General

When Would We Meet Again?

Ten days slipped by, almost without trace, but during which every government and institution has issued updates on measures in the wake of the corona virus pandemic, ranging from the very practical to the ridiculous and comical. We live in a strange world indeed; and the responses from governments and institutions are indeed reflections of their respective culture and wisdom, or the lack of it. I would not comment on any of them, but would share with you that Su and I have been busy keeping ourselves fit and healthy in the circumstances, notwithstanding the obvious inconvenience that everyone is facing.

All the sports and recreational clubs of which we are members have closed down most of their facilities, except the car parks and restaurants, and have enforced the rule to bar from their premises anyone who has been out of Hong Kong in the past 14 days or been in touch with anyone who has, not to mention the religious and obligatory temperature checks for every entry. Some clubs have simply barred visitors.

We are lucky to have a very spacious park and garden downstairs which we now find very handy and useful. We have been using it almost every day and the exercise facilities therein, until recently when these facilities were closed with more stringent social distancing requirements. Recently, Su unearthed the skipping ropes she bought when the black shirts blocked streets and set fire to MTR stations.  We tried them in the park. Su is rather good at that and can easily do over 100 jumps with variations. I was impressed; for I couldn’t do more than three on first trial. Luckily, I picked up fast; and today, I surprised myself that I could do 88 jumps nonstop and could still breathe smoothly afterwards. We also tried to practice our Latin dance routines, lessons on which had stopped for over a month by now. We managed, but some maneuvers were beginning to get rusty already. The latest guidelines or actually laws on social distancing have caused our young instructor to close all classes for 14 days from yesterday, which is not a small blow to his businesses and finances; and I hope he would be eligible for compensation or subsidies from the Government. On a personal front, I was hoping to be able to resume going to Ricci Hall for prayers and private Mass after my self-imposed 14-day quarantine since my return from Vancouver. Alas, the four-person rule has meant that small chapels such as the one I have been using cannot operate or admit visitors at all. The latest arrangements also mean that all our regular lunches between friends can no longer take place; and the most frequently asked question between friends has to be, “When would we meet again?”

Back home, Su continued to practice her culinary skills and has become even more innovative.  Last week, she asked me to take her by car to Tsuen Wan to stock up food from the wet markets there. We took the opportunity to have lunch at the restaurant operated by a very good friend whom we had not met for a few months. After we sat ourselves down, I called our friend on impulse and was so pleased that he was nearby and was ready willing and able to join us for lunch. He turned up in 20 minutes as promised and we had an unscheduled long lunch for which he refused to let us pay. That was the first Dim Sum meal we had for some two months. We promised each other we would catch up again when situation becomes more conducive.

Between eating and sleeping at home, I tried to catch up on other paper work, including desk top research on my past life. I have since done as far as the time I was admitted to HKU; and believe me, it took more than a bit of energies to recall what happened or what I thought happened more than half a century ago. I am more than committed now to take this project forward, for my own therapy, if not for any reason; and I have changed or tweaked the title of the project a number of times already.

Meanwhile, bad news from the United States continued to turn up, with more casualties promised from places such as New York City where my son lives. He responded to my message with optimism that he was well and hoped that he won’t get the virus. My daughter is in Los Angeles where situations have not been exactly rosy either. It takes considerable mindfulness and prayers to stay mentally well and certainly greater efforts than daily exercises. I hope to talk to you again soon.

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