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Asia CommentTaipan

Getting your priorities right

Hong Kong

Here we go again! Welcome to 2022 — and new Covid restrictions in Hong Kong

What a couple of years it has been, with virtual meetings and remote working getting new meaning across the world, as almost everyone hunkered down to help beat Covid. Is 2022 going to be any better? I’m afraid not.

I was at Captain’s Bar on Wednesday enjoying a quiet pint of fine English ale when my phone started buzzing non-stop. The next thing I knew, I had invitations to nine different drinks or dinner events on Thursday.

As a retired old fart, I was puzzled by my sudden popularity (and on a weekday), but the mystery was quickly solved.

While I had been busy drinking, the Hong Kong government had, once again, announced a tightening in social distancing measures, with bars to shut and restaurants to close from 6pm starting this Friday. This came after one untraceable local Covid-19 case was discovered. That’s right — not a record 1m in daily infections like in the US, or 200,000 in the UK. Just one.

Of course, there’s always a case to be made for being safe rather than sorry, so the government’s move is not entirely surprising. But its tough stance hasn’t gone down well with some of my friends — and showed the kinds of priorities they have.

One message from a banker mate called for an “emergency outing” before the new rules kicked in. His concern? Having no social life until the rules changed. Another chap worried over how he was going to wine and dine his clients with the tightened measures. A young un’ raised concerns about gyms closing (bless him), while yet another chap with children berated the two-people policy in some restaurants that now bars him from sitting on the same table with his wife and two kids.

On the other hand, Tai Tai is now busy booking long boozy brunches with her friends, while another banker friend is delighted for an excuse to sit on a different table from his wife.

And me? I worry about Captain’s Bar going under without my daily presence in the evenings. Looks like I now have to switch to more day-time drinking instead.

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