Rumors swirl that China’s Xi Jinping will step down amid harsh COVID lockdowns

Step down? No. To enable all concerned to save face, they will have him finish out his term and simply vote him out. A "quiet, bloodless coup," if you will. That way, since he will have served the same two terms as every other Chinese president, the entire state apparatus can simply deny there was any infighting and claim it was the normal political process. The next administration will come in and reverse everything Xi did while claiming to be "building on his legacy," just as Xi reversed everything Deng did while claiming to be building on his thinking.

At least, IF there is any change in the regime, that's how it will come: in a way that China can deny it was a regime change at all.

Did I mention North Korea 2.0 somewhere?

There's a "North Korea 2.0" vibe in a lot of China's current politics but this one strikes me as more USSR than North Korea. Yet in truth, ALL of it is more like "Qing Dynasty 2.0."

"At least, IF there is any change in the regime, that's how it will come: in a way that China can deny it was a regime change at all."
I don't really expect Xi to fall. He seems to have done quite a thorough job of eliminating inner-party opposition. & with the new militia he already seems to prepare in case the situation overall in China becomes catastrophic, so that opposition gets organised.
Don't really like to predict the future, though. So I'll wait & see.

Regarding historical reference points, I agree. But it seems that emperor Xi takes his clues from all kinds of dictatorial sources. You can find parallels in absolutism over stalinism to nazism. Whatever keeps you in power, I suppose.

I don't really expect Xi to fall.

Before the chaos of this year I'd have said with 100% certainty that you're right. Now, well I still think you're most likely right but that likelihood is no longer 100%. The chances of him losing power aren't high, but they're no longer zero.

controlling the epidemic comes with body coexisting, after that the immunity becomes stronger and becomes self-defensif. This is the solution for me. China must end the epidemic problem because it has political issues and it can also become economic

It is already a huge economic problem. But emperor Xi cannot be wrong. Therefore China will have a hard time finding a reason to get rid of zero-Covid.

As an example, think of Josef Stalin's Collectivization policy. It was a disaster for the USSR; economically, industrially, socially and (given the death toll) demographically. But because it had been pushed by Josef Stalin, the USSR could not abandon it because that would have meant the Core Leader was wrong, and in such a nation, to claim that the dictator is wrong is not just unthinkable but it is to them what blasphemy is to a priest.
Xi pushed the Zero-Covid policy, so to abandon it would mean he was wrong, and his faction will not tolerate any suggestion that he is fallible, ESPECIALLY with the "election (if you want to call it that)" looming later this year. To admit that Xi is fallible would be inviting support for a rival candidate. For Xi, being absolute ruler of a broken state is better than losing power over a prosperous one.

The same closing strategy is repeated, but with no permanent results, only temporary.
traveling field must remain open because this harms the economy with all other fields in my opinion.

You are seeing it from an economic point of view. That's not how emperor Xi sees the world. For him it's about power & saving face.