Mark it in your diaries!

The Hong Kong government continues to grope and fumble its way to a decision on citywide lockdown and compulsory universal Covid testing. The latest signs are: the performance will last from March 26 to April 3; public transport will continue to operate, partly; essential workers (healthcare, stock exchange, etc) can go about their duties; and one designated shopper per household will be allowed out on some sort of roster to buy food. 

This is, of course, just tentative – maybe someone will see sense and scrap the whole idea. But there are patriotic voices demanding a full-scale Wuhan-style population house-arrest. The Standard story has former Health Secretary Ko Wing-man at the ‘two meetings’ in Beijing apparently thinking it is still possible to nip the 5th wave in the bud. Regina Ip also staunchly sticks with the ‘zero dynamic etc’ ideology.

Meanwhile the overnight lockdowns (still taking place as if identifying and isolating individual cases will stop the spread of the disease now) provide more or less random samples of the population – suggesting that maybe 15% of residents are Covid-positive.

Nine days without leaving your 400 sq ft home, going for a walk, seeing friends, or letting your dog pee on fire hydrants. Nine days when riot police roam the streets ticketing anyone outdoors without a permit – special teams to clamp down on midnight joggers? And when the results are published, we find that, of the Hong Kong population, 33% have rickets, 33% obesity, 33% insanity, and 100% terribly need a haircut.

Your regular expats-fleeing-HK story – today from AP

Over the last fortnight Hong Kong has looked more like New York or London at the start of the pandemic than a city which had two years of hard-won breathing room to get ready.

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16 Responses to Mark it in your diaries!

  1. donkey says:

    The worst part is the CCP attacking doctors for not doing enough, as if they are magically supposed to make their hospitals ready to fight an infectious disease that the government gave them no resources or even directions / instructions to do. We are clearly living in the midst of two camps fighting it out over ideology.

  2. C.Law says:

    That AFP story also appears in the paper and online editions of the Standard today: https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/5/239557/Virus-chaos-speeds-up-HK-exodus

    I have actually been impressed by the coverage of the covid situation in the Standard of late, it has been comprehensive and balanced, not avoiding stories putting the government and “experts” in a bad light and even asking pointed questions in the editorials.

  3. WonTonMin says:

    The fact that the riot police are being brought in to “escort” infected citizens to the container shipping camps is the real tell: this exercise is not merely performative. It is about punishing/terrorizing the Hong Kong colonists who still dare to think for themselves. Demoralizing the public is a goal, not collateral damage. And if the “performance” of choking the 15 year old kid on the basketball court yesterday is any indication, the cops are salivating with glee. I fear this “performance” is going to be a fiasco.

  4. Joe Blow says:

    If you really want to see infection rates go through the roof again, wait until April 20 or so, when 7 million people make a mad rush for the hair salon, all at once. Gee, how come our over-paid and under-performing civil servants never thought of that one?

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    @donkey

    As usual CCP are the scum of the earth that happens to blame everyone (even doctors) rather than themselves for not regulating the wet markets more tightly.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    @donkey: I thought you were going to end the sentence at “The worst part is the CCP attacking doctors for not doing enough, as if they are magically supposed to make their hospitals ready to fight an infectious disease that the government gave them.”

  7. reductio says:

    How is this lockdown-which-isn’t going to work in the sprawling NT villages? And they’re not the most law abiding places at the best of times.

  8. Huangy says:

    Serious question. Flyjin was the term for those expats that fled potential nuclear disaster after the Fukushima quake, is there a corresponding local term for departees from Hk coined yet? If not, I suggest “Fly-gwei,” subject to native speaker scrutiny.

  9. Mark Bradley says:

    I think “Fly-lo” has a nice ring to it.

    Personally though I am going down with the ship, and hope HK opens up in 2024.

  10. Din Dan Che says:

    @Huangy
    How about Gwei-gone?

  11. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Huangy: Maybe “Fei Gui” (Mando – 飛鬼)?

  12. A Poor Man says:

    Huangy – No need to mix English and Cantonese. Most locals consider doing so to be unnecessary, stupid and/or insulting.

    How about carpetbagger rats – for coming to exploit the locals and the local system, and then abandoning the ship when the situation looks bad.

  13. D3SH says:

    Amusing that things are taking another twist today according to Ming Pao (via Bloomberg). Latest headline:

    “Hong Kong May Drop Mass Testing as Covid Priority, Ming Pao Says”

    Hong Kong is considering prioritizing reducing Covid-19 deaths over a compulsory citywide test as authorities struggle to contain its worst wave of virus cases in the pandemic, local newspaper Ming Pao reported, citing a government source it didn’t identify.

    The shift comes after Liang Wannian, the leader of China’s National Health Commission’s Covid response team who is visiting Hong Kong to advise the city, suggested the financial hub focus on lowering deaths, reducing severe cases and stamping out infections, the paper reported.

  14. Chris H says:

    @Huangy
    What about “Bye-Gwei”?…

  15. Mary Melville says:

    Starting March 10, hair salons will be allowed to reopen in the city
    Phew, finally some commons sense. Yet another measure that discriminated against grass roots as anyone with cash could get a home visit for a few hundred bucks.
    At a guess I would surmise that that it was going to get a bit tricky for heavyweights to explain why they were sporting short back and sides when the rest of the community had the shaggy dog look.

  16. Self-help says:

    @reductio

    Just add 3 hyphens to your question and you’ve answered it yourself.

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