Recently, a thread got me looking at Hong Kong’s results with respect to covid 19.
Their story is astonishing.
Hong Kong never had a full lockdown, but did close schools. Hong Kong should have been a perfect CV breeding ground: Dense population, land border with China, mass transit. Like New York and other horror stories. It’s also had a recent history of mass civil disobedience. It also had an incompetent, and in denial government. The government was slow to act, and dragged it’s feet.
But HK had a lot of experience with epidemics and horrific consequences. 1968 flu, SARS, etc. all took terrible tolls. The cities residents – already organized from 2019 protests – took swift action against the pandemic. They launched citizen websites with advice on how to fight the spread, and with functions to track the spread, report cases, warn people about sellers of fake PPE, etc.
Most importantly, the people of HK adopted immediate, near universal mask wearing. The citizens mostly did this voluntarily but also created strong social pressure for expats who otherwise might not. The protest movement set up mask distribution sites. When the government refused to close the Chinese border, medical workers went on an instant strike, forcing the move. People wore white ribbons to support medical workers, provided UV sanitization to poor neighborhoods free of charge, etc. It’s incredibly impressive.
Needless to say, there was no widespread denial, no anti mask movement, etc.. Plus, hampered by ineffective government. Just people and culture.
These just blew me away. That’s right – their peak day was 75 cases. And they’ve had a total of 7 deaths. That’s 161 cases/M population (US is 8,150) and 0.9 Deathjs/M population (US is at 390). They’ve essentially had NO epidemic. And all they did was be careful and wear masks.
And that’s just people. People acting responsibly and listening to science in the face of the pandemic that will eventually kill millions worldwide. It’s so easy.
And, probably so impossible in the United States.