Life is still plain sailing for some people in Hong Kong
For others, it's less so...
For my part, Hong Kong is still where I rather be
than most other parts of the world :)
Late last night, a friend sent me a link to an article about Carrie Lam getting a pay increase this financial year that brings her annual salary to HK$5.21 million (~US$677,680). My immediate reaction was to let fly with an expletive: not so much because I was shocked at how much she was earning -- since I've known for years that Hong Kong Chief Executives are regularly paid more than the American president and British prime minister combined -- but because, if anything, the woman with a 9 percent approval rating should have been fired from her job or, at the very least, had her pay cut months, even years, ago rather than get a pay rise!
Sometimes, when contemplating her high pay (both as Chief Executive and in her previous job of Chief Secretary), I've been moved to think that must account in some part for her being so out of touch with most Hong Kongers. But even while this might explain how it is that she doesn't know where to buy toilet paper (even in those times when there's no toilet paper shortage), surely it can't explain her obtuseness in thinking -- or, at least, publicly alleging -- that the huge rise in the number of protests in Hong Kong in the past year proves that Hong Kongers enjoy more freedom now than before the territory's 1997 Handover?!
Speaking of protests and protestors: After complaints were made about the police having dispensed substandard masks to people they arrested -- and then took away better quality masks from -- at Prince Edward on March 31st, the local constabulary have now announced that they will now give arrestees proper surgical masks to better protect against being infected by the Wuhan coronavirus. To those who think this a trivial matter: note that a fourth member of the police force has tested positive for the coronavirus and this particular officer was actually in action at Prince Edward this past Tuesday night!
Put another way: as if it's not already bad enough that the possibilities are pretty high that encounters with the riot police can result in one getting tear gassed or pepper sprayed, the possibility really does exist too of people getting infected with the coronavirus by the apparently dirty -- in more than one way -- enforcers!
On a somewhat less negative note: Hong Kong had new 17 new Wuhan coronavirus cases today; and while that took the territory's total confirmed cases to a not great 863, it was the lowest daily tally since March 21st. Of course it's way too soon for Hong Kong to celebrate or even breathe a sigh of relief. At the very least, the territory has to remain on guard: by doing such as conducting mass tests at a hospital where an elderly patient is suspected to have caught the coronavirus from another patient there and communal social distancing efforts. But there does seem to be a sense that Hong Kongers, even if not the government, are doing some things right in its battle against the Wuhan coronavirus.
Among these is Hong Kongers' practice of (near) universal mask wearing. In the wake of such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the USA's Center for Disease Control (CDC) having done about-turns with regards to their advice on mask usage, it would seem that Hong Kong has been proved right in this regard. And by Hong Kong, let's make it clear that it was Hong Kong people and medical experts, not the Hong Kong government, who led the way with this.
Indeed, Carrie Lam -- that super highly paid but not highly thought of official -- initially insisted that masks weren't necessary and didn't wear them in public until she was pressured to do so by the public; and even then, she initially botched up her mask wearing too! Also, the last time I heard anything about it, her government still has not dropped its appeal against the repeal of its anti face-covering law!