So the government is indeed scrapping the planned compulsory universal testing farce…
On the internal discussions to delay universal testing, insiders told the Post that carrying out the exercise with so many cases emerging every day would be “useless”, given the city still did not have an adequate number of isolation facilities.
The (still not officially announced) decision is presented as a reprioritization. Anonymous sources say the mass-testing will be postponed to late April (presumably watered-down), and the main aim will now be the rather obvious one all along of ‘saving lives’. To save face, the new approach – more like ‘living with Covid’ – will probably be termed ‘zero dynamic blah blah with Asian characteristics’ or something.
After the confusion-horror-mayhem of the last month or so, the Hong Kong government’s credibility is in even more tatters than anyone had previously thought possible. But it looks like there has been something of a power struggle in the background between Mainland political ideologues and more practical health experts.
HKU’s Gabriel Leung thinks the 5th wave has peaked and will end up with approximately 4.3 million infections and 5,000 deaths. Graphs and link to report here.
Watch Regina Ip suddenly proclaim support for the approach she dismissed up until yesterday.
In an uncharacteristic little fit of common sense, the government will even allow hair salons to open again.
Now Hong Kong can return to normalcy – Tam Tak-chi’s sedition conviction, Ta Kung Pao turning on Cardinal Zen, and Winnie Yu back in jail.
Some mid-week reading…
The expats-fleeing-HK story du jour – from AFP via HKFP.
A quick Axios summary on Beijing’s internal pro-Russia propaganda. A good thread on what China can and can’t do as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine. A Chinese academic goes anti-Semitic on Ukraine. And Vice on China’s (or some Chinese men’s) creepy thing about Ukrainian women.
A few questions remain, dear Hemlock. If you will indulge me:
1. We just sent all the kids home for summer early holidays, for a month, which ends in early April…. what now was the point of that? Clear out the schools for Compulsory Universal Novavirus Testing or C.U.N.T. and then?
2. I know we all think they are stupid, but are they stupid? I think they are, right? Why make so much of this deliberation public? I mean, they are literally talking out loud in the press the entire time about what their plans are, and also they are telling us what to do with ourselves, the entire time. Are they not aware that they look like complete morons? I mean, not only Hong Kong authorities, but also the Beijing Boys they sent down to help us.
3. I can now understand why nobody protests anymore. Why bother? These people shouldn’t live past their 50th birthdays, that’s how idiotic they seem. Why hasn’t China just cleared them all out and installed cadres from beijing to just run the whole show? I don’t mean in the background. I mean, why not just fucking clear them out and have them lined up in public and ridiculed?
It’s literally like watching a Benny Hill sketch. I have never in my life seen such ineptitude. Hong Kong is an embarrassment.
I won’t pretend to know all the ins and outs but I’ll give Dr Liang his due in that he appears to be looking at the reality of the situation and at least suggesting (directing?) resources are aimed at harm minimization.
But I do have some a couple of observations on/experiences of the HKG clusterfuck:
1) We have 3 children in our household two teenagers and a pre-teen. Our pre-teen went for her first shot a couple of weeks ago, but because the vaccine booking has not been changed we had to book her under the adult forms so her next shot is due soon. She can’t take the shot because the HKG directive is 8 weeks between shots for <12 years, but the site still does not accommodate booking for <12 years. Likewise the HKG has directed that all teenagers receive a booster before June 24th it is impossible to book a booster shot for teenagers on the HKG site.
2) I'd guess there are a few people high up in the administration and the pro-gov parties that really want to lock people up. If those people happen to belong to the so-called "middle-class liberal elites" all the better. But at the same time they are relying on a civil service that count the "middle-class liberal elites" among their friends and significant others, and I don't think they feel a burning need to lock these people away, and some probably worry that they won't be able to show their faces in polite company again.
3) My wife and I have had serious conversations about making arrangements to leave HK. We don't feel as though we can just pick up and leave, but when our older child finishes their IB next summer if things remain basically the same then we will make the move. Basically the thing that has me convinced that HK is not my retirement city is the HKG response to this crisis (and in my opinion it is a health crisis for the unvaccinated elderly) has been purely performative and ignoring the reality of the situation. You could say the HKG successfully implemented a zero covid policy pre-omnicron but it was the height on arrogance to assume that this current wave was an impossibility.
I agree with Dopey, and really appreciate point 2. There is clearly a battle going on inside the government over the tone, emotional backbone and value system of the government itself, and I am sure heads are banging against the walls on both sides of the spectrum as it becomes clear Hong Kong has always been a kind of fiefdom ruled by the middle class and elites who really were the ones who took it over from the british. This is not a place you want to be in ten or even five years, because the problems will get worse as the tone worsens and the inability to fix the problem becomes really apparent.
Hong Kong is going to be the ugliest city in Asia in a few years.
Every day it is announced how many covid-infected people died in the previous 24 hours, how many of the deceased were unvaccinated and how many had 1-3 vaccination shots. Does anyone else find it suspicious that what is not announced is what specific shot(s) they received?
@dopey: re 1, the site handles the eight-week gap with workaround. After the first dose happens, you can change the second booking under “Book Vaccination” and push it back to the proper date.
@A Poor Man – of course, but those best positioned to ask that question have all been forced out of LegCo, and the current bunch of head-nodders will not question anything that may be sensitive.
*Hong Kong is going to be the ugliest city in Asia in a few years*.
@Donkey. Interesting and perhaps right. But please define ‘ugly’ in this context.
Even for the most hardened blue-rinse or Zen basher with a figment of sense, “academic” Zhang Wenmu must be an acute embarrassment. Where are Mossad and the Simon Wiesenthal Center when you need them?
There again not many of our ruling elite, DAB and CCP grunts have that figment of sense.
In light of this (especially point #2 raised by dopey and followed up by donkey), it sounds like we still have some slivers of autonomy still left despite Beijing’s determination to completely hollow out our autonomy (and indeed they have liquidated a large chunk of that autonomy in 2020 and 2021) in everything save for municipal services.
Quite sure that a man of God, especially one of Joseph Zen’s age, will not be turned on by anything Ta Kung Pao does … not even if they’ve put Maria Tam’s bikini snaps on page three (again)
@ A Poor Man
For concise coverage of the rates of infections / deaths / those vaccinated or not I suggest following:
The vast majority of the fatalities are over 65 with zero vaccinations
Has anyone noticed SCMP got into the NFT game?
I hope this bombs hard for these clueless muppets. I noticed the discord they setup have thousands of people though, which surprises me.
“Maria Tam’s bikini snaps”? Please, not while I’m eating.
you can buy discord “followers,” and I would bet there are a lot of bots in that server.
And with impeccable timing and despite all the plaudits thrown in the direction of our health care workers, the Security Bureau decides to bolster morale in the sector by locking up Winnie Yu, the ex HA union chief, again.
And then they wonder why there are so many folk holding out, relatives, parents, friends, colleagues of those locked up with no hope of a just outcome and with no other avenue to give a finger to the system.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
WTF Suddenly my phone started screeching like Emily Lau during full moon. I almost got a heart attack. “Don’t go the QEH”. Thanks a lot, Curry Cunt.
Re Cardinal Zen, it seems a bit surprising to find a Catholic website quoting the Falun Gong’s “Epoch Times” as a source.
In the US, Omicron cases spikee and then collapsee by -95% in less than two months (High was on January 15).
The collapse came with the US Federal and State Governments doing basically nothing. It burned out.
Prediction: The exact same will happen in Hong Kong……but the Government (HK & Beijing) will crow about how they “defeated” the virus through all their extreme measures.
If other countries around the world are any indication, that is not the case. Omicron burns out on its own quite rapidly……but the Government will say that they deserve all the credit. Count on it.
Sorry for the rant, but I see the bloviating from the Govt. coming already…..
HK-Cynic: you wouldn’t be wrong. Followed by a lot of medal distributions and self back patting.