General

Living with the Pandemic

Just as we are beginning to see the benefits from the national security law as businesses return to normal and law abiding people being able to conduct their daily lives without fear from perpetrators of disruption and violence, the pandemic spiked again and hit us with renewed vigor, with new highs reported every day for confirmed cases. We have a few friends who were proved positive and were hospitalized for treatment as their close contacts got quarantined in Penny Bay. My regular meetings at Kennedy Road were all suspended from Monday until further notice, implying that I have already skipped at least six scheduled meetings and as many dinners, including one this evening, up to now, with the likelihood of more suspension before the end of the year. Meanwhile, other breakfast and lunch meetings were also canceled and a reunion dinner planned long ago had to be postponed. That’s enough disruption, but I am afraid necessary; and it would be unrealistic to expect a quick return to normal.

We spent the last week staying indoor except for the visit to the park for sunshine and exercises, and for the few visits, instigated by Su, to shop for food and wine to stock up the fridge, taking advantage of the discount offers. It was rather tiresome and exhausting; and the impulse shopping turned out to be rather expensive too. There was an interesting scene though that I would like to share with you. We would going up the escalator at a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan when a young lady stopped to talk to us. She pointed to the Carrie-Lam-issue masks we both happened to be wearing, Mark II, and told us that the masks fitted us well and we both looked good. That was a rather pleasant surprise, for not that long ago another “friend” made a disparaging remark at a photo Su posted on Facebook in which I was wearing the same mask and a Ray Ban shade. The remark was calculated to discredit the mask, but she was no equal to Su in the subsequent exchanges and she has since become a fan of Su’s postings.

We also spent part of last week proof-reading my autobiography before it goes to printing. Su also took the opportunity to ask for orders and we have actually received some, but not a lot yet. By the way, the title of the book is “The Middle Child” with the subtitle “A First Memoire”. The title is such because I am the middle child in a family with five siblings. It is a first memoire because I plan to write one every ten years from now, or maybe eight. As I have said to some friends, including very close friends, we are not giving the book away free. We intend to sell it at HK$300 a piece; with the hope that part of the proceeds would go to some charities. I had plan to have it ready for the Book Fair planned for December. Now that it is deferred to next July, there is less motivation to rush it.

Last time, I made a reference to the deferred Policy Address and wondered what Carrie Lam would say. Well, it was long, made longer because of the need to educate her audience on the role the Central Government expects Hong Kong to play in the Greater Bay Area, before it is too late, bearing in mind that it’s already rather late. What I cannot understand though is why she has not seen it fit to include in her plan the introduction of Article 23 legislation which is overdue. The framework has been around for many years, and all that would be necessary is to update the version Regina Ip brought to LegCo many years ago.  Now that the pan-democrats have all deserted the Council, it would make things easier. Indeed, had they remained on their seats last week, she might not have been able to finish her speech uninterrupted.

Back to the pandemic, I believe the thing everyone needs to remember is to take good care of one’s constitution, strengthen the immunity system, keep a positive outlook and stay healthy and happy. Unfortunately, we can’t see our friends as often as we hope and as many at any one time as we wish, but that’s a lot better than the days we had last year when we couldn’t go to places and do the things we need to, and sometimes we couldn’t even return home safely.

I hope to talk to you again later.

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