China is facing a major resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic, with nearly 140,000 cases recorded since the beginning of November. The authorities have granted some relief in the “zero Covid” strategy, but severe health restrictions continue to apply.
The population is under constant pressure, threatened at any time with being confined. The Chinese have their eyes permanently riveted on their health application on the mobile phone. This health application has punctuated the daily life of all Chinese since the summer of 2020: this is where the results of the Covid tests are entered, with a QR code which allows access absolutely everywhere. It is therefore vital to have this QR code permanently with a green color.
It has become a habit, a reflex accepted by everyone. But right now, many Chinese are suddenly seeing “pop up” windows appear on their phones. And then a real nightmare begins: these notifications block your health application, an automatic message is displayed indicating that you must remain isolated at home. And anyway, you don’t really have a choice: you can’t go anywhere anymore, because your app no longer allows you to scan at the entrance to buildings. Impossible even to go get tested in a test cabin, as is done here in the street. You have to go to a hospital and the only solution is to go there on foot or by bike, because with the pop-up window, no taxi will accept you in their car.
Bugs, misunderstanding and anger
The justification for this system by the authorities is that the people concerned found themselves at some point near a Covid-positive person. It’s not always logical. For example, if a high-speed train passes through a neighborhood where there are cases, passengers comfortably seated in their car are likely to receive the notification on their phone, even if obviously there has not been any contact with cases. Covid.
It is then a real obstacle course that begins, to get rid of the window: it is necessary to multiply the calls to the neighborhood committee and to the hotline of the municipality. Sometimes there are bugs, which persist for several days. The worst part is for people who are on the go. The window prevents them from taking the train or the plane to return to their cities. This can last several weeks. On social networks, some Chinese do not hide their anger, because this system has cost them dearly: hotel nights to pay while waiting for the window to finally disappear. This is life in China in times of Covid.