Under China’s ‘zero COVID,’ uncertainty reigns and unsettles


              In this photo taken May 2022 and released by Leah Zhang, sign boards which read "Non transit Hefei Passengers" and "Next day transit to leave Hefei Passengers" greet Leah Zhang during her journey to her Chongqing hometown from Shanghai in Hefei in central China's Anhui province. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. Leah Zhang's experience was hardly unique — or even particularly extreme — but it gives a glimpse of how China's stringent "zero COVID" policy pushed ordinary people to a breaking point, one that led to nationwide protests late last month. (Leah Zhang via AP)
            
              In this photo taken May 2022 and released by Leah Zhang, passengers some wearing protective overalls wait for their train at a train station in Shanghai. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. (Leah Zhang via AP)
            In this photo taken May 2022 and released by Leah Zhang, a view from the sealed off back seat of a car used to ferry Leah Zhang to a quarantine hotel in Chongqing autonomous region. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. Leah Zhang's experience was hardly unique -- or even particularly extreme -- but it gives a glimpse of how China's stringent "zero COVID" policy pushed ordinary people to a breaking point, one that led to nationwide protests late last month. (Leah Zhang via AP) FILE - A woman wearing a face mask rests on a blanket outside a closed shop in Shanghai, China, on May 21, 2022. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. And over the past three years, various Chinese cities have suffered similar fates, as the government held fast to the policy, which aims to stop transmission of the virus through severe isolation procedures and constant mass testing. (AP Photo/Chen Si, File) FILE - A woman wearing a face mask reaches through a barricade around a locked down community to receive a delivery package in Shanghai, China, on May 21, 2022. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. And over the past three years, various Chinese cities have suffered similar fates, as the government held fast to the policy, which aims to stop transmission of the virus through severe isolation procedures and constant mass testing. (AP Photo/Chen Si, File) In this photo taken May 2022 and released by Leah Zhang, a view from a quarantine hotel Leah Zhang stayed in half-way during her journey to her Chongqing hometown from Shanghai in Hefei in central China's Anhui province. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. Leah Zhang's experience was hardly unique -- or even particularly extreme -- but it gives a glimpse of how China's stringent "zero COVID" policy pushed ordinary people to a breaking point, one that led to nationwide protests late last month. (Leah Zhang via AP) FILE - Workers wearing face masks stand near a parcel pickup area in a neighborhood in Shanghai, China, on May 21, 2022. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. And over the past three years, various Chinese cities have suffered similar fates, as the government held fast to the policy, which aims to stop transmission of the virus through severe isolation procedures and constant mass testing. (AP Photo/Chen Si, File) In this photo taken May 2022 and released by Leah Zhang, a view of the quarantine hotel Leah Zhang stayed in half-way during her journey to her Chongqing hometown from Shanghai in Hefei in central China's Anhui province. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. Leah Zhang's experience was hardly unique -- or even particularly extreme -- but it gives a glimpse of how China's stringent "zero COVID" policy pushed ordinary people to a breaking point, one that led to nationwide protests late last month. (Leah Zhang via AP) In this photo taken May 2022 and released by Leah Zhang, a view from a quarantine hotel Leah Zhang stayed in half-way during her journey to her Chongqing hometown from Shanghai in Hefei in central China's Anhui province. Over 26 million people in Shanghai were confined for two months in one of the country's strictest and most visible lockdowns. Leah Zhang's experience was hardly unique -- or even particularly extreme -- but it gives a glimpse of how China's stringent "zero COVID" policy pushed ordinary people to a breaking point, one that led to nationwide protests late last month. (Leah Zhang via AP)