A ‘Zero Covid’ Olympics

What it’s like inside China’s Covid superbubble — and whether the nation’s strict approach to the virus can last.












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Reporters from The Times are joining athletes from around the world as they descend on Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics, where they are encountering the strictest and most wide-ranging health requirements ever attempted at an Olympic Games.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has made it his goal to keep the coronavirus out of the country as much as possible, and these requirements are an extension of his “zero Covid” strategy. It’s a goal that will be made difficult with thousands coming in to compete.

We ask what exactly is the zero-Covid strategy, and how long can it last? And we explore what life is like inside China’s Olympic superbubble.

On today’s episode

Amy Qin, an international correspondent for The New York Times.

Background reading

Robots, swabs and a big gamble: One Times correspondent details what life is like inside Beijing’s Olympic bubble.

China holds the line on “zero Covid,” but some wonder for how long.

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Transcripts of each episode are available by the next workday. You can find them at the top of the page.

Amy Qin contributed reporting.

Special thanks to Juliet Macur and Alan Blinder.

The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens and Rowan Niemisto.

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