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Old 17 March 2020, 09:32 PM   #2365
mountainjogger
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Individuals not willing to adjust their own behavior and habits, even drastically, and refusing to put up with what essentially are minor inconveniences is the difference between fighting the spread and it exploding.

Every day now we see where it's spreading like wildfire.

Not doing the necessary, small things and refusing to be inconvenienced until being forced to while awaiting a medical science "silver bullet" (There is still no vaccine against SARS or MERS) is just another way of saying "I'm too lazy", "I can't be bothered", "Someone else will figure something out".

Since late January, 2 months ago, when the first confirmed cases were identified and despite the border with China not being closed for weeks, Hong Kong immediately went into a state of medical awareness "emergency".

Not merely the government, what I'm really referring to is the average person in Hong Kong. They went through a lot during the SARS outbreak and haven't forgotten.

Almost immediately the masks went on, temperatures taken at the entrances of public and office buildings, the disinfecting every couple hours of public transport, handrails, elevator buttons by company and municipal workers, Home-officing, schools closing, activities cancelled..much of this was being done before the government "forced" the people to do it.

HKers have "been there, done that" and its taken seriously by almost everyone and, if numbers are any proof, this mentality and behavior works with this virus.

To reiterate: It works. There is proper response. The doom and gloom "we're all gonna die no matter what" are as annoying and ignorant as the "Sun will keep it away, take vitamin C" types who never paid any attention in a science class but are now "experts".

With 7.5 million, Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, more people living on top of one another above the 5th floor than anywhere else, which means congestion and sharing hallways and elevators. Its also the highest in terms of percentage of people using public transportation (98%). Hong Kong also shares a border with China, where at one point 50,000 people were crossing daily.

Looking at these geographics and reality of people living/traveling in close proximity to one another, if using what happened in mainland China or what's happening in Italy or Spain (or what will in the US) as a guide one would think Hong Kong's population would be somewhere between being decimated and totally wiped out after 2 months of active infections.

Yet and however, despite all these disadvantages after 2 months HK has had a grand total of only 157 cases and 4 deaths. Out of the last 57 cases, 50 have been inbound travelers, not people who are living in HK giving it to each other. Most cases in HK that have involved secondary infection have come from family members eating and living together, not someone who's gotten it mysteriously on the street.

Just today a major grocery store closed down immediately when it was found someone who tested positive visited there. It will be disinfected completely today, and will open again only in 3 days after the exposed "shelf life" of the virus on a hard metal surface.

Businesses temporarily closing, people losing money, inconveniences, hassles...if those are the focus then the fight will be lost and the price will be counted in the currency what we're seeing in Italy, Spain, etc etc.

Governments can decree all they want but if the people, and what I mean is individuals, can't be bothered to be hygienic and aware at all times to inhibit the spread to themselves or others, then decrees are useless. Italy even had to formally ban kissing anyone you know, or might know, or meet, or whatever. Behavior like that spreads it.

Stupidity, laziness, and the inability to learn some new habits even temporarily raise the price in terms of infections and lives. False bravado to "carry on as normal" (in order to avoid the personal responsibility of adjusting) as if the answer to a virus that can be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers is relatable to what one does in the face of terrorism is utterly misplaced, ignorant, and can hurt the innocent.

It's really our own choice. Science tells us what we must do as individuals to tame it...it's science but it ain't rocket science. If people can't even do the basics or are so entitled they choose to believe conspiracy theories or whatever else they use as an excuse not to be bothered, then prepare for the worst.

This morning HK just announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone (foreigner or HKer, signs of infection or not) entering Hong Kong from anywhere. This hurts businesses and it inconveniences people, but the attitude is "To win a war takes billions. To lose a war takes everything you got". In a congested city where it's almost impossible to achieve "social distancing' and hygiene and cleanliness and disinfection, they're still doing it and by any measure relative where they aren't doing them to the same scale, it works. HKers certainly never waited for a silver bullet.
Good post.

Re: the terrorism analogy, it is also interesting to note that society does not even blink at spending billions and (even trillions if you count wars) to try to reduce the threat of terrorism. And we accept pretty stringent changes to our behavior to guard agaist terrorism. What is needed is a mindset change so that we are willing to do the same to fight an enemy we cannot see with the naked eye.
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