Why are there still people in Hong Kong who refuse to
wear masks (and able to get away with doing so)?!
those who wear masks but below the nose! :(
Hong Kong reported its first untraceable mutated Wuhan coronavirus case two days ago. As it so happened, the infected individual is a domestic helper from the Philippines. This prompted the Hong Kong government to not only issue mandatory testing notices for people who had visited a shopping mall, a park, and a wet market that the she had visited -- normative practice in Hong Kong these days -- but, also, order the entire domestic worker population of Hong Kong (which numbers in the hundreds of thousands) to undergo tests for the coronavirus and plan to make all of them be vaccinated against the coronavirus -- something which most assuredly is not something considered normal or, for that matter, entirely reasonable.
For many people (including public health professors based here in the Big Lychee), these actions by the Hong Kong government are clearly discriminatory. Consider this: our two biggest outbreaks to date have been caused by dancing rich taitais and expat banker gym-rats but neither of these groups have been targeted for testing and mandatory vaccination the way that the domestic workers have been.
On the subject of vaccination against the coronavirus: As someone who believes being vaccinated (with the BioNTech vaccine, much less so the Sinovac vaccine) is a good thing, I actually was happy to learn that the government had opened its vaccination program to domestic workers and do welcome boosts in vaccination rates of the Hong Kong population (which currently stands at only 12.528% vaccinated and 6.930% fully vaccinated). But, in an ideal world, people would and should want to get vaccinated rather than be forced to do so.
As we know full well, Hong Kong is full of people who are so distrustful of the government that they are reluctant to get vaccinated; and this includes the domestic workers. Consequently, if the government goes ahead with its plan to require domestic workers to be vaccinated, it's entirely possible that we will have a situation where they have gotten the jabs but are still working for people who have not been.
Are the authorities trying to ensure the domestic workers are not infected by their employers (something which has most definitely happened here)? Somehow, I doubt that this government would care so much about the welfare of this long mis-treated and under-valued community. Still, if the authorities go ahead with their mandatory vaccination plan for domestic workers, it might feel like sweet justice indeed if, at some point in the future, cases arise whereby a fully vaccinated domestic helper is exempt from being quarantined but her -- for the domestic workers are almost always female -- unvaccinated employers get locked away (after Hong Kong quarantine regulations are changed to reflect the fact that vaccinated people are less likely to spread the coronavirus as well as catch it than unvaccinated individuals)!
Getting back to reality: it's become clear that there is now silent spread in the community of the mutant coronavirus strain whose first local untraceable case has caused such a kerfuffle. And while, at present, no one's talking about a fifth wave having begun in Hong Kong (and today's -- and for that matter, the last 30 days' -- coronavirus statistics for the territory remain reassuringly low), one really shouldn't let down one's guard as yet.
Worryingly, however, people -- including the not yet (fully) vaccinated, and most definitely not just domestic workers either -- have been out socializing in droves in recent days (and nights) after bars, nightclubs and the like were allowed to reopen on Thursday. Also, I feel like the number of people not wearing masks as well as not wearing masks properly has increased too (perhaps because people who have been vaccinated, even if with the lower efficacy Sinovac, feel that they are now at liberty to do so?). And for the record: the people I've seen out in public without masks on are far more likely to be elderly local folks, entitled white expats, South Asian men and smokers regardless of ethnicity rather than domestic workers per se!