In quarantine…

…a perfect opportunity to deepen my understanding of the decisive significance of the ‘two establishes’.

Including in Korea, have had to sign up to three (or four?) online monitoring/reporting apps with clunky interfaces, all requiring the exact same info over and over. Worst time was at HK Airport converting the Leave Home Safe app into the Colour Code thing (do it before return flight!!!), followed by tests, more waiting for RAT result, then a one-hour wait for transport. Family in front of me had to go through it all with screaming kids (this is midnight) and got split up into separate vehicles to get to quarantine hotel. Despite frontline staff trying to crack jokes to avoid lynching by jetlagged arriving passengers, the process is sadistic. Download your Compulsory Quarantine Order – basically a warrant – en route to hotel, if possible, or face more grief at the apocalyptic check-in.

Next morning, cold baked beans for breakfast…

If 21 days’ quarantine was necessary, how come they reduced it to 14? And how come it can now be three? And here comes another…

Plus, three more PCR tests in the week after release, also requiring booking and standing in line each time. 

Those of us who hadn’t left Hong Kong for three years heard about all this. Only when you experience it in person do you realize how amazingly screwed-up the city has become. Any foreigners desperate enough to visit must be screaming ‘Never coming here again!’ the whole time. 

As with NatSec horrors, even the most outraged and free-thinking residents have been conditioned into not noticing quite how extreme and insane all this is. The fashionable word is ‘normalized’. Lo Chung-mau on TV notwithstanding, you have to get out to see how far – and irretrievably – the city has fallen.

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism...

“Totalitarianism in power invariably replaces all first-rate talents, regardless of their sympathies, with those crackpots and fools whose lack of intelligence and creativity is still the best guarantee of their loyalty.”

Update: this.

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9 Responses to In quarantine…

  1. Big Al says:

    Cold baked beans? You were lucky!

  2. YTSL says:

    First, a first person account of a colonoscopy gone wrong and maiden hospital stay. Now, a first person account of going through the insanity of Hong Kong’s arrival quarantine. The reports have been as informative as the experiences sounding hellish!

  3. Steve Mc Garret says:

    Been through this rigmarole a few weeks ago after returning from the U.K. where
    nobody was wearing masks. It’s not till you get out of the lunatic asylum that you realise
    how screwed up things are. The quarantine is designed to stop the hotels going bust as no-one in their right mind would want to come here. You pay hotel rates and get outsourced food. I wonder how much it costs for all the PPE staff and their endless tests.
    I had 5 PCR’s in 10 days.

  4. Guest says:

    “Family in front of me had to go through it all with screaming kids (this is midnight) and got split up into separate vehicles to get to quarantine hotel.”

    A distant relative of mine expects to see his daughter-in-law and two-year old grandson, whom he has never seen in person, when they visit Hong Kong next month from the U.S.

    Some family members tried to get them to reconsider, but they insisted on coming. So we advised them to buy travel insurance. But I’m not sure if that would protect them if something doesn’t go according to plan.

    It’s risky enough to travel alone nowadays, but with a baby in tow?

  5. Abba-Dabba Yucca-Ducca Hifalutin Hoochy-Doochy says:

    And never, never forget: In 2003 we had SARS 1, from 2006 until 2015 a Hong Kong medical expert, Dr. Margrte Chan, although a proven incompetent manager, after massive lobbying by the CCP, as Director General of the WHO, who in 2013 on the ten-year anniversary of SARS1 proudly announced that a repeat od SARS1 was now made impossible. And what happened in 2019? SARS2: Same virus, same virus environment, same attempt to suppress the information about it, same country, same, same….Only the leadership in China changed in 2012…

  6. Probably says:

    You are over-dramatising. To be fair the PCR tests do not require booking. Just walk up to the testing place in Southorn playground with yout HKID and phone and one will be through in a few minutes. I have just done home quarantine also and that is all I ever did.
    Hang on I just need to go and answer that knock at the door…………

  7. Gromit says:

    And don’t forget to upload the photo of your RAT every day for the next 10 days onto the clunky eMSS; and take your temperature twice a day, keeping a record of the readouts.
    We also returned recently from 3½ months in the UK. HK is in a parallel world. After 5 days of testing, I was more concerned about picking up an infection rather than transmitting, and being whisked off to Penny’s Bay or similar.

  8. Chris Maden says:

    21 days in Q last year followed by the dystopian madness that HK has become made my mind up. Sadly, we have to sell up before we can move out. I dread my return to do that.

  9. Dr Zhivago says:

    The amount of lobbying hotels must have put into continuing this quarantine hoodoo. One hotel near us proudly announced it like they’d won Mark Six: “We are now a Designated Quarantine Hotel”

    Out come the flower arrangements the size of daleks: “Congratulations to Hotel Deluxe Crap. From Chan & Co, Caterers to the Entrapped Hoi Polloi” etc etc

    And it is like winning Mark Six: Occupancy ranging sub 20% suddenly to 100% constant

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