Category: China

CoVid-19 Corona Virus Pandemic: Benefits

I am trying to stay positive amidst a terrible CoVid-19 pandemic, which started in China and has ravaged the most parts of the world. This highly infectious virus continues its march through out the human race. There is a lot of negative, but not much of an acknowledgement of the positive.

In all situations in life there are benefits which might not be easy to accept, but over time will be very good for us in the long run.

Benefits

  1. Family is closer: The virus has brought our family closer together. We got along well before, but now know that we can live together in the same house. Thankfully we have a house, which is plenty large enough to accommodate us in relative privacy.
  2. Revenge of the Introverted: Introverts, once scared and nervous in large crowds of gregarious people, are having a field day. They are more relaxed, living at home, and in small bubbles. It seems very natural for them, and now there’s a great excuse to not crowd together.
  3. Be more self-sufficient: We can no longer rely on a simple pop out to stores to buy something, or to find a service. Eating at home, finding a solution yourself, all these solutions are safer now than asking other people to enter your home.
  4. Infection Risk is Always there: There has always been an infection risk when going out and seeing people. Pre-March 2020 this was much less as to be minimal. Yet there was always a risk of infection when going out to stores. The pandemic has reminded us of this risk, and to calculate a risk-reward before we enter a store. Often this risk-reward is not worthwhile. The risk has always been there, will continue to be there now and for all infections, pandemic or not, in the future.
  5. Mask Wearing is a Public Health tool: A mask is not a social statement but a health tool. If you are sick you can protect others by wearing a mask. This has been known in Asia for a long time. We in the West should adopt this practice as well.
  6. Live for the Here and Now: Enjoy the present. Our pre-March 2020 life was so much different from now. It seems like a cruel hand has snatched our lives away from us, leaving us with the crumbs. Unfair, perhaps, but that is reality. Enjoy what you have now right now.
  7. Long Term Care/Retirement Home Conditions are Terrible: This has long bothered me, but Canadian society does not treat the elderly very well. When they become frail we lock them away in specialized homes and spend as little funding as possible on them. During the Pandemic it was clear that they were neglected and left to die. As nursing staff became sick there was very little to back them up, the system fell apart and more of the elderly died. It did not have to be this way, but it is. The pandemic has shone a light on our shoddy system. Good for the virus to show us our faults.
  8. Minorities are not as important: Blacks and Latinos die more than Whites. Why? There is inequality in society. The lowest of society are more susceptible and die first. While this is difficult to change, the Pandemic has highlighted this for all to see. What we do with this information I do not know. Hiding inequality is no longer possible.
  9. Selfishness is Abundant: While here in Canada most of us still feel a duty to help each other, there continues to be the selfish minority that will not even wear a mask, a simple face mask used to protect others and to protect yourself. What happened to the moral code of “I am my brother’s keeper”? It went out the window. We need to readjust our moral compass, as perhaps we are a little too comfortable with ourselves. The Pandemic has riled up the selfish and they have paraded down our streets in protest of their right to not wear a mask.
  10. Wealth Gap is Huge: The Pandemic has chased us into our homes to hide. Those that have the means can do this. Those that do not are forced to venture out and risk contracting the virus. The Pandemic has made this very clear that we do not take care of those that are on the edge of society. There is no hiding this from our conscience. To see and acknowledge this, I thank the Pandemic.
  11. Work from Home: As the Pandemic progressed governments asked companies to send their employees to work at home. previously most companies were very hesitant to do this, thinking productivity would fall. For anyone that has worked at home, you know that home workers work longer hours with less distractions. Productivity actually increased. Huh! who would have thought that! So now we know. This will allow companies to reduce their expensive office space footprint and even move their offices to cheaper locations. There is no need for a downtown office. I expect that this trend will continue.
  12. Preparation for Future Panemics: If nothing else, at least most of the world, excluding the US, is much more prepared for the next wave of CoVid-19 or any subsequent pandemic. We have learned, changed our lifestyle, practice mitigating steps, have masks. We are now used to social distancing and the need for air circulation. We are ready.

Returning to School in the Pandemic, Toronto, Canada

The CoVid-19 pandemic has walloped us in the head, in an obviously direct way. We, as a species, probably needed this kind of wake up call, as it seems no other method would get our attention. Starting from China, CoVid-19 has spread throughout the world. This, after 5 months of near lock down here in Toronto, is no longer news. Now we are faced with a new school year, the possibility that kids will return to their elementary school classes, become infected, and bring the virus back to their parents and grandparents. While we are still learning about this virus, what is clear is that it is highly infectious and no one is immune.

QQ International Version is dead: Learn Chinese or Use WeChat

If you are using QQ, the Chinese social media platform, on a PC and want multi-language capability, or at least a language other than Chinese, your days are numbered. The PC program was last updated in 2014 and has been slowly degrading in functionality. There is no foreseeable new version planned. The best you can do is to learn more Chinese and install the Chinese version, or use the Android international version on an Andriod smartphone.

Japan is Unique, and not like China

I have spent significant time in both Japan and China. When people say that China will progress just like Japan, I find it startling. The two cultures are not even remotely close to each other. This NYT article Testing Is Key to Beating Coronavirus, Right? Japan Has Other Ideas highlights some of the unique characteristics of Japan. While it does not specifically outline the differences between Japan and China, if you have lived in China and think about it, some Japanese traits are simply mind boggling.

qnreading from Chinese Social Media QQ: Unknown Protocol

I am a QQ user, which is part of Chinese social media. From Tencent 腾讯 in China, QQ is a simpler messaging and social media ecosystem than WeChat 微信. In the past couple of months I have been noticing more content is blocked to me here in Canada. More concerning is that China is beginning to use new protocols on the internet that are unique to China.

Geoblocking is regularly used by Chinese stores. I search for their products on Baidu, find images but cannot go to their web pages because they detect that I am not in China and block me. While this is annoying, at least I can understand the technical mechanism. They do not want Western eyes looking at their web pages, and that is their prorogative.

CoVid-19 Corona Virus Face Mask Requirements by Country

Requirements to wear a cloth face mask, by country is evolving. Starting in Asia, acceptance has spread worldwide. This is an evolving situation, with more countries mandating use with time and social acceptance.

Maskenpflicht (mask duty) in German

Government Guidance Articles

Sewing DIY Cloth Surgical-style Face Masks

This mask design fits very well. It is double layer cotton, with a space between for filter material. The nose bridge has a metal insert for forming around your nose. Straps go around your neck and head. Photo1 by Don Tai

This mask design fits very well. It is double layer cotton, with a space between for filter material. The nose bridge has a metal insert for forming around your nose. Straps go around your neck and head. Photo1 by Don Tai

We don’t as yet have an epidemic with the corona virus CoVid-19, from originally from Wuhan, China, but i thought it prudent to research how to sew up some surgical-style face masks, just in case. These home made masks can possibly match the surgical-style mask.

China’s Border Control: Exit Ban or Bian Kong

China is well known for its ability to detain foreigners from exiting the country. It is often used to settle business conflict between foreigners and Chinese companies. The Chinese company contacts the police to say that a foreigner has not paid or lived up to some business dealing and Chinese border control puts a ban on the foreigner’s exit. These are called “exit bans“.

Bian kong, “边控“, short for bianjing kongzhi, “边境控制” is a system that can bar a foreigner from leaving China. We normally call it an “exit ban”

边控

边控即边境控制,它是为防止涉案的外国人或者中国公民因其借出境之机逃避司法机关追究法律责任,给境内的国家、集体或个人财产等带来重大损失,而通过法定程序在国边境口岸对之采取限制出境的一种保全措施

适用法律
编辑
目前国内关于边控的相关法律规定,主要是外国人出入境管理法、 《中华人民共和国公民出入境管理法》 (以下简称“两法”)和最高法院、最高检察院、公安部、国家安全部印发的《关于依法限制外国人和中国公民出境问题的若干规定》 (以下简称《若干规定》)以及公安部发布的一些部门规章等。总体上讲,这些规定比较原则,在适用中还需要不断地加以完善

Martial Law After the Tiananmen Square Killings: Thoughts After 30 years

As a Canadian, living under martial law is unheard of. We simply do not have such situations that warrant martial law. After 30 years, I still have strong memories and impressions of living under martial law in Beijing, 30 years after the Tiananmen Square killings. Who wrote and rewrote what history is for others to debate. My impressions and memories remain intact, burned into my brain, forever.

Within China, Dissenting Views: Xiang Songzuo talk 2018 Dec 16

Xiang Songzuo 向松祚, professor, Renmin University, School of Finance, former chief economist of China Agricultural Bank

2018 Dec 16 speech to CEO class at Renmin Business School
-recordings, transcripts banned within China
Thanks for the translation

Aside: 2018 Jul 24 Tsinghua law professor Xu Zhangrun’s (许章润) broadside “Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes”,
translation

Summary: the Chinese economy is going to be in for long-term and very difficult times.

-Within year, private business investment dropped
-politically XJP supports SOE and not private business