GBA Lifestyle News
City Living Section
By Andrea Lo | September 3rd, 2020

All Tea No Shade with Andrea Lo

Like the rest of the world, Hongkongers have tried to embrace the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic as much as possible.

The third wave of infections has hit Hong Kong hard. Maybe we’ve all let our guard down, due to an extended period of no locally transmitted cases. Or perhaps it’s pandemic fatigue. In any case, numbers seem to fluctuate, and tight restrictions have continued until recently.

Some eight months into this mess, it’s easy to start feeling like we’re going crazy.

For weeks, I ran errands during off-peak hours. Before access to beaches were blocked to deter people from flocking to sand and sea, I spent time there on weekdays. On weekends, I mostly avoided going out entirely.

Even though the streets of Hong Kong feel fairly normal during the day (before the shutdown of dine-in service at restaurants and bars), it’s a struggle to weigh whether going out is a wise decision — and how we can tread the line between staying home and keeping safe, and going outside to find some release so we don’t lose our minds.

I watch in dismay as some people I know go out every single day. Others plan parties and go to large-group dinners. “These people are the reason why our COVID-19 numbers keep rising,” I said grumpily to a friend.

The rules we have are in place for a reason, and we should observe them.

But it’s not like I don’t get it. We all want to dine out, see friends, take a stroll for some fresh air.

After spending some time at home alone in recovery from an eye infection, I feel these conflicting thoughts amplifying.

Is it wrong to feel conflicted about how much we leave the house and what we do while we’re out? How do we find a balance in all of this?

Right now, it feels like there’s no real answer to that question. But as this pandemic seems to go on without an end in sight, I know it’s something we’ll struggle with for a long time to come.

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