Many have wondered about the utter insanity of China's "zero covid" policy and why its being maintained after a couple of years experience in which it fails repeatedly, and the virus keeps popping up.
"Zero covid" was always medically and physically bankrupt. Even masks are bankrupt as we knew all the way back to 1981 with Neil Orr's seminal study on the matter in operating rooms where everyone was a trained professional. That's the best possible test environment with no confounders, since everyone is trained and all the things in the room are sterilized -- and everyone scrubs in before entering.
Yet the results were what they were: The operating rooms where masks were not in use had decreased infection rates -- in the same hospital.
This study spurred several others, including one where they put micrometer-sized spheres in the masks before people donned them. They then found them in the wounds of the patients, which proved that (1) whatever the physician or nurse had in their mouth, nose and lungs was getting through and around the mask and (2) it wound up on and in the patients. This should have settled the debate immediately, but despite being reported, peer-reviewed and published all of that was ignored when Covid showed up.
Back in 2020 I pointed out the likely reasons for this outcome and that masks had a high probability of increasing risk rather than abating it, and made exactly that presentation here at a County Commission meeting. Every one of the Commissioners and our Mayor deserves to be in prison for intentionally increasing the hazard to residents and visitors here post that meeting. All of them should be in prison -- right here, right now, and should in fact rot there.
Nobody can claim to be ignorant of any of the basic facts; your car has an air filter because micrometer-sized dust particles are where basically all of the wear your engine takes come from. GM ran a seminal test decades ago and showed that every engine wears out after approximately one teaspoon of dirt passes through it. That one teaspoon can take 10 minutes to go through the engine or 300,000 miles and 20 years, but that's how much dirt is required to destroy the clearances necessary for proper operation and as long as that does not happen the engine continues to perform, absent mechanical failures, within spec.
All such filters -- in your car (for both air and oil), in your furnace, in a dehumidifier if you have one, in your vacuum cleaner (the bag and/or exit filter in a bagless unit) and more are designed to flow air through them in only one direction for this exact reason. The "clean" side of the filter is always the same from the time it is installed until it is discarded and backward flow is never allowed because if it is you will expel some of the trapped material back into the allegedly "clean" space. Turn your furnace filter around and re-insert it and you're about to have a huge cloud of dust come out of the vents!
Yet a mask that does not have an "exhaust valve" inherently does this every time you breathe. It thus transports whatever it traps to other places and then releases the trapped material in the new place. If someone coughs in your presence while wearing one outdoors as you near a place of business when you step inside having trapped that virus in the mask and exhale you just took a virus that would never harm anyone as it dissipates in seconds into the air outside and expelled it into the air indoors where it can infect someone.
People claimed "N95s" will solve this. Nope. Even fit-tested and worn properly, which medical people are trained to do (as is anyone else who's had such training, such as I) they are nowhere near 95% effective in real use. They're better than nothing at all but if you've ever worn one while, for example, sanding drywall you know damn well they reduce but do not prevent the dust getting around them, and that dust is many multiple of the size of a virus. We now have a published, large, multi-national study proving they don't work -- again, just as all the other studies have proved they don't work over the last forty years.
China believes they can "test and interdict" Covid. False, as now proved by more than two years of them literally welding people into their apartments or forcibly relocating them to "quarantine camps." The virus hangs out patiently and then infects people; all you've done is change the time to infection and the build of natural recognition of the virus and thus protection, not the outcome.
So why do they keep doing it?
That's predicated in their social-political system. China's leader, in this case Xi, is seen as being effectively "God" who cannot be wrong. To admit that he was wrong means he loses his "stick" and thus his claim on the leadership! This has been a feature of China's social and political system for millennia. This is intertwined with the CCP and its premise of communism; you can't choose a political party or set of beliefs in China and be a politician, there is only one choice and it is always correct: Communism, Chinese Style, and the collective decision of same is infallible.
In short China can't change its position in this regard as they've gone "all-in" publicly early on and to make said change is to admit they were wrong, which they will not do. Were Xi to do so he would lose his position and quite-possibly his head.
That's why they are even now building more isolation "camps" and quarantine facilities -- despite it being known that their policy in this regard is epidemiologically bankrupt and it is physically impossible for it to succeed.
Incidentally, we in the western world can learn from and exploit this foolish position of the Chinese government and people. It provides us with a very nice little niche in their alleged "bedrock" under their civilization and government into which we can insert a very large prybar and bring the entire thing down without firing a single shot.