The First Half of 2020 for a Hong Konger

This week’s blogpost is a guest-post by the HKSA (Hong Kong Student Association in Leuven) about how they feel regarding the world-wide pandemic. It’s the first of 4 posts, written by one of their members.

The COVID-19 (or CCP-Virus)

Hong Kongers (HKers) have been, fortunately or unfortunately, much more prepared for the COVID-19 at a much earlier time than almost everyone else.

For a HKer of my age, an epidemic from China is not something new, since we have already paid the price of blood and tears to learn the lesson in 2003 (Hong Kong was struck by the SARS epidemic).

I was already old enough to know quite a bit about it: most notably the concealment of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party; Search “Zhang Dejiang, SARS” on google if you want to know more about it. Let the fact speaks), the impotence of the HK government to support the medical staffs, and universal masking for months. Even now, the outbreak in Ward 8A of the Prince of Wales Hospital, the outbreak in a private housing estate known as “Amoy Gardens”, and the names of those being killed during the outbreak are still vividly remembered by many of us. 

More recently in 2019, we learnt an even bloodier lesson about the true nature of the CCP and the HK Government as the CCP’s direct extension from a series of protests and the Government’s handling of protests through police brutality. The CCP has once again revealed its true self since the 4th June 1989. That has proven to be an early preparation for us against the eventual pandemic. How?  We have repeatedly learned that CCP and the HK Government are not to be trusted. Rather, they would do whatever they can  to uphold the façade of a better economic outlook and the survival of the CCP, even at the cost of massive deaths of the people (If it sounds too unbelievable to you, I would recommend you to read The Perfect Dictatorship written by Stein Ringen, an Oxford scholar).

That’s why most of us didn’t trust the CCP and the HK government when they lied about the virus being controllable, no lockdown measure was required, etc. We didn’t even trust the statistics from the CCP. We already knew in January that the number of infected cases and death in Wuhan and China as a whole must be multiple times greater than the official numbers. We were therefore already very cautious in January. Also, by that time many of my fellow HKers had acquired a number of high-quality masks (surgical masks and even very high-quality gas masks).
That was not because we had foreseen the pandemic, but because we had to protect ourselves due to the protests.

The Hong Kong Protests, protective masks apparent on almost everyone

Not only those at the frontline, even the most peaceful protester needed a mask to avoid the surveillance (there were spies from the CCP taking pictures). Even the most ordinary person did, since we could not predict when those military units, i.e. HK Police, would shoot the tear gas to the crowd. That could happen in a mall, near a public estate with a large population, in a metro station underground, anywhere! Thus, most HKers had some masks with them even after the government imposed a law to prohibit masking. Accidentally, the police brutality made many of us materially prepared to protect ourselves against the pandemic.

Being one of the most populated (reaching 7.5 million) and busiest cities in the world with lots of activities going on all day long, surprisingly, there are only 1.106 infection cases in HK. Belgium, however, has over 59.000 cases (up to 5/6).  There is a reason for this that is way deeper than social-distancing, lockdown and masking.

For more information, send us a comment or email. Stay tuned for the second part of this guest series. Stay safe and healthy, keep educating yourself and be kind to others.

Published by thepangaeablog

We're the staff of Pangaea, the Intercultural Meeting Centre of the KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium! Welcome to our blog where we aim to inform you of all we are doing, have planned, and keep you connected with what has happened lately!

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