Gemma, Hong Kong : Stories of Solidarity during COVID-19
At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.
Gemma in Hong Kong shares her experiences
“So in Hong Kong we have been dealing with the virus for quite a while now. It really started to affect people at Chinese New Year (24th Jan). All universities, schools and learning centres have been closed since then. Offices went straight into work from home and were opened a few weeks later once visitor numbers had been slowed by shutting certain entry points to HK.
“There was one week of panic buying which kind of coincided with the end of CNY. The shelves were a bit empty already, it’s kinda of like the Christmas panic in the UK because it’s the one time of the year everything closes over CNY.
“Some positives are the community spirit here is strong.”
“Given that HK was hit hard and was the epicentre of SARS in 2003 I think this has helped to be very prepared. There was a new government department, the CHP, set up after SARS and they had plans ready to put in place should something similar happen again, hence being ready for this corona virus.
“There is a level of normality that has been reached now. Shops are open, restaurants too. Pretty much 99% of people wear masks in the streets. It’s more of social convention than actual protection. All lift buttons, hand rails and train carriages are disinfected every few hours. Your temperature is taken in most places you enter.
“Pretty much 99% of people wear masks in the streets”
“Some positives are the community spirit here is strong. When panic buying started there was a big drive to get supplies to charities. Lots of small businesses are being supported with some companies offering free advertising for them. The outlying islands, parks, beaches and hiking trails are busy! The air feels fresher and less polluted too!”