‘Dynamic Zero-Brains’ Covid precautions leave hospitals overwhelmed by asymptomatic patients. New measures here and here. The good news is stronger incentives for hold-outs to get vaccinated. Otherwise it’s a mess. Outdoor gatherings of more than two thirds of one person are banned. This will not be proactively enforced except sometimes. No hamsters allowed in hair salons where all staff are vaccinated. You will need the LeaveHomeSafe app to enter supermarkets unless there are no vegetables for sale. And you must have the app to go through malls except when you don’t have to…
“If there are certain individuals who have to go past a certain premises like a shopping mall to get to where they live or where they work, they can be taken as a reasonable excuse of not observing the vaccine pass…”
Letting the sloppy English pass, this last point is startling as it suggests someone senior in the government realizes that, for many of the 90% who do not use private cars, malls in Hong Kong offer de facto essential public rights-of-way between housing/offices and transport nodes. At the same time, officials decide to give handouts to front-line workers and the unemployed, and to tighten statutory employment protection.
This uncharacteristic sensitivity to the masses may seem refreshing. Or, to the paranoid, it could be more sinister. In what other policy field have the Hong Kong authorities been painstakingly thorough and no-expense-spared in the last couple of years?
It is getting hard to distinguish NatSec Gestapo from Co
rvid Gestapo – as if the two are merging into the same thing. The LeaveHomeSafe app is becoming a general-purpose surveillance and tracking device, as if we are all being tagged like a suspect on bail (remember bail?). The state finds a way to shut down churches and temples. Government can intrude into your home to make sure too many families aren’t there, but enforcement can be selective (hello pan-dems).
Which brings us to the latest in the courts. Samuel Bickett is sent back to jail. A statement from him. And after nearly a year in custody for most of them, the 47 pan-dems arrested for taking part in a primary election see their case dragged out yet again.