General

Face Masks

I left off last time talking about going to Maldives; and that was about two weeks ago. The following day, Su did make some enquires, ending with making a booking for an extended stay of eight days in the resort area in the middle of the sea towards the end of November; and that was when life was becoming calm and Wuhan had yet to become an issue.

Suddenly, face masks become not only the talk of the town, but also of the world. Overnight, we have self-appointed experts telling people what to do and what not to do. Without a doubt, the face mask has been politicized. Remember that famous lyrics from Sound of Silence, “Talking is cheap and people follow like sheep.” That is exactly the position in which we are; and just as no one could stop the senseless and pointless violence and chaos, no one has the wit and political courage to say something based on common sense.

One again, the media is quick to play on people’s fear and politicians stooped low to score points and instill hatred towards China.  Footage of the elderly and decrepit having queued up for hours for face masks but couldn’t get one went viral. Such biased reporting make no sense and are indeed a disservice to the community. They serve no purpose except to instill more fear on the viewers and unnecessary mistrust on a government which looks besieged and helpless. What is it so difficult to say, “We do not have the full answers,” which would have been the truth.

Jokes on face masks mushroomed, ranging from the obvious political ones including SCMP’s Harry taking a pot shot at the government suggesting invoking emergency legislation to make wearing face masks mandatory and so on to social or even sexual ones about how far one would be prepared to go to get face masks. It’s basically fear in general, in particular fear of the unknown and the fear of death.

Su posted on the social media some messages on face masks, making the point that eating well and staying healthy would help to maintain one’s immunity systems, which would be more superior to wearing such devices. Well, she does not pretend to be an expert, and hence not too many people would listen. Increasingly though, some posts on the social media are already saying that keeping hands clean and washing them properly are more important and effective means to prevent infection than wearing face masks.

However, on the government side, they had been coming out to defend that there were enough masks on the market. Why is it necessary? It is a free market system, to start with. Even worst, Mr. Cheung at one time bragged about having 8 million pieces available on the market, forgetting that he had urged everyone to wear one, implying that all would be exhausted in one day plus. Has the government learnt anything in the past year?

From face masks to closing the border, which is getting even hotter and more politicized. All these masked paramedics or medics are now threatening to go on strike if the government does not close the borders within 48 hours or so. What professionalism? What idiots?

I have no time for such nonsense. Su and I have always believed in keeping ourselves healthy and happy by eating well and staying physically and mentally fit. We have never worn masks, except once when I was to present myself at the elderly clinic on CNY eve for a medical report which the doctor took care of in one minute flat or may be two. We were amused, but not surprised when we saw that over 95% of the commuters on MTR and on the streets were wearing masks, and we asked ourselves, “Why do we need one when they are all donning masks?”

In the meantime, we continue with the life style we have chosen and live our lives to the fullest.

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