If you ever needed a better reason to become a “prepper” — or just someone who is better able to handle unexpected emergencies — this is it.
A video of Chinese authorities who appear to be confiscating consumer items in a supermarket under the guise of ‘checking commodities prices’ in a Wuhan coronavirus-hit part of the country has gone viral on social media, sparking shock and outrage, The Epoch Times reported.
The video, from Feb. 19, was taken by a shopkeeper from Ezhou City located in the Hubei Province, where Wuhan City, the epicenter of the virus pandemic, is located.
The shopkeeper posted the video on Weibo, which is China’s version of Twitter; it is surveillance footage taken in his store depicting a number of local government officers entering and grabbing piles of supplies on display and behind the counter, then walking out with them, apparently without compensating the shop owner.
At one point the storekeeper looks like he wants to close up shop but he is prevented from doing so by one of the officers, who then allows his colleagues to enter and begin taking more of his goods.
The video also made it to Twitter:
— 黎明 (@jingkehanqin) February 19, 2020
“Today, local government officers started grabbing things as soon as they got inside the shop, saying that I opened the shop to carry out business,” the store owner says in the video, according to The Epoch Times.
Under the city’s virus-imposed lockdown, shops are not permitted to open as a way to control the spreading, worsening pandemic. But obviously those rules can be broken at will by the same government that imposed them.
The owner noted that he only went to his shop to get some noodles and other supplies for himself, not to open up for business and certainly not government-sanctioned shoplifting. He added that he had not opened his business at all during the lockdown, which, no doubt, is causing him and his family severe economic hardship. (Related: Coronavirus poses more than just a global health threat; it could also result in global economic collapse.)
And then the government steals from him, to boot.
“They came in and started snatching [things],” he said. “What is this behavior?”
The video and the officers’ actions sparked outrage from Chinese citizens on Weibo, most of whom accused the officers of abusing their authority in order to confiscate things for their own personal gain.
Then again, since the virus began spreading out of control to various parts of the country, a number of cities have given their local authorities the power to confiscate whatever personal property they deemed necessary, supposedly as part of the overall effort of ‘controling’ and ‘combating’ the outbreak.
Since the video was posted, the resultant outrage sparked the Ezhou city government to respond. Officials said that the officers only “temporarily confiscated” the storeowner’s goods, but were sure to add that he had opened his store in violation of the lockdown order, according to local media reports.
Reports claimed that the goods have since been returned to the owner and an investigation launched into the incident. But given the Chinese central government’s opaqueness regarding the severity of the outbreak and how many people have been sickened and killed by it, there is no reason to believe that goods have been restored to their rightful owner.
Not even Chinese citizens believe the story.
“If we are to say the shop really did operate in violation of regulations, then close the shop and punish it,” one netizen said. “If the temporary confiscation was legal, then why did they have to return the items?”
The point is, when times get desperate, those with authority always impose their will on the powerless. So the lesson, even in America, is this: Always be prepared for any contingency, because your government isn’t going to ‘take care of’ your needs, especially if it’s dealing with a nationwide emergency of some sort.
See the latest information on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak at Pandemic.news.