The goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong, decision trees and thinking mode of deep-state and pan-democrats

COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong

Content:

1. The current situation of COVID-19 in Hong Kong

2. At this stage, the main task of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong is to shift from prevention to response

3. Favorable conditions for Hong Kong to deal with the 5th wave of COVID-19

4. However, Hong Kong also had unfavorable conditions compared to Wuhan/Hubei at that time. For example,

5. Possible development of the epidemic in Hong Kong

6. Short-, medium- and long-term goals of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong should be defined

7. The short-term goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong – fighting the 5th wave of COVID-19 rebound

8. How on earth to maintain a sustainable “dynamic zero-case”? Lessons from the Chinese pandemic prevention system and institutions

9. The mid-term goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong: the decision tree of COVID-19 prevention

10. Back to ★Approach 1: can Hong Kong copy the mainland prevention system?

11. If co-existence is costly, will pan-democrats be grateful for the help from the mainland and agree with the mainland COVID-19 prevention system?

12. The long-term goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong: whether it can be reconciled with the mainland system?

Decision tree of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong

(To be discussed later)

1.The current situation of COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Yesterday (February 12, 2022), 1,510 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in Hong Kong, reaching a new high since the outbreak. The number does not reflect the actual situation as Hong Kong’s testing capacity has reached a bottleneck, the speed has failed to keep up, and patients are not being admitted and treated as much as they should be. The actual spread should be more serious than the figures we have seen. Hong Kong health officials have also indicated that they have given up one-to-one tracing of the source of cases. Therefore, the initial containment phase of the 5th wave of the COVID-19 outbreak to “break the defense” and prevent community outbreaks has failed.

2. At this stage, the main task of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong is to shift from prevention to response

In terms of the outbreak level, Hong Kong is closer to Wuhan and Hubei in early 2020. At the moment, the main goal of the epidemic prevention and control should be the response: through intensive testing, quarantine, collection and other measures, reduce the further spread of the epidemic, and gradually slow down the new cases; at the same time, healthcare systems are gearing up to reach as many patients as possible and reduce the direct and indirect costs brought by COVID-19.

3. Favorable conditions for Hong Kong to deal with the 5th wave of COVID-19

Compared with Wuhan in early 2020, Hong Kong has a number of favorable conditions:

1)Residents already have a certain base of vaccination (probably around 65%); 

2)We already have a better understanding of COVID-19 and more medical knowledge. There is no need to take detours ahead;

3)Hong Kong has experienced SARS, so the public has a certain understanding of respiratory diseases and is more experienced in individual protection;

4)The Omicron variant itself is relatively “weakened”;

5)Hong Kong has a good initial medical foundation (available resources and capacity per capita, etc.);

6)Hong Kong already has certain testing and response capabilities and a good initial foundation (although not enough to deal with Omicron);

7)the Mainland is well resourced and experienced in dealing with COVID-19, which can provide Hong Kong with manpower and material assistance it needs

4. However, Hong Kong also had unfavorable conditions compared to Wuhan/Hubei at that time. For example,

1)Due to the high population density, the risk of transmission is particularly high which is much higher than that of ordinary cities, and the living space is narrow and the workplace is very dense. Under the same circumstances, the basic number of respiratory diseases in Hong Kong virus transmission (R0) is higher

2)Elderly: Many elderly people live in nursing homes with high residential density and high risk of community outbreak

3)Public medical resources are also limited: The medical foundation of the whole society is favorable, but if only public hospitals, which are only available to the elite and the rich, are excluded, resources are still very tight. If the epidemic breaks out, medical resources will be squeezed out and population density: defense will be broken soon

4)Convenience of access to mainland resources: Under the “one country, two systems” policy, Hong Kong and the mainland are still separated by a “wall”. There are restrictions on entry and exit, so Hong Kong may not be as direct and convenient as Wuhan/Hubei in obtaining resources from the mainland

5)Hong Kong has been exposed to the risk of imported cases. This is essentially different from Wuhan/Hubei. An important task of the lockdown in Wuhan and Hubei is to prevent the spread of the virus to other cities in China. However, there was little risk of reverse transmission of the virus from Wuhan/Hubei. This is different from the current situation in Hong Kong: in addition to the current outbreak, there will be a long-term risk of imported cases in the future

6)Hong Kong is a “small government” : unlike the mainland, the government has all the necessary resources and comprehensive social mobilization capacity, which can command and dispatch all social units (including public and private) and individual members from top to bottom. The Hong Kong government lacks such enforcement capacity

7)Lack of grassroots organizations: Wuhan/Hubei has government organizations at the grassroots, “capillary” level—— such as street/neighborhood committees, which can not only implement anti-epidemic policies, but also provide necessary support to residents. The lack of such grassroots organizations makes it difficult for Hong Kong to implement strict anti-epidemic policies at the grassroots level, such as sealing off buildings and districts (it is impossible to arrange police enforcement). At the same time, no one provides residents with material resources.

8)Lack of Party system: There are grassroots Party organizations and party members in the mainland that penetrate into all social sectors and organizations. In critical moments, they can be mobilized to play a role at the grass-roots level

9)Lack of information and digital infrastructure or premises. Although a complete set of epidemic prevention solutions based on information and big data technologies and community grid management has not been developed in the mainland during the initial period of Wuhan/Hubei epidemic resistance in 2020, the infrastructure already exists: Residents’ phones have been authenticated with their real names, and most of them are connected to smartphones and the mobile Internet. This system has enabled the government to communicate with residents, do necessary tracking and provide public services. Hong Kong has no such foundation

10)The mentality of the residents in the “Torn City”. There are several problems in Hong Kong: a) Individualism prevails and people tend to consider individual interests rather than public interests, especially among the young and middle-aged; b) a considerable number of residents have antagonistic or even conflicting relations with the SAR Government / public sector, which not only disapprove of the government’s policies, but may also disobey them at all. This is totally different from the mainland; c) The population itself is deeply “torn” and divided into two camps, blue and yellow, based on political ideology. Their views on any public policy can be opposed by political preferences. This makes it very challenging to build consensus. At the same time, the lack of mutual recognition between the different camps makes it difficult to unite as one. All these factors make the population of this city extremely difficult to regulate

11)Local departmentalism and lack of consideration of “national perspective”: The epidemic in Wuhan/Hubei is definitely not only a problem of Wuhan/Hubei itself, but also a threat to the whole country. Therefore, it is the top-down leadership of the central government, and cannot be left to Wuhan/Hubei’s own discretion. It’s different from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is more concerned with its own situation and interests. The central government may put forward general requirements, but it is Hong Kong itself that makes specific policies and implements them. It is easy to imagine: by the local autonomous decision-making, will only consider the local interests, it is likely to exquisite self-interest, to do a variety of “subtractions”, rather than for the greater good, and the implementation of more stringent policies. For example, now Hong Kong still has a daily quota to the mainland, and Hong Kong is still importing people to the mainland (despite the quarantine measures against Hong Kong). But may Hong Kong take the initiative to “seal the city” and take the initiative to prevent people from going to the mainland? On the contrary, Hong Kong may also want to try to get more people to the mainland. From the perspective of epidemic prevention, this is contrary to the interests of the mainland. When we switch to Wuhan/Hubei, we will find that this is unthinkable: is it possible for Wuhan/Hubei to export people to cities in other provinces after the outbreak? This article can be reflected in all aspects and fields.

12)Hong Kong is in an information universe outside the mainland, dominated by western opinion. Hong Kong residents mostly use foreign social media such as YouTube and Facebook to obtain information from overseas media. Many people do not use mainland social media at all, do not trust information from the mainland, and do not communicate with mainlanders. In this way, neither the central government nor Hong Kong has the ability to guide public opinion to local residents. If people are reading the experience of “coexistence” in Europe and the United States every day, and seeing the criticism of anti-China public opinion on the mainland, how can they accept the dynamic “Zero-Covid”? These factors make it more difficult for the government to mobilize.

And so on. This shows the magnitude of the challenge of epidemic prevention in Hong Kong.

I have focused on the political, social and cultural aspects. Professionals in the field of public health and medicine can do more and more specialized comparative analysis in related fields.

5. Possible development of the epidemic in Hong Kong

Here, we compare the epidemic situation in some other East Asian metropolises (as of February 12) :

  • Tokyo, Japan, with 778,000 cumulative confirmed cases (18,660 new daily) and 3,291 deaths;
  • Singapore, with 449,600 cumulative confirmed cases and 885 deaths;
  • Seoul, South Korea, with 374,000 cumulative confirmed cases and 2,227 deaths.

These are all capital cities, very highly developed cities that hold the most powerful public health and medical resources in their countries. But each city has several times the number of cases and many more deaths than the entire 1.4 billion people of the Mainland combined.

It is unknown how the epidemic will develop in Hong Kong, but some scholars pessimistically estimate that eventually 60% of Hong Kong people will be infected, and in a few months, thousands or even thousands of people may die. Considering the examples of Singapore, Tokyo, and Seoul, it is not impossible for such a tragedy to occur in such a big city, given the number of elderly people in Hong Kong and the relatively low vaccination rate.

If we look at the cases of these international metropolises in East Asia, we will find that it is actually “normal” for Hong Kong to “break its defenses”, as it is not the mainland and does not have the same set of vaccination solutions and infrastructure. However, so far, less than 20,000 people have been diagnosed in Hong Kong, and only more than 200 people have died of illness. But we should also note that, in order to prevent the epidemic, Hong Kong does not even open borders to the outside world, but only relies on the internal circulation itself, which has a huge economic and social cost that may be unsustainable in the long run.

6. Short-, medium- and long-term goals of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong should be defined

I have also read various reports and discussions these days, and find it very confusing. The primary objective now is to distinguish and define the short -, medium – and long-term objectives of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong.

     1)Short-term goal – to save lives and help the injured, to cope with and alleviate the 5th wave of COVID-19 epidemic that is now out of control

2)Mid-term goals – to discuss exactly what approach Hong Kong should adopt to respond to the epidemic. For example, if we are to adopt dynamic “Zero-Covid” strategy, how do we “dynamically clear the epidemic”? How to conduct a sustainable “dynamic zeroing” at a manageable cost?

3)Long-term goals – how, whether and when will Hong Kong’s underlying governance system be integrated with the mainland?

These goals are not the same thing. They should not be confused.

The more the medium-term and long-term goals are, the more they touch the core, and the more they involve the fundamental politics and systems of Hong Kong.

7.The short-term goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong – fighting the 5th wave of COVID-19 rebound

The Chief Secretary of Administration, John Lee Ka-chiu, together with other officials of HKSAR Government, has held meetings with mainland officials from Central Government Hong Kong-Macau Office, National Health Commission, National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangdong Provincial Government, and Shenzhen Municipal Government, in Shenzhen yesterday, to discussion current issues on COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong.

There are 5 help-seeking requests proposed by Hong Kong government:

1)Virus-mechanism scrutinization and analysis to be cooperated with mainland experts.

2)COVID-19 test capability to be improved.

3)Quarantine facilities to be configured.

4)Rapid self-test kits to be supplied.

5)Sickbeds, masks, and protection equipment to be supplied.

Central government, as well as related mainland bureaus, has agreed to cooperate pre-actively and specifically pointed out that it is a must that life-supporting materials, such as food and water, be sufficiently secured.

Undoubtedly, all that discussed there is the emergent short-term goal – how to contain the 5th wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.

  • To suffocate and combat the expansion of pandemic, quickly.
  • To maneuver the medical system and resources, adequately.
  • To handle the subsequent social issues such as life sustaining materials supply and potential tensions inherent in medical resources insufficiency, appropriately.

However, it is unequivocal that all the above are urgent issues, rather than mid- and long-term strategies maintaining “dynamic zero-COVID”. It is also conceivable that the goal of “dynamic zero-COVID” might even have not emersed during the official discussion.

Therefore, under such circumstances, the “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy deployed by Hong Kong now can only be interpreted as a premeditated short-term strategies to contain the current wave.

8.How on earth to maintain a sustainable “dynamic zero-COVID”? Lessons from the Chinese pandemic prevention system and institutions

The author has attempted to explain what the sustainable “dynamic zero-COVID” is and what the differences are between “dynamic” and “static zero-COVID”.

The beginning three months of 2020 have witnessed how Wuhan and Hubei have managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 and how it has pitched the “zero-COVID” goal. The mechanism underscored was the expansive withhold of working and schooling, centralized management of contact, potential contact and confirmed cases, and the adoption of quarantines. As a matter of fact, the compulsory and static zero-COVID could be achieved even without the modern technology (e.g., big data and digitalized public governance). Nevertheless, it is disappointing to have found that most regions on the globe carry with them little, if any, capacity to maintain a static zero-COVID situation, i.e., through large-scale lockdown and quarantine, due to their public administration limits and the negative economic and social consequences therefrom.

What the mainland has done is the configuration and installation of a scientific and adamant system of pandemic prevention, which is underpinned by an efficient and holistic virus-test and administrative capacity. The core abilities are:

1)The application of technology – to collect, track, integrate, process, and analyze core data, the result of which is used to navigate the COVID-19 combat actions.

2)To connect and channel the digitalized governance capability with CCP’s top-down, social-wide, multi-dimensional, and grid public management.

Lastly, a technology-driven, government-initiated, and socially engaged COVID-19 prevention system has grown out of Chinese society governance and been promulgated nationwide. This system has been upgrading since then and it is relatively ripe in detecting and managing different variation of the virus.

This systematic solution is focusing simultaneously on prevention / precaution and containment, which is somehow lacking in other countries and regions and cannot be developed and imitated individually.

This prevention system has several advantages:

1)It can control the pandemic at the preliminary stage. The best strategy to put out a fire is to control the flame at the early stage and to hit the root. It is the same with pandemic prevention: this system makes sure that the government can control the spread at an early age even if facing more infectious variations such as Delta and Omicron. It should be noted that control after the spread of COVID-19 can only be categorized as unsustainable and “static zero-COVID” strategy with high social costs, which is the reason why other countries and regions abandoned such a strategy.

2)It is stable and safe to support the economic and social circulation in mainland for 14 billion people. Although the policy of “prevention of cases abroad” still delays the re-opening of border with other countries, this domestic system, at the very least, can protect the social and economic activities in the mainland. It empowers the socio-economic system and minimizes the expenses brought about by rigorous prevention policies.

To take it as an obiter, some opinions in Hong Kong argue that some conventional methods such as community sewage test has enabled Hong Kong to maintain a “dynamic zero-COVID” scenario for a long period (7-8 months at the most), far more preponderating over other countries and regions, that it cannot be said that Hong Kong does not have the ability to maintain a dynamic zero-COVID situation, and that, conversely, the Hong Kong mode should be promoted.

Admittedly, no compliment should be denied to the temporary success of Hong Kong method, especially in comparison with Singapore, Tokyo, and Seoul. However, the pandemic prevention ability levels cannot be juxtaposed between Hong Kong and the mainland: to prevent cases from abroad, Hong Kong closed the borders to the mainland and other countries, which in essence is an intra-city cycling. Although it has simplified the prevention process, the economic costs borne out by the lower class in the society has been tremendous, exacerbating the social inequality in Hong Kong.

At the same time, such conventional strategies, which used to be helpful in the SARS time when smart phones and the internet were underdeveloped, have become bleak and wispy in front of the attack of Omicron. Therefore, it can only be supplementary methods, other than a fundamental one.

As a contrast, the mainland has achieved the social re-engine: it is not segmentizing the 14 billion people into 200 units of population and blocked each unit for the containment of virus, but it is the refined management of population flows between cities and provinces without large lockdowns that defend the country facing Omicron.

This is not parallel with the alleged “dynamic zero-COVID” in Hong Kong: if the mainland prevention system is at the level of university, Hong Kong is at the primary student level, at most.

3)It is an inclusive public health system for pandemic prevention. The core idea behind the public health system is purely for prevention, and the Chinese system is so purely for prevention that it would still have been effective had there not been sufficient medical resources and punctual vaccination (of course, basic resources such as masks and test facilities should have been ample). To put it in another way, the Chinese COVID-19 prevention system is strong enough to “replace” individual medical system, to some extent.

  • Pandemic combat 1.0 era in human society: no hospital and vaccine, human beings can still triumph over COVID-19, except that a lot died. This is the case of the plague in medieval Europe.
  • Pandemic combat 2.0 era in human society: only hospitals, no public health regulations and institutional designs, human beings can still triumph over COVID-19, except that a few died, but fewer than 1.0 era.
  • Pandemic combat 3.0 era in human society: hospitals with vaccines, as part and parcel of the public health system. Fewer people died than 2.0 era. This is the stage where developed country is at, for now.
  • Pandemic combat 4.0 era in human society: with the help of digital governance, hospitals and vaccines are not indispensable to some extent but COVID-19 can still be prevented. This is a high-level human society, so as to say.

We can imagine, if the development of natural world were to force humans to face super virus immune from antibiotics, what would have been the reliance for us? The answer could only be the pandemic combat 4.0 era.

4)It is a system with a high rate of return and low costs of maintenance. It is more so if the return and costs are to be calculated on the 14 billion individual basis. Moreover, this system is not only benefiting China, but also contributing to the globe, since China is the manufacture center. The successful “dynamic zero-COVID” in China has engineered the normal operation of Chinese economy and the global supply chain, irrigating the world population.

9.The mid-term goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong: the decision tree of COVID-19 prevention

1)Approach #1: whether it is plausible to sustain a “dynamic zero-COVID” situation in Hong Kong?

It is futile to discuss the replication of the mainland prevention system in Hong Kong if no canvass is conducted. 

  • Briefly speaking, if Hong Kong government can largely imitate the mainland system in its local context, “dynamic zero-COVID” is sustainable. 
  • If no imitation is possible, “dynamic zero-COVID” is not practical.

To summarize the pivotal points in the mainland COVID-19 prevention system:

  • The technology and information infrastructure.
  • The “big government” & “comprehensive government” ideology.
  • A digitalized and networked governance structure with CCP’s unified leading role.
  • And of course, citizens’ participation and cooperation, on the basis of social and cultural foundations.

Public decision makers can refer to the above conditions and see whether the system is applicable in Hong Kong.

To put it simply, just make a list of methods, policy toolkits, capabilities, and conditions that the mainland has at hand, tickle one if Hong Kong has. The more tickles, the more applicable. 

If it is doable (Yes) and if the low-cost / sustainable “dynamic zero-COVID” were to be applied for a period in Hong Kong, the borders could have been re-opened without quarantines and other restrictions may be lifted. This is the Result #1, Hong Kong to be integrated into the Greater PRC cycle (14 billion people economic and social circulation).

The evaluation of result #1:

  • Public health: the best result, with the fewest death cases and the least tension of medical resources.
  • Economic: the best result, since the base level economy in Hong Kong is highly dependent on the mainland.
  • Political: most favorable to the mainland, therefore, pro-establishment would support while pan-democrats / liberal parties would oppose.

If detailed canvassing reveals that those conditions are not reproducible, it is highly possible that the mainland system is not applicable in Hong Kong.

By then, Hong Kong in effect enters the second approach.

2)Approach #2: continue with the Hong Kong mode since 2020, that is, “dynamic zero-COVID” with Hong Kong characteristics

If Hong Kong government insists on this method (Yes), the process would be painful and costly, and it transpires that it is weak before Omicron.

The evaluation of result #2:

  • Public health: worse than result #1 due to rising death cases and lack of medical resources.
  • Economic: the worst, since Hong Kong would be in isolation with other jurisdictions (mainland & other countries), and all the costs are to be borne by the base level citizens.
  • Political: the worst, since none of pro-establishment, pan-democrats and centralists would wish to see this happen. And all stakeholders would be discontented with Hong Kong government and the Central Government.

3)Approach #3: if Hong Kong government can utterly and publicly abandon the Approach #2, it automatically enters the Approach #3 – co-exist with COVID-19. This mode builds on vaccination and natural infection, to incrementally realize “herd immunity”.

Ultimately, at some point, Hong Kong can achieve result #3: re-integrate into the circulation with other jurisdictions (barring the mainland).

The evaluation of result #3:

Public health: the worst, the highest death number and most intensive lack of medical resources.

Economic: far worse than result #1, but better than result #2, at least can maintain some visitors from other regions.

Political: unfavorable for Hong Kong to connect with the mainland, and inversely, pushing towards the Western modes. Pro-establishment would oppose to this approach, but pan-democrats would support.

No matter whether it is result 1 or 3, the Hong Kong would be torn apart further, similar to the social gaps within Anglo-Saxon countries.

However, for now, the question whether there is Approach #2 may have been solely a question on paper, and these is no longer such an approach awaiting in fact. And it is not unfettered to argue that insisting on Approach #2 currently by Hong Kong government is only to maintain a correct political attitude towards Beijing.

Some officials in the Hong Kong government are now caring more about the two dashed lines on the chart: deep state. That is to say, although they insist on Approach #2 pretentiously, they just dare not to abandon it publicly. They believe that by maintaining the status quo, Hong Kong spontaneously chooses the third option and realize result #3.

Frankly speaking, before Omicron broke out, a few had still hoped to rely on Approach #2 to achieve result #1, however, after Omicron emerged, they have transferred to result #3, especially deep state, which is countering to the demands of pro-establishment but is compatible with that of pan-democrats.

10.Back to the Approach #1: can Hong Kong copy the mainland prevention system?

To make things easier, let us start from the cores of the above conditions: individual data, information tracking, collection, and analysis. These include but are not limited to:

Compulsory real name authentication on smart phones of all population; comprehensive promotion of health QR code and compulsory scanning according to circumstances; government is able and authorized to collect data; digitalization of all PCR test results and health information; information sharing with all pandemic prevention government departments; strong enforcement powers with criminal sanctions for violation; law-enforcing (e.g., police) agencies should participate in the process.

Is Hong Kong able to do these?

The author argue that Hong Kong may not be able to do these at this stage due to political, social, and cultural conditions.

  • Pan-democrats / liberal parties would consistently oppose such measures. In addition, they will be mobilized by such an agenda and politicize it in the notion of technique problems, as they always do. This heralds a political turmoil.
  • Hong Kong politics and government structure cannot underpin such measures. Legislative council members and government officials would not proactively propose, and they do not possess adequate enforcement powers. And they do not endorse it from inside out (deep state).
  • The Central Government / Beijing finds it shackled to directly intervene in. The most it can do is to offer support as soon as Hong Kong requests, and the “one country two systems” inhibits Beijing from directly interfering with COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong by surpassing Hong Kong government. Moreover, it should not have been Beijing who was the initiator, otherwise deep state would remark Beijing as the evil and would disconnect with Beijing.
  • International anti-Beijing powers would oppose.

The Central and Hong Kong Governments and pro-establishments should convene an exchange discussing this issue thoroughly:

The Central Government can raise questions, as well as requirements.

The Hong Kong Government and pro-establishment politicians should elucidate the problem clearly. What are the urgent issues facing Hong Kong? What can be done and what cannot? What is the main obstacle / bottleneck problem?

Only after teasing out these problems can the Central Government decide on how to offer help matching local context in Hong Kong.

Nonetheless, the mainland officials might not have acquired necessary knowledge of the complexities of Hong Kong politics and society, and especially for those experts in public health, they may put forward methods and suggestion that are common to the mainland but are completely irreconcilable with Hong Kong reality. Even worse, Hong Kong officials are being equivocal on “dynamic zero case” strategy, which is illusive of the fact that they can prevent and combat the 5th wave of pandemic.

This manifests a lack of political judgment, courage, and capability, at least; and it is a lack of political responsibility and fidelity, at most.

The issue is now like an elephant in the room. It will be trapped in a vicious cycle if people cannot surmount the issue and miss the core problems, and this process would enlarge the social crack in Hong Kong, with unbearable political detriments ensuing.

11.If co-existence is costly, will pan-democrats be grateful for the help from the mainland and agree with the mainland COVID-19 prevention system?

if Hong Kong were to make the third approach and to pay a huge price (i.e., high death numbers and lack of medical resources) and the mainland were to help during the process, would pan-democrats in Hong Kong have been grateful and started to concur with the mainland system?

The author thinks as follows:

1)Firstly, they would not be grateful for the help and support from the mainland, not even a little. Conversely, they resent it that the mainland government dispatch medical staff to Hong Kong, reflecting it as an insult to the “strong” medical system in Hong Kong. They fear that mainland staff would stay in Hong Kong once arriving and will take over / communize Hong Kong and deflate “one country, two systems”. They consider themselves as “high level” Chinese who shall not beg anything from the mainland and that it is perilous to “import” these medical resources from the mainland.

2)Secondly, they would not agree with the mainland prevention system. Even if many people were to die from COVID-19, they would still have held that this is what a “civilized society” should do (i.e., European countries and the U.S.) and that the mainland system is against the trend and is uncivilized and rudimentary. Once they “cross the river” by stepping on the “casualties” and re-join with the western world, they would immediately forget the heavy costs and re-gain the pride of being civilized, and they would further blame the mainland as being primitive, outdated, and isolated.

These are all the potential views of pan-democrats in Hong Kong. Laissez-faire policies would only separate them further apart from the mainland.

12.The long-term goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong: whether it can be reconciled with the mainland system?

This is the political issue that has to be left to the Central Government / Beijing.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the unneglectable distinctions of governing logics between Hong Kong and the mainland loom apparent. The distrust and antipathy towards mainland political system, political order, and political institutions, from Hong Kong Government to civil society, are still persistent.

So, what should we do next?

How to modulate the Hong Kong society? Is it really necessary to change? What can be done before 2047? These are the questions for us to ponder further.

Source: The goal of COVID-19 prevention in Hong Kong, decision trees and thinking mode of deep-state and pan-democrats

Related: Will COVID-19 pandemic truly come to an end in 2022?

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