Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Medical workers receive patients arriving in ambulances at a hospital in Sichuan, December 31, 2022. Credit: Chinatopix via AP Images Last month, China ended its zero-COVID policy, bringing a tumultuous end to restrictions after nearly three years. The suddenness of the move surprised nearly everyone. The process could have been much more gradual, with a slower shift from mass forced lockdowns to more flexible policies, such as voluntary self-quarantine and social distancing. Instead, the government has effectively thrown caution to the wind. As a result, China is now having one of the worst outbreaks seen anywhere since the start of the pandemic. Hundreds of millions of people have been infected in the space of just a few weeks, and many experts now expect the death toll to exceed one million. Chinese social media are being flooded with harrowing accounts of personal loss and images of overwhelmed hospitals. While the exact infection and mortality figures are unclear, the big picture is undeniable: the Chinese people are fighting to survive. The situation is reminiscent of what many other countrSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.