Since the Chinese New Year, much of Hong Kong – the bustling and “never sleeping” global financial hub – has been on lockdown. Streets are surreally quiet. SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong – once lively nightlife hubs – are ghost towns
. Events in Asia such as the Tokyo Marathon, Art Basel Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens were canceled, postponed, or fundamentally altered in a way that limited mass participation. Schools and offices are closed or adapting to remote work and learning. Brick-and-mortar businesses of all sizes are shuttered. Mass transit systems and courier and shipping services have been suspended, and borders with mainland China were all but shut down. An iconic restaurant
that had once served the Queen has shut its doors, while many restaurants that do remain open now insist on airport-style body temperature checks before entering, as do many residential buildings. Disney parks have been closed
since February. Markets plunged. And yes, facemasks were on most faces but they were sold out in stores – a story we are all familiar with. There was also a strange run on toilet paper, with some folks hoarding enough for a year’s supply it seems.
We are now just seeing the same panic (and understanding) happen en masse in the US and in other parts of the world.
All of this is very much secondary to the tragic fact that people all over the world are becoming critically ill and dying of the novel Coronavirus, especially our beloved elderly.