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The Best Of Hong Kong
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By Andrea Lo | March 24th, 2020

All Tea No Shade with Andrea Lo

At a press conference this week, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that the government plans on banning the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants across the city in a bid to control the COVID-19 outbreak

It just so happens that, last week, a 50-year-old woman was confirmed to have caught COVID-19. It emerged that she had spent time in the nightlife district of Lan Kwai Fong, and had reportedly engaged in a one-night-stand

I think it’s no coincidence that Lam uttered this gem at the press conference: “People get intimate when they’re drunk.” 

In light of what happened last week — and the fact that some others who’d been infected had also visited bars — I believe our Chief Executive’s decision to ban alcohol from establishments with liquor licenses could only stem from the fact that she thinks going out to a bar equates to slutty behavior. 

So why did she do it?

I invite you to raise your hand if you’re a Hong Kong girl who has ever been slut-shamed by her traditional Chinese mother for going out. 

Drinking and partying, in the eyes of traditional Chinese parents, had long been considered Something Really Bad. The mentality of “going out” in Hong Kong only became more widely accepted in the last decade or two — perhaps thanks to kids who had studied abroad, partied overseas, and brought back what they saw. 

But still, for many of our traditional Chinese parents, going out isn’t something that well-behaved, respectable young ladies did. (The rules seem to be different for young men, but that’s a whole other issue that warrants a separate column.) 

It’s not just that they’re worried for their daughters being taken advantage of — our mothers seem to think the act of partying at a bar or nightclub is, in itself, slutty. 

Instead of seeing the situation clearly and making decisions based on facts, Lam suddenly adopted the role of Hong Kong’s disapproving, slut-shaming traditional Chinese parent. 

This ban could prove to have disastrous consequences for the F&B industry, especially during a time when the industry is already struggling in the midst of a huge economic downturn. It’s also been pointed out that there’s a total lack of evidence of links between alcohol consumption and the spread of the coronavirus

So please, Carrie: We don’t need you to be an unreasonable mom right now. Leave your personal judgments at the door, and start acting like a real leader.

Love it? Hate it? Tell Andrea all about it: andrea@theloophk.com.