May 31, 2022 · less than 3 min read
Younger adults in China are becoming less and less willing to abide by societal norms post-pandemic.
Too little, too late?
Upholding China’s zero-COVID policy comes at a cost, and the city of Shanghai is carrying it. Though folks are choosing to pretend the pandemic has disappeared in some parts of the world (cough, cough, America), this isn’t true in China. Shanghai has been in a state of lockdown since spring, and the kids have had enough.
While some lockdown measures on businesses in the city will be lifted imminently, it could be too little too late for the people of Shanghai – and especially for younger generations, who are trying to build a life and make plans for the future in a world that appears, to them, increasingly bleak.
It’s been hard to order essentials like groceries online. Officers have forced their way into homes. Pets have been killed out of fear that they will spread the virus. People have moved away, resigned from jobs, and totally changed their lives. The pre-COVID world feels a million miles away for China’s next gen. And so do all of its rules, suggestions, and traditions.
There’s a phrase for the growing rebellious energy of the country’s young people, and it’s “mendacity flat.” Disenchantment with the system and the strictness of COVID measures has led people to reject these restrictions and other unfair norms.
More people than ever want to say goodbye to long working hours. Less want to have kids. More people than ever want to escape convention and expectation. Less want to get married. It’s clear that things have shifted, and it all comes back to COVID. The question is: How will China deal with the unrest?
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