The GuardianThe Guardian

Once a zero-Covid poster child, Taiwan learns to live with the virus

By Helen Davidson, Chi Hui Lin

09 May 2022 · 6 min read

Taiwanese people don’t mind queueing. They’ll do it for a well-reviewed restaurant, promotional giveaways, or to take an Instagram photo at a popular tourist site. But at 3pm outside a Gongguan pharmacy in Taipei, there’s grumbling in the line. It’s an inconvenient time to leave work, but for now it’s the only way to get your hands on a rapid Covid-19 test.

Twenty minutes after the sales window opens, a woman walks out to the waiting customers: they’ve sold out. People are frustrated, having waited for up to two hours, and some leave to try again tomorrow. Two elderly people lean over a phone, looking at a map for other pharmacies nearby.

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