Why China isn’t crowing about the West’s Covid ‘failure’ any more

Nearly 40 years ago, I was in Beijing when China discovered its first case of Aids. As soon as the authorities realised that the victim, an Argentinian-American man, was suffering from this new disease, they locked him in his hotel room.

Food was left outside his door. The used dishes and cutlery were immediately destroyed. When he left, all the furnishings, carpets, curtains, everything was taken away and burned.

The Chinese do not do things by halves.

Quarantine, for example, means quarantine. A friend returning to Shanghai with his wife and infant recently took the risk that if they or their child contracted Covid during their three weeks’ quarantine, they would be parted from the one-year-old for the duration. Fortunately, none of them fell ill.