September 7, 2022

What do you do when there’s an earthquake?

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Well, the safety rules all depend on where you are.

If you’re in a car, stop the car and stay inside.  If you’re outside, find an open spot, far from power lines.  If you’re inside, and your building is damaged, get outside right away, in case it collapses on you…

Unless you’re in China, under lockdown, that is.  Then the safety rules don’t apply.

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Case in point: The politburo in Beijing dictated last week that Chengdu go into lockdown — maybe just for a few days, they said.  we’ll see how it goes.

Then, on Monday, there was an earthquake in the area, estimated at 6.6 on the Richter scale. 

If you were in Chengdu, like many of the other 32 cities currently under various lockdowns, you couldn’t leave your apartment building.  Doors are locked — in some cases, welded shut, just to be sure.

In the United States, if a town suffers a natural disaster, the National Guard, the Salvation Army, and lots of other groups, both public and private, rush to the town’s aid.  Not in China.

In China on Monday and Tuesday, in the aftermath of the earthquake, plenty of government employees in hazmat suits were seen in Chengdu — guarding the doors of apartment buildings, making sure the residents don’t try to leave.

It’s not the first time Xi Jinping’s government has reacted to a natural disaster this way.  Remember when the illness now known as COVID-19 was first reported, in the city of Wuhan?  Chairman Xi directed that buildings be closed, that doors and windows be welded shut, that the population be locked in their apartments, as underground reports of morgue vans and mobile crematoriums filled the city.