Whether by plan, opportunism, or chaotic accident — the CCP has managed to achieve near moral equivalency with many of the world’s democratic republics, which have become increasingly autocratic, surveillance-oriented, and intolerant of debate.

The COVID panic — which began to spread partly through unsubstantiated videos of seemingly healthy people falling dead in the streets of Wuhan — has simply made the rest of the world more like China: governments have not only ended freedom of assembly, tech companies have not only curtailed free speech, but ordinary citizens, including children, have chosen to participate in collective policing and shaming efforts.