HK’s Covid bind

Epidemiologist Ben Cowling is undergoing quarantine in Hong Kong and commenting on the procedures – here, then here.

An interesting and worrying summary (not sure if it’s by Prof Cowling – link here) of the bind Hong Kong is in

By the end of October, nearly 500000 people in Hong Kong will have been fully vaccinated for 6 months or more …  This translates to a possible decrease in immunity for this population. The HKSARG needs to use the time it has now … by making boosters available (to everyone who wants them, not just lawmakers)… Otherwise when the next wave comes (and it is more likely ‘when’ than ‘if’), it will be a disaster of epic proportions.

More on the timing side of things here. Main problem is the low vaccination rate among the elderly, about which we hear plenty of explanations but no solutions. (How about this? Send every one of them a letter stating ‘Dear valued elderly, You have three months to get vaccinated. Then the city opens up. If you are not vaccinated, you will possibly die – but that will be your choice. Thank you for your attention. PS, there’s a HK$100 Park N Shop coupon in it for you.’) 


Draconian quarantine measures in Hong Kong have exposed risks of awful and unhygienic hotel accommodation, getting food poisoning and getting infected while in quarantine (at least 2 documented in Hong Kong).

Some weekend reading…

A legal academic asks how Hong Kong courts should treat the NatSec Law with regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

HKFP op-ed on the ‘normal’ to which Hong Kong has returned.

Atlantic on that increasingly popular subject – why the US shouldn’t exaggerate China’s might.

If China’s policy makers can successfully pivot their economy to be a more productive and dynamic one, the risk to Washington is real. If, however, it turns out that China is more like Evergrande—a glossy growth story with a rotten core—then Beijing’s ambitions will unravel, much like the property company’s.

Great profile from Palladium on Xi Jinping’s chief engineer of human souls, low-profile Politburo member and ideologist Wang Huning, who is responsible for today’s anti-decadence anti-individualism drive – fighting video games, gay rights activism, celebrity-worship and so on. I didn’t realize he was also behind Jiang Zemin’s ‘Three Represents’ and Hu Jintao’s ‘Harmonious Society’ slogan-initiatives.

[Wang’s] worst fear has become reality: the “unstoppable undercurrent of crisis” he identified in America seems to have successfully jumped the Pacific. Despite all his and Xi’s success in draconian suppression of political liberalism, many of the same problems Wang observed in America have nonetheless emerged to ravage China over the last decade as the country progressively embraced a more neoliberal capitalist economic model.

Also related to social engineering: is it necessary to bring warmth to rural single men’s beds? By forcing rural single women into them, obviously. At the same time, nearly half of urban young women plan on not getting married. As if China doesn’t have enough demographic problems. 

And Andrew Batson on how the Leninist system balances – or tries to balance – reform and change with its need to retain control through continuous campaigns and struggles.

The finalists in today’s Soft Power Award: 1) a vid about Taiwan’s first Air Force NCO of African descent; and 2) China’s immensely tasteful Taiwan invasion porn.

After watching Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Korean blockbuster Squid Game (superb set design), my latest modern popular-culture fad indulgence is to take the Devil Noodle challenge – the world’s (allegedly) spiciest instant ramen. Chien-chien in the vid is a wimp, but even lovers of hot food would be wasting their time here. Imagine a junk-food snack with HK Police pepper spray as the main ingredient.

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13 Responses to HK’s Covid bind

  1. donkey says:

    Hong Kong is what happens when you don’t let people who know what must be done get those things done.

    These people seem to be the stupidest morons on earth.

    As for the elderly. They are a vulnerable community. Why isn’t more done just to make their vaccination mandatory?

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Love how every one of the ass kicking studs getting ready to take over the Taiwanese presidential palace in that GT illustration looks like a 100% western Caucasian, tall noses and all. Maybe they were recruited from the Xinjiang region?

    As for the Taiwanese-Ghanaian lad…good on him! Looks like a smart, upstanding young man who represents the free, independent and inclusive NATION of Taiwan proudly. Unlike the knuckle dragging thug nation across the strait that has millions of “nationality” members that are allegedly equal as the Han but relegated to dancing, singing and dressing in native garb during the annual wankfests in Peking.

  3. Stanley Lieber says:


    Haven’t we had enough coercion already?

    Bon weekend!

  4. Probably says:

    Whilst Ben Cowling’s diary provides an interesting read I do suspect people are believing that the HK quarantine rules are there as a means of disease prevention rather than a way of social control, preventing subversive foreigners from entering whilst lining the pockets of our hotel property owning friends.

  5. asiaseen says:

    Apart from the question that covid vaccines are cleared for emergency use only, carrying out a medical procedure on any person without informed consent constitutes an assault and would not be covered by the permitted exceptions.

  6. Mjrelje says:

    Fantastic weekend links. Amazing blogs but not as good as your’s.

  7. reductio says:


    Agree up to a point. So that means if a person is compos mentis then give ’em the facts and let them decide if they want to get vaccinated. Then open the borders. Life is about balancing risks and a person can balance the risk of a vaccine reaction with the risk of getting covid and, having caught it, dying or having long lasting ill-effects. And we also need to balance personal rights with disadvantages to the whole community, which is what the New Zealand government is facing up to right now. For people who are not mentally able to give informed consent doctors and caregivers can make the decision, in the same way that they do so everday for critically injured people admitted to A&E departments and how we vaccinate children without their consent for polio and measles etc, because it is highly likely it is for their benefit (and definitely for society’s.)

  8. where's my jet plane says:

    Tam Yiu-chung says he was told not to attend a meeting in the capital after the discovery of an untraceable Covid-19 case in Hong Kong

    Not quite as important as we thought we were.
    Next up, She Who Must Obey forced to stop making her frequent trips across the border

  9. Low Profile says:

    If someone says “I know the risks of driving drunk, and I accept that it may kill me”, we stop them because it may also kill others. Now if someone says “I know the risks of not taking precautions against Covid-19 [such as wearing a mask, social distancing, or getting vaccinated], and I accept that it may kill me”, they also pose a risk to others. Should we not apply the same logic?

  10. Reader says:

    Hong Kong’s oh-so-important sole delegate to the NPCSC [insert own epithet] is not only unceremoniously shut out of next week’s chat because of one measly Covid case in 50 days, but he doesn’t even know what’s on the agenda!

  11. where's my jet plane says:

    he doesn’t even know what’s on the agenda!
    My conspiracy theory is that something significant to do with HK is going to be put forward and TPTB don’t want him shooting his mouth off prematurely

  12. odaiwai says:

    @Asiaseen: “…covid vaccines are cleared for emergency use only…”

    This is an anti-vaxxer talking point. The Pfizer/Biontech vaccine has full FDA clearance.

  13. Mjrelje says:

    TPTB must be as dumb as Tam Yiu-ching actually looks to have appointed him as Hong King’s sole representative to the unelected wankfest. What is the point of having a unelected HK representative when it’s a rubber stamp sesh that can only have the singular result of bringing the Wu-Flu back from its origins.

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