A Chinese singer has stirred up a troll storm online after revealing that she deliberately tried to infect herself with COVID-19.
Jane Zhang, 38, said she visited the homes of “sheep,” – a term for virus carriers in mainland China – to get infected with the virus so that she would not be at risk of infection during her New Year Eve’s concert, reported the South China Morning Post.
“I was concerned that my condition during the New Year’s Eve performance would be affected. So I met a group of people who tested positive since I currently have time to recover from the virus,” she wrote on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.
Zhang went on to add that she started experiencing symptoms such as fever, sore throat and body aches but her situation improved within a day.
“I’ve been prepared for being infected. Then I began to catch a fever, my throat began to ache, my nose began to ache, my whole body began to ache, my head began to ache … before I finally fell asleep,” she wrote in the post.
Zhang is a popular music personality in China with an illustrious career spanning two decades. Dubbed the “Dolphin Princess,” Zhang has 43 million followers on Weibo.
Her “confession” didn’t sit well with internet users, particularly at a time when China is facing an inexplicable surge in coronavirus cases all over again. Her post drew much flak, with people calling her out for acting irresponsibly.
“I don’t understand why she is so insensitive. As a public figure, how could she say this? She is encouraging people to get infected, which is not OK,” one person wrote on Douyin, a TikTok-like platform in China, after her post went viral.
“This is one time I’m okay with the bashing, but attention was what she wanted so it’s a double-edge sword that,” a user commented, while another said, “How tone deaf can someone be…”
Zhang had also shared details about her workout routine while she was ill.
“It’s risky for a person with Covid to do physical exercises. Zhang Liangying doesn’t even have this common sense,” one user wrote.
Zhang deleted her post and issued an apology after facing severe backlash online.
“I didn’t consider things carefully before making my previous posts. I apologize to the public,” she wrote on Weibo, according to Money Control.
This comes as China is facing an explosion of coronavirus cases and deaths, prompting Beijing to bring back its so-called “zero-COVID” policy that was in place since the initial outbreak of the virus in 2019. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist, said 60% of China’s population could become infected amid a fresh wave of COVID-19.