Selina is back!

Just as we feared Hong Kong’s glamour had faded forever, Selina Chow – former svelte TV newsreader and head of the Liberal Party – returns, calling for Hong Kong to close its border. Radiant in her defiance, like the hospital staff threatening to strike.

While the overtly ‘pro-Beijing’ DAB stooges must obey the CCP regardless of public opinion, the ‘pro-establishment’ business-based political groups once again follow their conscience and side heroically with the people. When the chips are down. It’s amazing how plummeting profits concentrate the mind.

Some say that travel bans don’t work against disease anyway. Others point out that other countries are doing it – and Hong Kong must either bar or be barred. The Hong Kong government, last time we checked, was still dithering and mumbling excuses. It has mustered the resolve to tell civil servants to work from home and shut sports facilities, but it has a huge hang-up about restricting cross-border travel.

The government lost all credibility long ago. What a combination: Hong Kong’s scared and leaderless populace meets up with its out-of-control, head-smashing paramilitary police force. You would have thought that someone in authority might think that, under the circumstances, this would be a good time to put the cops back into their pre-2019 smart-blue-uniform, friendly-helpful-polite mode. Wouldn’t you? No, of course not. Stupid question.

On the subject of questions, here’s one someone had to ask eventually: is Chief Executive Carrie Lam suffering from emotional or psychological problems, or even some sort of neurological disorder? The withdrawing into a shell, the lack of empathy – are these the result of extreme stress, or is this the way she really is? Another possibility is that, as a devout Catholic, she is overcome by some sort of martyrdom complex, in the grip of an Opus Dei-style self-flagellation thing, or re-enacting the Passion.

Or, more likely, her administration is powerless and waiting for orders from above. Beijing has the right to keep Mainlanders from Hong Kong by imposing its own outbound travel restrictions. But it seems Hong Kong may not on its own do anything that looks like ‘closing the border’.

Beijing’s officials must oppose such steps because of the symbolism – it looks like Hong Kong is part of the outside world rather than part of China. The long-term aim, after all, is to wean Hongkongers off the idea that they are a separate jurisdiction with a distinct identity, and convince them they are part of the Greater Bay Area and glorious motherland. Whatever you do, just don’t politicize the issue.

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22 Responses to Selina is back!

  1. MarkLane says:

    Anyone else notice that the comments of a certain “Reactor #4” have been surprisingly… un-asinine lately?

    Did hell freeze over in the past week? Or maybe it’s something like a coming-to-terms-with-God moment, as he ticks all the right boxes for being particularly at-risk from the WuFlu outbreak — that is, male, elderly, obese, probably with a good dose of hypertension / high blood pressure for good measure and, of course, thoroughly in denial.

  2. Big Al says:

    To-date, WuFlu has infected 17,388 people globally, resulting in 362 deaths, which is a mortality rate of 2.1% (I accept that we are at the beginning of an epidemic and so infections, deaths and possibly the mortality rate will increase). But, according to WHO [https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)] , seasonal influenza infects 3-5 million people globally, resulting in 290,000 to 650,000 deaths, which is a mortality rate of 9.6% to 13.0%. This is every year!
    So, seasonal influenza is recurrent and both more deadly and more widespread than WuFlu, yet the whole world is fixated on WuFlu, with Hong Kong in a particular panic. As usual.
    So, my question to you learned ladies and gentlemen is “why” is this the case, when there is clearly more chance of catching ‘flu’ and dying from it than there is for WuFlu?

  3. WonTonMin says:

    Even the DAB is now calling for border closure https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1506345-20200203.htm

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    @MarkLane: Fuck him. You can’t rehabilitate a rotten to the core piece of shit despite his occasional spurt of “normalness”.

  5. Joe Blow says:

    Big Al, statistically you are right. But a good deal of those who die from the regular flu are the sick and elderly who were short-listed for the Pearly Gates already. In the case of WuFlu it’s more like a reverse Mark Six scenario: anyone can be winner with the correct numbers.

  6. MarkLane says:

    @Big Al
    “…seasonal influenza infects 3-5 million people globally, resulting in 290,000 to 650,000 deaths, which is a mortality rate of 9.6% to 13.0%.”

    Your assessment here — and the crux of your entire argument — is unequivocably, 100% wrong. If you’re going to tell people they’re being alarmist over nothing, at least get the basic statistics right…

    Here’s a link to the United States’ Center for Disease Control:
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

    Their figures, along with the majority of scientific literature, point to an average seasonal flu mortality rate of 0.13%. The WuFlu has an estimated case mortality rate of 2-3%, which is many, many times higher.

    Moreover, the R0 of the WuFlu — i.e. the expected number of transmissions from from 1 infected individual to other individuals — is around 4.0 For reference, the seasonal flu has an R0 of around 1.3. Thus, the WuFlu is several times more contagious than the season flu.

    So you have all of that, plus the fact that there is evidence pointing to asymptomatic transmission as well as post-recovery transmission, added to which the WuFlu has an incredibly long incubation period of 7-14 days. All of which means that WuFlu is incredibly hard to screen for.

    This is not even to mention the unfortunate penchant that the WuFlu has to trigger ARDS, or actute respiratory distress syndrome. ARDS is the sudden inflammation of multiple lobes of your lungs, with lots and lots of pus / bleeding that will result in your effectively drowing in your own juices over a short period of time. For reference, most common pneumonias usually only targets a single lobe or smaller segment of the lungs.

    If those statistics aren’t enough cause for alarm, the mere fact that the CCP, an authoritarian regime which worships at the altar of GDP and their economy progress, has effectively put the brakes on its entire economy apparatus by sealing off entire cities and provinces, quarantining 50+ million people and growing.

    In case you want to put the current WuFlu outbreak into historical perspective, I highly recommend reading this article on the progression of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which started out with a flu strain of similar infectivity and lethality as the current WuFlu.

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/journal-plague-year-180965222/

  7. Reactor #4 says:

    @Big Al and indirectly MarkLane

    “So, my question to you learned ladies and gentlemen is “why” is this the case, when there is clearly more chance of catching ‘flu’ and dying from it than there is for WuFlu?”

    Because most people in Hong Kong (yellow, pink, brahn, or whatever) are professional whinge bags. If you gave each and everyone of them HK$20 m, the very first thing that 90% of them would do is moan that it was in the wrong denomination notes.

    It’s no wonder the CCP treats them with contempt. It’s not in a position to cull them, so that’s about the next best option.

  8. @Big Al – there are vaccines against seasonal flu which can greatly reduce your chances of joining the mortality statistics. WuFlu is still in its early stages and the exact risk levels and transmission rates are still guesswork, plus there is no proven vaccine yet. Better safe than sorry looks like pretty good advice in the cirdcumstances.

  9. Ageist says:

    Underlying some of this discourse is the assumption that everything is all right as only the elderly are dying. Please don’t knock the elderly and respect the blogger more. 70 is no age nowadays. He is not necessarily expendable to Wu Fku.

  10. John says:

    But Mark it still primarily seriously affects the elderly and those with prior respiratory and heart/health problems. From all the experts I’ve seen cited its not SARS, more like a slightly more dangerous version of the regular flu. Like the flu it spreads easier but is less lethal than SARS.

  11. Mark Bradley says:

    You know what I love about biglychee? The quality of the comments rival the main article in quality. Except of course for Reactor #4’s comments.

  12. MarkLane says:

    @John

    Yes, I agree with you that, so far, the WuFlu seems to be most devastating to people aged 50+ with underlying medical conditions.

    With respect to mortality, as I mentioned above, the average mortality rate for the season flu is 0.13%, with the WuFlu estimated at 2-3%, meaning that the WuFlu is an order of magnitude higher than the seasonal flu. To me, that is pretty significant, especially when coupled with its much-higher-than-average infectivity, and its ability to hide itself in infected individuals.

    But for the sake of argument, putting aside any differences in lethality or contagiousness, the WuFlu seems to result in a much higher rate of serious secondary infections, and seems to send a much much higher percentage of the infected into critical condition. Many of these people in critical condition might recover, but when the seasonal flu season has already strained hospital systems across the world, many — possibly most — of these infected individuals in critical condition will not be able to get the medical attention they require.

    So, if the infectivity rate, overall lethality, and resulting symptoms / complications are not reason enough for serious concern, then the fact that this thing has a propensity to send people into critical condition, is.

  13. G. S. Chamberlain says:

    @John the thing with SARS as with other highly lethal contagions is that it is in a sense self-restricting – because it has this nasty tendency to kill its hosts – which means that it will be quick to essentially burn itself out. Winnie the Flu, which spreads easier but is less lethal, will not do this, at least not so quickly and not before it has spread to many more people. Coupled with the fact that Batty the Bug can be transmitted during the incubation phase, it will almost certainly kill many more than SARS did.

    In order for it to stop you would need to cure roughly 3 out of every 4 people infected (based on the current projections) – which is unlikely to happen until/unless (1) the virus, again, burns itself out or (2) a vaccine is developed, tested and mass produced in sufficient quantities. I find it difficult to imagine that either is going to happen anytime soon, at least not in the next three months.

  14. JL1218 says:

    Nice article.

    Geez, the Wuflu/US flu comparison is getting alarmingly retarded. In fact, the whole “Oh, the US did it too ” rebuttal favored by the Chinaiacs is childish. Doesn’t help solve anything.

    Carrie Lam is possessed. Soon she will be levitating and spewing out Hebrew in one of her pointless press conferences. Be prepared.

  15. Mark Bradley says:

    “Because most people in Hong Kong (yellow, pink, brahn, or whatever) are professional whinge bags. If you gave each and everyone of them HK$20 m, the very first thing that 90% of them would do is moan that it was in the wrong denomination notes.

    It’s no wonder the CCP treats them with contempt. It’s not in a position to cull them, so that’s about the next best option.”

    @Reactor #4 I hope you end up dying from the corona-virus you worthless sack of shit.

  16. Big Al says:

    @Mark Lane
    There should be no reason for an order of magnitude difference in death rate for ‘flu’ between the US (0.13% as stated by you from CDC figures) and the rest of the world (9.6% to 13.0% quoted by me from WHO figures), notwithstanding that many developing nations will not have the same level of facilities and resources as the US.
    The figures I quoted from WHO were for “serious” infections globally, e.g. warranting hospitalisation. The figures from your link to CDC are 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 to 61,000 deaths annually, resulting in a death rate of 7.53% to 8.57%, which is the same order of magnitude and only slightly lower than the global number, which is not unexpected.

    WuFlu, like seasonal influenza and other diseases, will always be more of a risk to the old and/or those with underlying medical conditions that reduce their resistance. If you look at the ages of those who have died, where this information is published, most (but not all) are 60+ with other complications. So age and infirmity are not a significant differentiator between the two.

    So I stand by my original assertion that, based on the numbers to-date, seasonal influenza is recurrent and both more deadly and more widespread than WuFlu. So, are the reasons that we are so much more scared about WuFlu to do with (i) ‘f’lu’ has been around forever and so we are familiar with it, but WuFlu is new; (ii) there are vaccines available to protect against ‘flu’ but there are none yet for WuFlu; (iii) there is virtually no media coverage about ‘flu’, compared with almost blanket coverage of WuFlu; (iv) a shortage of some perceived critical resource (e.g. face masks) – similar to a shortage of tamiflu when birdflu was making the headlines a while back (and may do so again soon …)?

    Anyway, thanks for the discussion. Enlightening as always!

  17. Cassowary says:

    @MarkLane: No. I make a point not to read them. I’m not going to subject myself to a daily dose of weaponized idiocy on the off chance that it might occasionally make a bit of sense. I might as well read Alex Lo.

    Also, aside from the political pressure that Carrie Lam must be under from Beijing, we have the Hong Kong government’s historical recalcitrance towards the opposition. They’d rather gnaw off their own arm than do anything proposed by a democrat, yeah?

  18. Penny says:

    Stop feeding the troll – he enjoys the attention and it only encourages him to be more outrageous.
    Sad, really.

  19. Astonished Observer says:

    @Cassowary

    To my amazement, it was pointed out to me that even Alex Lo is for closing the border.
    https://scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3048620/now-may-be-time-close-border

  20. Cassowary says:

    @Astonished: Let me know if Lo ever jumps on a bandwagon before the DAB does.

    On the other hand, Michael Chugani continues to surprise me. Perhaps his brother getting smurfed really did convince him that the shoe-shining wasn’t worth it.

  21. Guest says:

    @Cassowary: Chugani began his change of heart well before his brother got sprayed. Let’s see if he stays that way.

  22. John says:

    But Mark you also have to factor in the 10,000s or even 100,000s who will have been infected but either been asymptomatic or just had the symptoms of a minor cold or flu, recovered on their own, never sought medical care and got on with their lives. Once you factor those cases, of which apparently there are many, the mortality rate will likely be similar to the regular flu.

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