It was a lazy afternoon in MysticLand. Verum gave a tremendous yawn and plopped onto her bed. Within minutes, she was covered in a cozy blanket, fast asleep. Soon, she was dreaming of a rainbow made of chocolate. Every time she nibbled at a piece, the rainbow grew back. To Verum, it meant the best thing ever – unlimited chocolate!

Suddenly, someone entered the dorm room. In her sleepy state, Verum ignored their footsteps. The Mystical in the room called out in a soft voice, “Verum, Verum! Please wake up! It’s time for tea!”

Verum grunted in sleep and continued to ignore Scorch. Now, Scorch started speaking louder, “Oi, Verum! You’ll miss out on the chocolate chip cookies.”

That was enough to wake Verum up. Rubbing her eyes, the first thing she noticed was her crystal ball. It was spinning and making a humming sound. Verum immediately checked out the news, “Oh, today’s news is from China!”

“What is China up to?” said Scorch with interest.

“It has been nearly two years since the pandemic began. As it began in China, it was one of the first countries to enforce restrictions to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Lockdowns were the answer,” said Verum, “But in this year, vaccines against Covid-19 were introduced across the world. With companies like Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson developing vaccines, a sizable chunk of the world’s population has been completely vaccinated.”

“Yes, that’s true,” said Scorch, “Even though Covid-19 vaccines don’t stop people from getting infected with the virus, they prevent hospitalization.”

“Exactly,” said Verum, “And China also has its homegrown vaccines – Sinovac and Sinopharm. So, many countries have begun easing restrictions. They have opened their borders to allow international travelers. People have returned to work and students have returned to schools and colleges. However, things are different in China.”

“What do you mean?” said Scorch.

“It has adopted a hard elimination policy,” replied Verum, “This means that if even one case is detected in any part of China, lockdown is enforced and mass testing is carried out. And since Covid-19 as a disease cannot be completely wiped out, these measures are implemented time and again.”

“But why is this so?” said Scorch.

“There are various reasons. But mostly the Chinese government has drilled people into mobilizing towards zero cases,” said Verum, “Changing this message would be tricky.”