Unmasked individuals are a rare sight in Hong Kong
these days -- and in some cases, it's because
wear masks on their way to and from restaurants and bars
Early on during the extradition bill protests, a then Facebook friend would regularly post not only anti-protestor comments and allegations but also about how we should put our faith in the Christian God and not criticize the (Hong Kong) authorities so much. With Carrie Lam doing more and more to show how unworthy she is of our trust and respect (amidst a Wuhan coronavirus epidemic that, the last time I checked a regularly updated website following it, has already resulted in 492 recorded deaths as well as 24,587 confirmed cases of infections in 28 different territories), I wonder whether that pro-government/Beijing acquaintance would still be moved to defend the actions of Hong Kong's most unpopular Chief Executive ever as well as unequivocably believe that God is going to save us all.
Even if so, I have little doubt that she is very much in the minority these days. At the very least, I think that more Hong Kongers would subscribe to the view that "God helps those who help themselves", and that one way to help oneself and Hong Kong is to stand up against Carrie Lam and Co.
This is precisely why thousands of medical workers have gone on strike this week to demand a wholesale closure of Hong Kong's borders with Mainland China; with workers in other sectors (including public transport) contemplating taking such action too. And over the past week or so, people have risen up in Fanling and now also Mei Foo to contest government plans to place Wuhan coronavirus quarantine centers (that, in the case of Fanling, was just 500 meters away from residential complexes housing thousands of people) in those neighborhoods.
As cartoonist Harry Harrison has astutely recorded: it's not so much that Hong Kongers have stopped protesting but that they now have a sixth demand (for the record: the closure of the border between Hong Kong and Mainland China). And while the police have tended to respond with the now usual brutality and shots of tear gas, it's noticeable that the administrative section of the government has been reacting to some of the pressure being put on it by doing such as abandoning their plans to put a quarantine center in Fanling in the wake of protests there; and closing a majority of Hong Kong's border crossings.
Seemingly as though to prove how pigheaded she is (or because she's absolutely terrified of offending Beijing), Carrie Lam still refuses to seal off Hong Kong's borders. Instead, this afternoon, she announced her having gone with the option of quarantining all arrivals from Mainland China (starting this Saturday) -- even while not bothering to explain (or probably figure out) how and where she is going to house the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people who undoubtedly will continue to pour into Hong Kong from there, especially since this quarantining will most probably come with medical care (and, if people turn out to be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus, medical treatment)!
As Carrie Lam continues to steer Hong Kong towards, rather than away from, imminent disaster, territories have taken to impose travel bans on Hong Kongers as well as Mainland Chinese people along with airlines suspending flights to and from Hong Kong (rather than just Mainland China). To many Hong Kongers, the situation is clear: if Hong Kong doesn't shut its borders with Mainland China, other territories will close their borders to Hong Kong. And, actually, in view of Hong Kong now having had one Wuhan coronavirus death and several person-to-person transmissions among its 21 confirmed cases of infection, the fear now for many people is that even if Hong Kong's borders with Mainland China were to be finally totally closed some days from now, it will already be considered too late by most of the world. :(