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Riding the Covid tiger

“He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount” – Chinese proverb.

*

China’s decision-makers face a quandary after maintaining an open-ended “zero Covid” policy with doomsday predictions of the alternative, said Huang. “What if they eased controls and nothing significant happened? Then people would question why Beijing imposed such harsh measures for so long.”

– Philip Sherwell, in a (paywalled) piece for the Sunday Times called “Millions under lockdown to stop Covid spoiling Xi Jinping’s party congress”.

Meanwhile, in an interview broadcast on Sunday, President Biden declared that the pandemic was over. Then someone noticed that would mean that the “Covid emergency” justification for his student loan payoff was also over, along with the justification for mask mandates. So the White House undeclared the president’s declaration:

A day later, an administration official told CNN that the President’s comments do not mark a change in policy toward the administration’s handling of the virus, and there are no plans to lift the Public Health Emergency, which has been in place since January 2020 and is currently extended through October 13.

I am not sure why “the administration” trumps “the president”, unless it is to give him practice in getting Trumped.

22 comments to Riding the Covid tiger

  • Steven R

    1) I doubt Beijing really cares what the Chinese people have to say, and if they get too miffed about it, a few public executions for “counter-revolutionary activities” will remind the masses to shut up or else.

    2) The administration trumps the president because the entire world knows Biden is a demented figurehead and Heels-Up Harris is so goddamned stupid it is physically painful to watch. Someone has to mind the store, but it would be nice to know who the power behind the throne is.

  • Paul Marks

    I do not know what is going on in China – there are conflicting reports.

    But we do know the following…

    Covid 19 was created in the research establishment in Wuhan – by research undertaken by the Chinese but backed by Peter Daszak (Eco Health Alliance) and Tony Fauci (United States Federal Government), neither of these men has been punished.

    Covid 19 then either escaped from the lab or was deliberately leaked – we do not know which is the truth.

    Covid 19 was then spread round the world – as Wuhan international airport was kept upon even as travel from Wuhan to other parts of China was restricted. That can only have been a deliberate policy to spread Covid 19 in the West – biological warfare.

    Both the World Health Organisation and Tony Fauci at first denied that Covid 19 was a danger and resisted travel restrictions with China – thus aiding and abetting biological warfare against the West.

    The international establishment, including Tony Fauci and other “public health” bureaucrats, then supported the utterly insane “lockdown” policy (designed to do as much damage to Western countries as possible – it most certainly did NOT reduce deaths from Covid 19) and went out of their way to smear Early Treatment of Covid 19 – thus seeking to increase Covid causalities, in order to justify the lockdowns and other measures. There were also fake (agitprop) videos produced by the People’s Republic of China – showing people dropping dead in the streets (and so on) – in an effort to push the “lockdown” policy in the West (in order to the West harm) and there was also an agitprop campaign on-line – with fake Twitter accounts (and so on) created to support the terrible policies of such governments as that of Victoria Australia.

    Then came the “vaccines” – at this stage claims of their being “safe and effective” ring rather hollow, to put the matter mildly.

    The last two and half years has been unfortunate, to say the least, but at least we now know just how hostile the international establishment is – and how they work hand in hand with the People’s Republic of China Communist Party Dictatorship.

    We also now know that the Corporate establishment is much the same as the government establishment – for example Corporate medicine in the United States dismissed medical doctors (and nurses and so on) for the “crime” of trying to get effective Early Treatment for Covid 19 to vulnerable people.

    There is nothing, nothing, the international establishment (both government and corporate) will not do to further their aim of control over the lives of ordinary people.

    Again, this is most unfortunate – but at least we now know what the position is.

  • Freddo

    My guess is it would be easy to wait for the next major covid variant, ease controls and have the state media celebrate the success of government policy in protecting the population from the more dangerous earlier variants. Looking at how Western state/social media are successfully putting a cordone sanitaire around Denmarks new stance on vaccination or the current excess deaths it is likely that Chinese media will be able to shift the publics attention.

    Never mind the covid emergency justification for the student loans; the covid emergency measures to ensure “free, safe and open voting” through mail-in ballot boxes are of course more important to the proper functioning of the state.

  • Paul Marks

    Has the Communist Party Dictatorship in the People’s Republic of China gone mad – is it now following the insane “lockdown” policies it pushed in the West (to do harm to the West – again there was never any real prospect that such policies would reduce deaths from Covid 19)?

    I do not know – there is clearly a lockdown in some cities, but how widespread the policy is, I do not know.

    The Dictator of China may (may – I do not know) have been trapped by his rhetoric.

    I am reminded of the Imperial German Verdun operation in the First World War.

    At first the operation made good sense – the French were to be drawn into the Verdun area, an area where they could be shelled (and so on) from three sides, and the French supply road to the area was deliberately left open by the Germans – so the French would send more and more men down “the Sacred Way” to their deaths.

    However, the Germans became bewitched by their own plan – and the German public started to demand that Verdun-must-fall, so in the end hundreds of thousands of GERMAN troops (not just French troops) were killed or maimed.

    Has the same sort of thing hit China? Their plan was successful, great harm was done to the West (thanks to the network of traitors – Fauci and so many others, in governments and the corporations, including the medical and media corporations) – but has now their own plan turned round to bite them?

    Yet again, I do not know.

  • Martin

    “I am not sure why “the administration” trumps “the president”, unless it is to give him practice in getting Trumped.”

    Oooh, that was beautiful 🙂 That sentence alone made my day!

  • Exasperated

    I occasionally watch Dr Drew, an internist and celebrity doctor, who has expressed distress and chagrin over the actions of his own profession. He can’t believe how medical professionals could roll over and submit to the diktats of administrative types and at some state and local levels, social workers. If physicians are not exercising judgement and weighing the cost/benefit for each patient, who needs them. They are not professionals; they are techs.
    We know why the hospitals rolled over, they were heavily incentivized to do so; the whole endeavor was awash in money

  • Exasperated

    The whole government response was strange and kept spiraling into stranger and stranger. I don’t know how many of you aware that after 9/11, there were all kinds of blue ribbon committees assigned to develop protocols and contingencies of all kinds, including biohazard/bioweapon. They even established medical supply depots. Fast forward to 2020 and nada. This is in part what Operation Warp Speed was attempting to address.

  • Exasperated

    The whole government response was strange and kept spiraling into stranger and stranger. I don’t know how many of you aware that after 9/11, there were all kinds of blue ribbon committees assigned to develop protocols and contingencies of all kinds, including for biohazards/bioweapons. They even established medical supply depots. Fast forward to 2020 and nada. This is in part what Operation Warp Speed was attempting to address.

  • Exasperated

    The whole government response was strange and kept spiraling into stranger and stranger. I don’t know how many of you are aware that after 9/11, there were all kinds of blue ribbon committees assigned to develop protocols and contingencies of all kinds, including for biohazards/bioweapons. They even established medical supply depots. Fast forward to 2020 and nada. This is in part what Operation Warp Speed was attempting to address.

  • The Neon Madman

    Yes, the Covid panic is essentially over now. As was predicted, it has become endemic, mutated to a less dangerous form, and treatable. It can still be nasty, and a killer of the old and medically compromised, but we can (and have to) live with it.

    What really concerns me is – what have we learned that will help us when the next virus comes out of the third world? One will, of course, it seems to happen every 5 years or so. Have the governments and people learned any lessons that will mitigate the spread of a nasty disease, without crippling our countries? Have our governments learned any lessons about mobilizing against one without fostering fear and panic? Can the government and the media present clear, factual information without fanning a firestorm of rumor and misinformation?

    Personally, I doubt it.

  • Steven R

    “Have our governments learned any lessons about mobilizing against one without fostering fear and panic? Can the government and the media present clear, factual information without fanning a firestorm of rumor and misinformation?”

    The governments and media turned fear into a virtue.

  • Exasperated

    Sorry, couldn’t find any delete button.

  • The form of the proverb I recall is

    “He who rides a tiger can never dismount.”

    If it really is a Chinese proverb then it is just possible both forms are translations of the same original. Long ago, I told Natalie, and may have told you, of the Chinese word (pronounced ‘pyeh’ IIRC) which a 19th century consular dictionary translated as:

    “It is inconceivable that;”

    “I am unable to understand.”

    These were not alternative meanings. If a high mandarin uttered the word, the British consul was to appreciate that a single meaning was implied – one in which the high mandarin saw the above two concepts as a single indivisible whole.

    So it would not greatly surprise me if in China some, up to and including Xi, are afraid to (or even cannot) distinguish too clearly between:

    “I am afraid to dismount from my covid tiger;”

    “I cannot dismount from my covid tiger.”

  • Earnest Canuck

    There was a young lady of Niger
    Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
    They returned from the ride
    With the lady inside,
    And the smile on the face of the tiger.

    … one of the great non-filthy limericks, often quoted by Mark Steyn. Lear was the author, possibly.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    The actual proverb is “骑虎难下” – literally translated as ‘difficult to dismount a tiger’. There’s also a nice story behind it.
    https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E9%AA%91%E8%99%8E%E9%9A%BE%E4%B8%8B/1566600

    Using google translate, since I’m lazy to do it:

    When the Eastern Jin Dynasty became emperor, the minister Wen Qiao organized a coalition army to crusade the rebels. In the early days of the war, several coalition armies suffered repeated defeats, and the army was running out of food.

    This situation made the coach Tao Kan anxious, he said angrily to Wen Qiao: “When you mobilized me, you said that everything has been arranged, and now the war is not long, the rations are running out, if I can’t supply the rations immediately, I have to withdraw. .”

    Wen Qiao said to Tao Kan: “Since ancient times, if we want to win a war, we must first have internal unity. Although our army is short of food and is in a difficult situation, if we withdraw our army immediately, it will not only make people laugh at us, but also make the rebels even more Arrogant. Our current situation is like riding on a beast. How can we get down if we don’t kill the beast? We can only hold on to the end!”

    Tao Kan accepted Wen Qiao’s persuasion, led the army to fight the enemy bravely, and finally defeated the rebels.

    Wen Qiao persuaded Tao Kan’s words, “Riding a beast is safe,” later evolved into the idiom “It’s hard to ride a tiger.” It means that it is impossible to stop when things develop to a certain extent, so riding a tiger is also a dilemma.

    Implication is that you can’t ride a tiger forever, but getting down is equally dangerous, cos it might eat you right away. A similar proverb would be ‘Between Scylla and Charybdis’, but the Chinese one may be more poignant as it implies a forward momentum.

    Xi may be hoping that like Wen Qiao, a solution would present itself. Until then, he’ll continue to ride the COVID tiger.

    Come to think of it, doesn’t that describe Putin’s situation too?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Come to think of it, doesn’t that describe Putin’s situation too?

    In fact, Putin’s situation resembles the original story more than Xi’s situation.

  • Jim

    “Has the Communist Party Dictatorship in the People’s Republic of China gone mad – is it now following the insane “lockdown” policies it pushed in the West (to do harm to the West – again there was never any real prospect that such policies would reduce deaths from Covid 19)?”

    My feeling is that the current Chinese lockdowns have less to do with covid and more to do with preparing the Chinese population for controls that the CCP consider may be necessary to impose in future. Its obvious that the US and China are headed for a confrontation at some point – its the classic ‘Fading Champion’ vs ‘The New Challenger’ scenario. At some point they are going to lock horns properly, whether that will be an economic war or a shooting one is yet to be determined, but either way the economic and social fallout is going to be huge. Both sides will lose out massively, but the one who can control his population best will win out. Thus it is necessary to a) get the control system in place well in advance, and b) get the population used to it being used. Covid is proving the perfect test bed. Get the population used to arbitrary and seemingly pointless controls, and fine tune the administration of them.

  • Exasperated

    I wonder if the concept of medicine as a “profession”, is done, at least as we know it in the US.

  • There was a young lady of Niger (Earnest Canuck, September 21, 2022 at 9:18 pm)

    IIRC, the original had first line

    There was a young lady of Riga

    which is not perfect either, since the first vowel of Riga is usually pronounced as a long E, but if you pronounce the ‘g’ of Niger as you need to for the rhyme with tiger then you’d better make sure no cancel culture groupies are in earshot. Given with what ruthlessness the media pretend to credit accusations where nothing even similar was said, I think your explanation of “it was just for the rhyme”, will meet a most determined refusal of poetic justice, whereas the inhabitants of Riga (should any overhear you) are likely more tolerant.

  • John

    On the subject of the N word events are currently playing out whereby the owner of two US sports franchises is being forced to sell his teams as a result of:-

    NBA hammers Suns owner Robert Sarver after finding he used the ‘N-word’ at least 5 times and made ‘sex-related’ comments to female employees

    Confusingly the independent report into his conduct found:-

    The NBA released the findings of its investigation after interviewing 320 current and former Suns employees … and determined Sarver said the n-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others.” It’s worth noting — the league says Sarver’s use of the n-word was not motivated by racial hate or prejudice.

    Still at least he gets to keep the sale proceeds of his own property.

  • Fred the Fourth

    Regarding Biden vs the administration, you have to understand, that when Biden is speaking casually to a journalist, he is not speaking ex cathedra.

  • Paul Marks

    Fred the Fourth – I am no admirer of Mr Biden, who has been both corrupt and a Collectivist all his life.

    However, I think we both know that Joseph “Joe – the Big Guy” Biden is no more in control of the American government than either of us is.

    Mr Biden is a senile puppet (who got “81 million votes” – but most certainly NOT from 81 million voters). And, horribly, the people pulling his strings mean to destroy what is left of liberty.

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