culture & community health

Covid-19 in Hong Kong (Pandemic Art & Video)

by Bridget — March 15, 2020
Covid-19 in embroidery artwork close up

Dealing with Covid-19 since mid-January, you can check out Bridget’s perspective from Hong Kong in the form of art, entertainment, and a few choice words.

Living right next door to China and technically – but also not technically in China (I need a visa to go to the mainland) – we have a front seat to Covid-19, aka Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). That includes hearing what’s happening in China, and being directly effected by the virus as it explodes across the border and makes it way into Hong Kong.

In the beginning, it was quite scary hearing about the SARS-like Wuhan Coronavirus bringing the city at the epicentre of Chinese transport, to its knees. Once China announced shutting down the city, thousands of people in Wuhan fled, and people from across China frantically tried to get out. There were scary videos from the streets of Wuhan posted on social media. The Hong Kong SAR/China border was flooded with so many people trying to get in, it looked like a zoombie apocalypse. The HK Government refused to close the borders. So anyone could come and go, whether they had Covid-19 or not.

Having been through SARS, the citizens of Hong Kong immediately began wearing masks and upping our already rigid cleaning schedules. For example, disinfecting door handles and elevator buttons every hour. Masks, Dettol, bleach, hand sanitizer or wipes all flew off the shelves. Trust in the government at an all-time low, because of the recent protests, we rely on ourselves for protection and information.

The next step is the announcement of the closure of schools, and recommending a work-from-home policy where possible. We started doing everything to limit our exposure to crowds or public transportation. Some taking more extreme measures than others which you might find odd, but definitely not humorous.

The toilet paper panic buying started when a false message circulated about problems with the supply chain. By that same evening, Hong Kongers had bought out all of the loo roll and any kind of tissue in shops across HK. It took two weeks for people to calm their buying frenzy down and the shelves to return to normal. Even though the story had been debunked only hours later on the same day the misinformation spread. Welcome to Covid-19 fever.

All of this absolutely sucks, especially right after the protests. People and businesses in Hong Kong have already been suffering and now there’s this. This gave me Coronavirus blues. I felt disheartened for the first couple of weeks. Chinese New Year festivities were cancelled and we sat at home worrying how bad it was going to get and if we had enough supplies. My husband and I upped our dessert intake and have been drinking a bit extra too (dangerous for the hips!).

Ken and I also made a co-vid about covid – check it out and leave a comment! We’re also planning to make more, so subscribe to see the next one, or message either of us if you have any topic suggestions.

Luckily, we now know a lot more about Covid-19, everyone in Asia playing the part of guinea pig since November 2019. However, it seems to be in vain because in the past week it is obvious the West is completely unprepared for an outbreak. With little to no offensive strategies and barely managing defence.

We’ve been battling Covid-19 for nearly 2 months in Hong Kong and even longer in China. However, it seems the Western world hasn’t been paying attention. Except maybe to poke fun at us wearing masks and hoarding sanitizer. Strangely, it looks like now we have to protect ourselves from you.

I managed to work out my Covid-19 blues by creating art. This Novel Coronavirus 19 is embroidered using recycled fabrics, time, and patience. Stay healthy, friends, and be diligent but don’t panic!

Novel Coronavirus 19 (Covid-19)

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