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More Harm than Good

Updated: May 15, 2020

I feel lucky that most of the worst of COVID-19 has passed in Guiyang, China. The good news is that mostly everything is open again, everyone’s going back to work and even schools are opening this week. People still wear masks when they go out, but I suppose that will be the case until we have some sort of vaccine or medicine. You can travel now, so I recently visited my son who lives in a suburb outside the city, and to do so I went through security screening where they checked my temperature and I proved I have family in the area.

Even though we’re only a two hour flight from where the virus originated, there were just about a total of 150 patients in Guizhou province since the beginning. Thankfully there aren’t any more cases in our hospitals, because everyone has been very cautious to stay at home and follow the rules.

Our security measures continue to be really strict. I live in a group of apartment complexes, and every time I leave I have to “log” it with the location and time on my phone, and when I get back I have to use ID and face recognition at the gate to verify that I live there. Getting on a bus, you have to use your phone for identification and to log that information too. Going into a grocery store, leaving your city, doing anything and everything, you have to log the place and time on your phone, so that if there’s an outbreak somewhere that you visited, the government can notify you about it directly. They may even send a doctor to your home to test you for COVID and disinfect your house.

Even though these measures of surveillance and testing are inconvenient and a bit intrusive, I’ve come to realize that it’s for our own good, as well as the protection of those who are more vulnerable and susceptible to the virus. We can reopen our institutions, but until we have an antidote, we’ll still need to stay vigilant. It is frustrating to see people around the world protesting against protective policies, because all of our freedoms are being restricted a bit right now, but the alternative is that many people will fall sick or pass away. Although exercising your rights is important, at what point does it cause more harm than good? We need to present a unified front right now against this crisis, each of us playing our part, for the health and safety of us all.


Written by: Michelle Zimmermann

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