By JOE McDONALD
Wang Jian is anxious to get back to work teaching basketball to children now that China has lifted anti-COVID-19 restrictions. But his gym in the eastern city of Shenyang has been closed for a month because all its coaches are infected.
The most optimistic forecasts say China’s business and consumer activity might revive as early as the first quarter of this year. But before that happens, entrepreneurs and families face a painful squeeze from a surge in virus cases that has left employers without enough healthy workers and kept wary customers away from shopping malls, restaurants, hair salons and gyms.
“I hope the situation will turn around in March or April with no more COVID shocks,” said Wang, 33, who went without a paycheck for four months when the gym closed during virus outbreaks. “If parents worry about possible reinfection, they simply won’t send their children for training.”