Shock finding: virus dormant during office hours

The Hong Kong government’s latest round of anti-virus measures have closed swimming pools, gyms and cinemas entirely. Seating in restaurants and coffee shops has been reduced by at least 50% to give patrons (rather pleasant) space. Officials have also seen fit to take public barbecue pits and kids’ playing-ground equipment out of service. Thus we are encouraged to do social-distancing, not mingle and preferably stay home. During leisure time.

But then the morning comes around, and half the Hong Kong population board buses and MTR trains and walk along narrow, crowded sidewalks and squeeze into cramped elevators. The ‘no groups of more than four’ and ‘keep 1.5m apart’ rules suddenly don’t apply. It’s commute-to-the-office time, so such precautions are somehow unnecessary. (Except for civil servants who are ‘working from home’ ha ha.)

What is the official logic for this inconsistency? ‘We must strike a balance’? ‘We are monitoring the situation and may consider additional precautions in due course and are hoping to achieve consensus with various sectors’? ‘The Li Ka-shing effect that keeps typhoons at bay during daytime Mon-Fri works on viruses too’? ‘Well [shrug] it’s better than nothing’? (This last one is actually honest and makes some sense.)

Just as you thought you can’t stomach another article/post on face masks – here’s an interesting one about the legal and other pitfalls of sourcing the things…

China would prefer to see its good quality PPE go to countries it likes and not  to countries it doesn’t like. 

And, because we can’t resist, some more details on how the WHO snubs Taiwan, even when the country offers to share important info.

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15 Responses to Shock finding: virus dormant during office hours

  1. Hamantha says:

    Don’t worry. If Hong Kong continues hitting record high numbers of daily new cases, the government will, yet again, be forced to concede to the greater good. And I do so enjoy seeing this particular CCP-puppet government make conecessions small and large, again and again and again.

    In the meantime, all this commuting and office working further enhances the likelihood of a sustained local epidemic, which I greatly look forward to, as anything short of a full-blown outbreak has failed to bring housing prices down to anywhere-near-sane levels.

  2. Mary Melville says:

    Tiffany closing its outlet at 1881 so no more excuses on the part of government departments as to why the operator, CK, be allowed to fill the open square in front with gaudy pop up stores in violation of lease conditions as there is obviously spare shop capacity.
    And when will a replacement for the magnificent tree they killed off appear? These are only the tip of the iceberg issues underlying this faux heritage project.

  3. PaperCuts says:

    “What is the official logic for this inconsistency?”

    The official logic comes from the Big Book of Social Engineering Handbook section 4, page 919 subsection 5.7.3a, which all governments on the planet are currently using as a guideline, which states:

    From behind, tap citizen on right shoulder. As citizen turns around to their right to investigate, tap citizen on left shoulder. When citizen turns back to the left, administer a single sharp, open handed slap to the right side of citizen’s face. Immediately follow this maneuver with a short, thrusting knee jab in the area of the solar plexus. As citizen doubles forward clutching stomach, direct uppercut to jaw with explosive speed and force. As citizen recoils up and backward from this blow, embrace neck such as “headlock” results. With citizen suitably restrained, run them toward wall head first while requiring of them to present I.D card. Should citizen not comply the administration of “reasonable force” may be effected. Interrogation featuring extreme prejudice and re-education must ensue for all citizenry who question simple State logic: up is down, common sense is mass ignorance and war is peace.

  4. Hamantha says:


    I think Tiffany’s had one outlet in 1881, facing the TST Ferry Terminal. And less than a single small block away on 1 Peking Road, Tiffany’s had yet another big location, tacked on an extremely gaudy and overly-priced “Tiffany’s-themed Afternoon Tea” featuring a prismatic teal lighting scheme, and teal-colored cocktails and hor d’oeuvres that made the place look truly sickening.

    One can only hope that, as Tiffany recedes from the city, so too will Chow Tai Fook, Chow Sang Sang, and the rest of them.

  5. twocisterns says:

    Last Friday, New Town Plaza was positively humming with people dining and browsing in shops. Absent was the clatter of wheeled luggage. Empty were the watch and gold jewellery shops. Quite pleasant really. Even I detoured from my essential shopping for some essential, non-essential book purchases.

  6. Joe Blow says:

    About that social distancing thing: I just walked past the ‘Restaurant Kowloon’ on Hennessy Road, Wanchai (near Bowrington) at 3.45PM and the place was totally packed with zero distancing applied. It’s a ‘blue ribbon’ restaurant so maybe they think they are immune to prosecution.

  7. Revolution says:

    Aside from (a) returnees who caught the virus from overseas and (b) people who have caught the virus from the band that rotates around various bars, is anyone else actually catching the virus at present?

    40 to 60 cases a day is a bad thing, but when 80 per cent of them are coming from abroad, that’s a problem of the Government’s own making, and social distancing (or lack of it) won’t make a damn bit of difference to that.

  8. Stanley Lieber says:


    Spot on.

    The citizenry has its shit together.

    The HKSARG isn’t doing its job at the border.

    This is not helping the pro-government forces.

    Despite the arrests, disqualifications and innumerable other hijinks, the Legco elections in September are shaping up as a repeat of the DC elections.

    Will they allow the elections to go forward?

    I don’t see how.

  9. Stupid, stupid, stupid all the way down says:


    Are you implying that the government’s current ineffectual, poorly targeted, badly administered, and generally half-arsed measure to stop this disease is only in place because their last measure to stop this disease proved to be as ineffectual, poorly targeted, badly administered, and generally half-arsed as everyone outside the government said it would be?

    And are you also implying that the government’s previous ineffectual, poorly targeted, badly administered, and generally half-arsed measure to stop this disease was only put in place because the measures they took before that to stop the disease proved to be as ineffectual, poorly targeted, badly administered, and generally half-arsed as everyone outside the government said it would be?

    Because if you are, welcome to “The HKSARG Piss Poor Policies for Governance Playbook”, Chapter 4: Cautiously implemented nonsense. Subtitled: ‘Implementing the first thing the committee all agree on after “Chapter 1: Doing the same as last year” has ended in catastrophic failure, and “Chapter 2: Pretending that nothing’s wrong” has also gone deeply South and “Chapter 3: Copying whatever Singapore or the US did” isn’t applicable. ‘

  10. Joe Blow says:

    There is a fair assessment that Hong Kong wages this year may drop like 20%. What are the chances that the Civil Service salaries will drop 0.0001%? Rather than rise yet another 5%, despite the fact that they are already the highest paid (never mind productivity) civil servants on planet Earth?

  11. PaperCuts says:

    Move ’em on, head ’em up
    Head ’em up, move ’em on
    Move ’em on, head ’em up, rawhide
    Cut ’em out, ride ’em in
    Ride ’em in, cut ’em out
    Cut ’em out, ride ’em in, rawhide
    Keep movin’, movin’, movin’
    Though they’re disapprovin’
    Keep them dogies movin’, rawhide
    Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope ’em, throw, and brand ’em

  12. A Poor Man says:

    Mary – I think that because of the local geography, whatever happens at 1881 is irrelevant to the vast majority of people in TST. I-Square is much more annoying. It is one of the most heavily used entrances to the MTR (after Exit A?), but for unknown reasons there is no canopy over the entrance, and so whenever it rains it becomes a cluster f*ck. Another great design by HK’s own Rocco Yim. I can’t wait to see how the local Palace Museum turns out, especially since he didn’t have to compete for the project. Also, I don’t know how they get away with putting up huge seasonal displays for months at a time in the plaza out front a few times per year.

  13. asiaseen says:

    @ Joe Blow
    Not only that, the civil service will probably get a bonus to compensate for the inconvenience of having to “work” from home.

  14. Mary Melville says:

    There are numerous examples of poor design and penny pinching that hold foot traffic up. Like why did govt not requisition/buy a small section of Admiralty Centre to connect with bridge to its offices and the other footbridges. On ground floor you have to open umbrella for the short walk between Exit A and escalator.
    Ditto World Wide House with no cover between the MTR exit and escalator to footbridge.
    But then our streets are designed for the convenience of drivers not pedestrians and advisory bodies are handpicked rubber stampers.

  15. Revolution says:


    “There are numerous examples of poor design and penny pinching that hold foot traffic up. Like why did govt not requisition/buy a small section of Admiralty Centre to connect with bridge to its offices and the other footbridges.”

    I have always assumed that the disconnect between Admiralty Centre and the Government offices is deliberate. Makes it easier to cut the Government off from the plebs/protestors if necessary.

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