“Is it played on another planet?”

The scenes of maskless fans huddled together and partying in Doha have brought bewilderment and anger among the Chinese, confined and isolated.

Los pandemic lockdowns they spread all over China. The number of coronavirus infections is growing at daily record rates despite Beijing’s rigid covid-zero policy, isolating populations by the millions.

And the Chinese begin to rage. The scenes that arrive on TV from Doha show people who come together, sing, shout, do not wear a mask… And they ask themselves: Is the World Cup in Qatar being played on another planet?

The frustration among the Chinese is no longer that their team is not playing in Doha. It is to see that the reality with which the pandemic is being handled outside of China is another. Even at home, the Chinese were “recommended” not get together to watch the games for fear of contagion.



People with masks in a bar decorated in the theme of the World Cup, in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters

Many have used the World Cup to complain on the internet on China’s existing strategies. The country maintains a zero covid policy, where entire communities are locked down for single cases of the virus, to prevent it from spreading. But the strategy leaks, and the shoots grow.

Currently, China is experiencing his worst outbreak in six monthsand localized blocks have increased in recent weeks.

In the last 24 hours, China has registered more than 28,000 new cases.

To the residents of eight districts of Zhengzhou, home to 6.6 million people, ordered to stay at home for five days starting this Thursday, except to buy food or receive medical care. Daily mass tests ordered in what the city government called a “war of annihilation” against the virus.

During clashes on Tuesday and Wednesday, Zhengzhou policemen beat workers protesting a pay dispute at Apple’s biggest iPhone factory, located in an industrial zone near the city.

But also, an outbreak at that plant would have forced the confinement of its employees, mixing healthy with infected.

Now the whole city is under lock and key.

zhengzhou china demonstrations protest employees factory iphone

This week also, the authorities reported the first deaths from COVID-19 in China in the past six months, bringing the total to 5,232.

While the numbers of cases and deaths are relatively low compared to the United States and other countries, China’s ruling Communist Party remains committed to a “zero COVID” strategy that aims to isolate cases entirely and eliminate the virus. virus completely.

Most governments of other countries they are done with antivirus checks and now rely on vaccines and immunity from past infections to help prevent death and serious illness.

In the midst of a coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese are forced to wear masks.  Photo: Reuters


In the midst of a coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese are forced to wear masks. Photo: Reuters

The reality of the World Cup

And that became clear to the Chinese when the World Cup began this weekend.

Football It is very popular in China. President Xi Jinping is known to be a sports lover, and has previously said that it is a dream for the country to win the World Cup.

As a result, matches are broadcast on national broadcaster CCTV and the state media have tried to amplify the “presence” of China. The Global Times has reported on how Chinese-made products “ranging from buses to the (Lusail) stadium, and even air-conditioning units, are well represented at the event.”

Mainstream media such as CCTV have also promoted the presence of Chinese standard bearers at the opening ceremony and how of the giant pandas they came to Qatar to “meet” the visitors arriving for the event.

China sent two giant pandas to Qatar for the World Cup.  Photo: Denour / AFP


China sent two giant pandas to Qatar for the World Cup. Photo: Denour / AFP

But while there is a party in Qatar, with Chinese products included, the Chinese at home cannot do anything.

It is evident that the Covid-19 has put a stop to the celebrations. In major cities, the outbreaks have caused non-essential businesses to close once again and people have been urged to limit their movement.

No bars to go tothe Global Times newspaper says that some fans “are choosing to watch games at home with their families.”

Flights between Qatar and China they also remain severely limited for those hoping to see the event in person.

Many feel very isolated watching this year’s event.

Are Qatar and China on the same planet?

South Korean fans in Qatar.  Photo: Jung Yeon-je / AFP


South Korean fans in Qatar. Photo: Jung Yeon-je / AFP

As reported this Thursday by the British channel BBC, an open letter that questioned the continuous zero covid policies in the country and asked if China was “on the same planet” as Qatar spread rapidly on the WeChat mobile messaging service on Tuesday, before being censored.

Comments on the Twitter-like social network Weibo are full of viewers talking about how watching this year’s games makes them feel. divided from the rest of the world.

Some speak of their perception that it is “rare” to see hundreds of thousands of people gatheredwithout wearing a mask or without the need to show evidence of a recent Covid-19 test.




It is “rare” to see hundreds of thousands of people gathered together, without wearing a mask, the Chinese complain online. Photo: EFE

There are no separate seats so that people can maintain social distance, and there is no one dressed in a white and blue (medical) outfit on the sidelines. This planet has really split.”

“On one side of the world is the carnival that is the World Cup, on the other are the rules of not visiting public places for five days,” someone wrote.

Clarín writing with information from agencies and BBC News

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