At the time, they didn’t even realize the snap Covid restrictions had been imposed – there was no warning beforehand, and the apartment building where Zhou’s parents and his 10-year-old son lived did not have any cases, he said.
“The local government killed my dad,” Zhou told CNN in his Beijing home, breaking down in tears.
But increasingly, the restrictions – not the virus – are being blamed for heartbreaking deaths that have sparked nationwide outrage on social media.
Zhou said he contacted several state media outlets in Beijing to report on his story, but no reporters came.
Amid growing desperation and anger, he turned to foreign media – despite knowing the risk of repercussions from the government.
Workers erect metal barriers outside a community under lockdown in Beijing on November 24.
And on Thursday, in the sprawling metropolis of Chongqing in the southwest, a resident delivered a searing speech criticizing the Covid lockdown on his residential compound.
But a surge in infections as China heads into its fourth winter of the pandemic is quickly dampening such hopes.
Hazmat-suited Covid workers help delivery drivers drop goods for residents under lockdown in Beijing on November 24.
Some of the cities that dropped mass testing requirements following the announcement are already tightening other Covid restrictions.
Back on the outskirts of Beijing, Zhou said while the zero-Covid policy “is beneficial to the majority,” its implementation at a local level had been too draconian.
“I don’t want things like this to happen again in China and anywhere in the world,” he said.

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