The COVID-19 lockdowns initiated by Chinese authorities were supposed to contain the coronavirus that had killed millions of people worldwide. Instead, the increasingly restrictive rules forced thousands of Chinese citizens to reconsider life under an authoritarian government and make the difficult decision to leave their homes, family and country — what they call “runology.” In this VOA special report, 12 Chinese people describe the risks, sacrifices and perilous treks across thousands of miles for better lives in new countries.