iSteve commenter Last Real Calvinist reports from Hong Kong:
Hong Kong is doing pretty well at the moment.
We’ve had no community-based new cases of COVID-19 in the past 15 days. In that period, there’s been just a handful of new cases, all in people arriving at the airport from overseas.
This past weekend was four days long because of a couple of public holidays. Shopping malls were packed, restaurants busy (although still limited to four people per table), and beaches booming.
This week the restrictions will be relaxed, with restaurants able to seat parties up to eight together (although not yet the big 12-person round tables so characteristic of Cantonese restaurants). Spas, gyms, and cinemas will be able to reopen. I believe bars/pubs and karaoke joints will have to stay closed, as I suspect will churches and other places that draw big groups.
The yearly high school exit exams that the local culture obsesses over, the DSEs, were delayed a month, but are now ongoing. They started just over a week ago, and will last till May 25. Daughter C is sitting for her DSE Chinese exam at this very moment. She gets extra space in her exam hall, and has to wear a mask, but on the whole they’ve gone very smoothly so far. Schools will reopen later this month once the DSEs are done.
Speaking of masks, everybody’s still wearing them in all public indoor spaces, on public transport, and so on. I’ve noticed more people outdoors eschewing them in the past few days. In offices, some people wear them; some don’t. My employer requires us to wear them when out in public parts of our buildings, but in my own office I don’t wear one.
Just a couple of reminders about the HK situation:
***In total, HK has had just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and four deaths.
***At no time did stores and public transport shut down here. There have been restrictions, and significant periods of ‘work from home’, but no full lockdown.
***Nearly everybody’s been wearing masks since late January.
***Public buy-in to wearing masks and to enacting other social-distancing measures here is noteworthy. SARS in 2003 got everybody over the hurdles associated with adopting these measures. This time around, for good or ill, almost nobody questioned them.
***The border controls here, after some initial government dithering, have been tight. From late March, all overseas arrivals, not just those who test positive, have had to self-quarantine for two weeks. It seems to have worked.