Donghyun Kim Prof. Xin Fan

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Week 2 Reading Response

Donghyun Kim

Prof. Xin Fan

HIST 151


Week 2 Reading Response

Class on Tuesday was about how China responded to COVID-19. In the discussion, we have talked about freedom and public safety as we were comparing COVID in China and COVID in the United States. China could control the number of COVID cases by lockdown and shutting down all school systems. But in contrast, lockdown was not successful in the United States.

Class on Thursday was about geography of China. China is bordered with 14 different countries. Bordering with 14 different countries must be a huge threat. Because there are too many countries around, China was invaded many times by those countries. That is another difference between China and the United States. The United States has a lot of geographical advantages compared to China. It only has two countries on the borders, coast lines to the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, etc.

The article by Peter Hessler is about how China controlled the coronavirus. In this article, he illustrates how lockdown in China is performed. Only one person can go to buy groceries every two or three days, enforced strict rules. It was a complete lockdown. Lockdown in the United States was nothing compared to China. But even in the situation of lockdown, his students could communicate with each other remotely.

In my opinion, the reason why lockdown in the United States was unsuccessful is because Americans have instinctive fear of the word “lockdown” because it is opposing to the foundation of the United States, freedom. Of course, freedom is important. But in a special situation like COVID, which is a disease that threats our health, freedom is not the priority.

Maybe the reason why Chinese people can tolerate communist government is because they believe in strong government that can protect the people from other countries, a government that can provide stability to its people. It is possible that long history of China and invasion of foreign countries made them to seek for that stability over their freedom.
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