In January 2022, a video supposedly showing young school children in China wearing hazmat suits to protect them against COVID-19 was widely circulated on social media:
Some versions of this video were accompanied by emotionally manipulative music to make this scene appear unbearably sad. This video, however, does not show children in hazmat suits. This video actually shows children in inflatable astronaut costumes.
While we haven't been able to source this specific video, we found several other videos showing children in the same costumes and presumably the same location. CGTN, the China Global Television Network, posted a similar video on Dec. 6, 2021, that showed children wearing inflatable space suits while participating in a school event. That video was preceded with a cautionary tag warning viewers about an incoming "cuteness overload":
The costumes in both videos feature the same orange square (the Chinese flag) on the back, the same red and blue tubes along the side, the same blue patch on the front, and the same patch on the shoulder.
In another video posted to the Chinese social media site Weibo by the Education Bureau of Beilun District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang, children can be seen wearing these inflatable suits as they enter their school for the "opening ceremony" of the school's 26th sports meeting that was themed (translated loosely via Google) "Challenge, Transcendence, and Realize Dreams." That video was accompanied by the following caption:
The theme of this year's school sports meeting is "Challenge, Transcendence, and Realize Dreams", guiding teachers and students of the school to learn from Olympians and from aerospace heroes. In the process of constantly challenging ourselves and surpassing ourselves, we will realize the dream of the sports field and the dream of life. Therefore, in the entrance performance, many classes incorporate various aerospace elements. Under the blessing of rocket models and astronaut images, let the students experience the "space spirit" vividly.
The track and field of Ningbo Donghai Experimental School has temporarily become a "space launch base", which not only makes the teachers and students feel happy, but also Let children's dreams of blue sky rise.