avoid crowds and this will probably get better only got better for a few months in the spring and summer before there was a massive new Spike of Kobe cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths from

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Can we last spoke in mid-march? And of course things in China have been a lot better when it comes to covid-19 Zhang's in the US and in Europe in other parts of the world. What is your life in Beijing been like since you and I spoke as my life back in March. So basically, you know, according to the official numbers released by the Chinese government. The virus have been pretty much completely decisively beaten back by April and so really since April, there's been just a steady loosening up of all of these different restrictions that we last spoke about in March. I spent a month in a Shanghai which has been hitting it over September. I wish has been broadly open hot and what I found out really sending their back in September was not everybody was taking meeting so everybody was taking business meetings once again,

We're having coffee people were having lunch. I gave several presentations to different folks on the things. I was really struck by was not everybody was reaching out to shake my hands hot. Is. This is this is all one of these weird things. I thought this is maybe we should stop this sort of thing guys. Usually I try to throw these things in fist-bumps. I thought it was some sort of funny how you know the culture that didn't invent hand shaking is now perpetuating that's kind of weird to normal life in Beijing even though the spread of covet

Around 90% of the folks all walking around the city now not quite cold or wearing masks. It's round - 5x think everyone is nervous about Covetous. Well as the flu season and then the other big thing I think is. Most places I go. I have to flash a contact tracing app that I have installed on my phone basically to show a green button to make sure that I have not been to any high-risk areas are recently there are broader travel restrictions in that if I leave the country. It is really really difficult. You get back into China. These are basically the only thing still left that I have to deal with intrusive covet hear about fighting covid-19 found or still find to be very invasive and it may be bothered you that the biggest part of China's response that was critical of centralized quarantine.

Edit post this by a centralized quarantine system in which he got a lot of people into stadiums and that was a fairly invasive heart procedure. But in retrospect this sort of thing, huh seems like I'm not extremely effective at actually stopping at the virus on March 26th, the Chinese government announced with no warning that no foreigners. How are able to enter the country again? If you had valid visas to visit family to visit. For 4 or business here, all of that was just suddenly cut off on March 26th and trying to also limited the ability of hot. Even Chinese Nationals also to ensure the country by limiting the number of flights here. So, you know, I think the travel restrictions I think has been a really important part of basically China's response of thought stopping out covid-19.

Call the introduction of new iPod cases, even though that has been a highly destructive on a lot of folks who live here are and who work here Newfound appreciation for the physical world the tangible World relative to like the digital world and I'm wondering if that lessens stuck or if now it's starting to kind of fade away because life is return to normal for you and Hannah was till I'm far as I tried as heavy industry. So, you know, the bigger the machines the for the heavier. The machine is the matter has what I've always thought most people are stuck at home, you know people a lot of people like to say that they really want to watch Netflix on the run is sleep anymore and I feel that that's fun for a couple of weeks. But really what you want to do is get back I'll engage with the world again, and I'll go on Hikes meet with friends and you know, I'll get out of the house not simply.

Doom digital products. Or books or even podcasts all day long and I'm still sticking with my idea that and not the material world is really really important and we should all be engaging with that's a lot more last question Dan. What's been your reaction to the news that a vaccine seems like it's on the horizon, you know increasingly not just in the US but in other countries throughout the world and and also in China do first while it's really great to see these facts he is with such high levels of efficacy. And so what I am looking to see is how quickly that are manufacturing can be scaled up how quickly that be distributed. I think it's certainly important to make sure that this gets distributed quickly. Also. You know, if this other that the quick work of the scientist can actually be really effective here and any parting words from Beijing for our listeners in the US.

Other parts of the world braids to wear masks you can Hogs probably still creates a socially distance until the vaccine actually got his forearm both shots, and maybe let's shake hands in the future. Thanks so much.


play Jamila Huxtable and fact-checked by Sean cell. Our editors Patty Hearst and the indicator is a production of NPR.

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