The Journal of Quarantine in Hong Kong

The Arrival, April 22, 2022 – Walk off the plane and step in the airport terminal, the entire major terminal is closed to incoming travelers but converted to a traveler arrival disease inspection station. The first sight is a giant established quarantine center where all incoming travelers are thought to be entering to check in to the quarantine center for incarceration. The feeling is of course all travelers are thought to be confirmed disease virus carriers who are transported to be detained in the quarantine center by order.

The Hotels, April 23, 2022 – Even after the travelers have gone through all testing stations, mandatory health documentation check and customs, travelers are not free to leave the airport but need to declare which quarantine hotels they are to check in, travelers are then grouped and bused to the destined hotels, while each bus which travelers are assigned has a guard officer riding along to make sure each traveler is to reach the destined hotel and not to leave the bus before arriving the destined hotel. As the bus goes in to the entrance of the hotel, I am totally convinced that I am being transported to an incarceration facility and infectious disease control quarantine center combined.

The Look Out, April 24, 2022 – Looking out to the city from the hotel room window, boating activities on the water in the harbor bay, people are working to get the wedding venue ready on the open plaza beneath my floor, and customers patronizing the rooftop restaurant all show no signs of the city is actually in the midst of a worrisome pandemic crisis. It is what I have seen in the airport after arrival and what I have been serviced in the hotel after checked-in that obliterated the fact that I am a fully vaccinated and tested negative traveler but not a highly infectious patient of any deadly virus. Watching the people in my hotel room, the noise just outside my locked hotel room door lures me to look into the peephole wanting to see who is doing what as I am not allowed to open the door at will. At first there’s none sighted within the visual coverage span of the peephole, then the 6-foot tall multi-shelves metal framed cart starts rolling forward passing my visual of the peephole as being pushed by a fully-geared of infection-proof protective clothing. Another person with the exact protective clothing turns up at a sudden to ring the doorbell and knocks on the door at the same. He then turns away almost instantaneously. I have waited a little just wanted to make sure that there would be no people nearby, but as I open the room door and take a step forward to grab the delivered meal placed on the table by the foot of the door, another person also with the exact protected clothing is pushing the tall metal framed cart already in her quick steps; just as at the moment of meeting, she literally accelerates instantaneously with no other intentions but to get far away from me the soonest she possibly can. I have my mask on and I would seem to be a highly infectious patient, but I am just a negative-tested traveler staying in the hotel.

The People, April 25, 2022 – Who? They are . . . I just couldn’t quit wondering who are the people, and I admit I don’t quite understand my question either! I would try to answer but I got stuck at ‘They are . . . ‘. I might be looking at the people on the streets and wonder who they are but not because they are strangers to me. Or I might be thinking of the people who each one of them was in full infectious disease prevention gear whom I came in contact with when I first stepped off the plane. Again, I am not wondering who the people are because they are strangers to me and I want to get to know them, I just have this query in my mind asking who are the people.

What will happen? April 26, 2022 – What happens to me in this? Confined in the hotel room for 7 days and perform a self-test COVID rapid antigen test each day before 2 PM because the used test kit is collected regardless tested positive or negative. It is advised taking a photo of the test result on the test kit each time before submitting it, and of course each day’s result needs to be written down for records in the given official form which requires signature at the end of 7 days. An official personnel takes a PCR test on me in person on the 5th day. I am really worried if I am tested negative on the 4th day, 5th day, and so on, will I be taken away from my private hotel room to a crowded holding quarantine center? I am convinced that being taken away from the private hotel room to the crowded quarantine center stifles the purpose of quarantining in the hotel room in the first place, and what’s the point of the policy of mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival? Also, if tested positive on the 4th day onward, it is pretty much telling the infection is by the contact sources originate in local Hong Kong.

Any plan? April 27, 2022 – What are they doing? A lot is done on each traveler from arrival, but what’s the plan for all these testings and recordings? Not just for all incoming travelers, for all local people, testings and recordings, what’s the plan for mitigating the severity of COVID19 and ending the pandemic. I can’t stopping asking, ‘What are they doing?’

Are things working? April 28, 2022 – What’s to be done? Anyone knows what is going on?

Free, April 29, 2022 – Free to go! Does it mean I am really free?

Return to Hong Kong – Where do I go on from here? How do I go on from now?

Two Mothers

On the fifth day of the Russia invasion of Ukraine, CNN interviewed an Ukrainian woman who had just fled from her own country Ukraine to Przemyśl, Poland. The Ukrainian woman, a mother of her 6-year old son, responded to the CNN reporter in tears and said, “The Russian are coming and shooting to kill, the only reason that I leave the country is I have to save my son, but I left my mother behind.”

As facts recorded in history, in 1960, China was in the middle of the world’s largest famine which began from the Spring of 1959 to the end of 1961. This Great Chinese Famine was caused by a combination of radical agricultural policies, social pressure, economic mismanagement, and natural disasters such as droughts and floods in farming regions. Some 30 million Chinese starved to death and about the same number of births were lost or postponed. The peasants tried to survive by seeking alternative food sources and even resorting to acts of cannibalism, but most tragically, this disaster of the Great Chinese Famine was largely preventable.

I was born in the Spring of 1960 in China, exactly in the middle of the Great Chinese Famine. A couple of weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, I asked my mother why has she been against me as if I were her most hatred of vigorous enemy and why has she been treating me the ways that kept me wondering always if I were really her biological son. My mother responded in fake weeping without tears and said, “It was tremendous hardship for me to take care of you.” I did not understand the relevancy of her response but it was clear that I obviously is the blame for bringing to her the made-believed misfortune at the time I was born till one year old.

Human against COVID-19

I would like to take a reasonable perspective at COVID-19 and its variants.

First, human is at war with COVID-19. Human is on the defensive while COVID-19 is the offensive foe.

Second, in any war, the offensive will keep attacking with dynamic tactical weaponry, and the defensive will keep building effective defenses fighting against the attacking. The war will only end when either the offensive completely conquers the defensive, or the defensive completely eradicates the offensive.

Third, COVID-19’s dynamic tactical weaponry is its variants, Delta, Omicron, and so on. Human’s defense is vaccine and people’s behaviors. Human’s inborn immunity could not defend against COVID-19 when it first came out attacking in a surprise, and, it is such a totally unseen deadly virus placing a tremendous threat to human. Vaccine would definitely be needed as a defense against COVID-19.

Fourth, defense is not a 100% stable protection, it’s built specifically targeted to fight against the oncoming dynamically varying attacking weaponry. While COVID-19 keeps attacking with variants, human keeps studying the effectiveness of the vaccine against the varying variants. Up till now, vaccine has been proven to be effective in the defense against COVID-19 by an extraordinary high percentage of protection effectiveness although there’s still a very small number of cases of infection breakthrough to the fully vaccinated. Furthermore, vaccine has been proven to prevent death and critical illness significantly from infecting COVID-19.

Fifth, if one believes taking the vaccine is taking a risk, why would one believe infected by or die from COVID-19 is not taking a risk? When one believes one’s own immunity will fight against COVID-19, there’s still a risk of hospitalization and even death if infected. If getting vaccinated is taking a risk, well, it is taking a risk to lower the risk by a far far greater margin of being infected by COVID-19 which could possibly cause death.

Sixth, each person’s immunity and body conditions is unique so each might have varied reactions or responses to the vaccine. But vaccine has been proven to be 99% of safely effective for vastly majority of people worldwide. While we query the small number of vaccinated still getting infected, we are forgetting that the disproportional large number of vaccinated have successfully and safely been protected from getting infected. Although even one death or one infected is too many, what about the remaining vast majority who are not infected and alive all because of vaccinated. What’s the justification on criticizing 1% of the vaccinated still get non-fatal infection but neglecting the fact that 99% of the vaccinated are safely protected? Without vaccine, that’s without defense, could we still survive through this war, let alone winning the war?

The Cigarette Smoke Trail Dancer

Karrie is a cigarette smoke trail dancer, but she is not a dancer in profession. She has been an employee for private companies and the government.

The cigarette smoke negotiates the air conditionality as it maneuvers in the environment just like a dragon trail dancing in the air.

In metaphor, Karrie would handle anyone anything with negotiation through the least tension and sensitivity but coerce anyone forcefully to go about doing things she demands as if she were a dictatorial authoritarian. However, she would obey without hesitation what she was told to do by her superiority.

Karrie is a cigarette smoke trail dancer because this is the way how she handles anyone anything every day.

In Search of Happiness

Grandpas, Grandmas, seniors, all queued up at a line goes around the block at 7:30 am sharp every single morning. A Grandma talks to the other senior after she has gotten the freely give away daily gazette “I’m happy that I’ve got it early today, let’s go get dim sum!” The other senior says “Wait for me, it’s almost my turn to get mine!”

The young woman is reading the menu with her boyfriend next to her ready to order anytime she is ready. She is still trying to make a decision from the menu when a waiter comes over to ask if they are ready to order because it’s been quite a while that the woman is on the menu. Her boyfriend orders the usual the moment the waiter’s at their table, the waiter then says to the woman “Do you want today’s lunch special at 10% discount off the regular price?” The woman responds “Yes!” almost immediately without asking what’s serving in the lunch special. The woman then says to her boyfriend “I am happy I have decided to order and I saved 10%!”

They are mostly middle-age men filling the inside lobby of the government licensed horse-racing and football games betting shop, many are spilling out to the street occupying the sidewalk of the betting shop’s full-span width. Those inside the shop are all watching the big screens showing horse racings on the left while football games on the right. Those outside on the sidewalk are all dipping their heads reading tables of numbers printed on the Games and Racings Gazette. A man says “I won, I’m happy!” The other says “I’m happy, it’s thrilling!”

Living in Anxiety and Frustration

You know you are living in anxiety when the country you live in is having the education system which demands all students in kindergarten, primary schools, secondary schools and universities to pledge allegiance to the national flag and sing the national anthem at school before classes start every school day. All students are required to take the mandatory classes learning the glory only of the country’s dictatorial authoritarian with the government revised history textbooks.

You know you are living in frustration when the country you live in is having the police department which commands its police forces to go in the metro transit subway train coaches to violently batter innocent passengers, pregnant women, small children, old men and women, and whoever is in the train coaches at the time indiscriminately, all because the police claims the reason they do that is to prevent and stop all those people from breaking the National Security Laws.

You know you are living in anxiety and frustration when the country you live in is having a judicial system which lawlessly incarcerate people for saying simple words which are disliked by the government officials. The blatant absurdity is no one knows what are those words that would be disliked by the government officials, when would which words be disliked by the government officials, when will who from the government officials dislike which words said by whom!

Living in the Era

Obstacles and debris are everywhere on the streets, roadblocks are literally at each block of the roads, yellow cordon tapes from one point to another flicker in light breezes.

People are on the streets, roadways, plaza, parks and overpasses. Parades of people holding banners, promoting solidarity and chanting for civil rights and liberties.

Garbage bins are burning, bricks once laid on sidewalks were thrown and landed sporadically everywhere, store windows are either heavily shattered or wood boarded.

Furious confrontations are at city landmarks, government buildings, schools and universities. Violent infuriating clashes between people and suppressive government authorities take place daily. Inconspicuously, peaceful protest possessions are being allowed lesser and lesser.

Strict National Security Law, stringent public policies, rigorous vengeance on dissidents, injustice court of laws.

Living in the era wouldn’t have a minute less of excitement!

At the calm and peace of cemetery, lived in the era would be timeless.

Brainwashing Soap Opera

The most popular entertainment at home is the nightly soap opera on TV for the whole family to enjoy after dinner. Who would have ever thought that the soap opera are brainwashing us for the government.

It would be easily fooling the general public that TV Network Station is operating independently, but the TV station could actually be running puppet shows on the front while the government is actually one hundred percent in control of pulling all puppets in the shows behind all presentations.

Let me explain how a TV soap episode could brainwash its audience. A character is encouraging another to register as a candidate to campaign for a political position in the election by saying ‘just work hard to qualify being one of the candidates of the political election, I’m sure people will vote for you!’, as if the election were the truly democratic election in the democratic society.

The problem is in reality, the country or the society is not truly democratic, it has no democratic election because all candidates for any so called election are appointed from small groups of the government. While people have been watching TV soap opera every evening, people are easily forgetting in real life the electoral system is completely different from what’s depicting on TV.

Would I ever see a smile on the face again?

The politician publicly denies his wrongdoing even though mountains of evidence have proven that he has in fact committed all the crimes that he’s accused of. No smile would be seen on his face.

The lady chief executive of the city has always been lying publicly to the people she governs even before she was appointed to take the governorship office. It is so aggravating to the people because she never stops lying but insists all her lies are the truth. No smile would be seen on her face.

A mother would pretend she is the best mother there’s for anyone. She would never tell what’s in her mind. She would never approve any good things you have done for her. She would never have a smile on her face.

A sister would say no other siblings have taken care of mother but she alone does all the caring for mother. She keeps scolding other siblings for not doing anything and not doing anything correctly but only she would do things right and only she would take care of mother. She would never have a smile on her face.

How far would you go to uplift yourself?

You could be an ass-kisser.

You could be a backstabber.

You are a ‘Yes’ idiot.

You see only money.

You are emotionless.

You don’t know right from wrong.

You can not tell black or white.

You lie.

You don’t believe in facts and truth.

You say only what you are told.

Your brains do not process, just listen.

You do not mind being a murderer.

Your justice is lopsided.

You can not sleep at night but just don’t admit it.