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889

There's also the question of what you're buying. You'll find vendors in Shamshuipo selling small packets of no-name who-knows-what-they-are masks for around HK$50. Useful only if you don't want to be stared at because you're walking around without a mask.

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Flickserve
51 minutes ago, mackie1402 said:

Surely, will such high demand, they will limit the number of masks per person,


one or two boxes person from a shop.

 

In Singapore, the government allocates four masks to each family. People have criticised this but the government and medical experts there say the masks are there for people who are ill to go to hospital. Otherwise general wearing of masks is not warranted. Singapore has also closed its borders to China travellers which is probably why people cannot complain more about lack of masks. 

 

In Macau, the government was very smart and ordered a huge amount of masks near the start of the outbreak. They have a central allocation with each Macau resident allowed to buy ten masks (I think) at a time. That stops scalpers and triads getting in on the scene. That also stops non-Macau residents buying up stocks. It also stops panic buying. 

 

 

People in HK see Singapore and Macau and wonder why the HK government decisions are so much less proactive adding to the frustrations.

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889

"People in HK see Singapore and Macau and wonder why the HK government decisions are so much less proactive adding to the frustrations."

 

Nobody is wondering why! Everyone knows perfectly well the problem.

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Flickserve

(星島日報報道)就現時疫情,港大微生物學系講座教授袁國勇表示,武漢新型冠狀病毒(WARS)傳播能力非常高,「咁短時間(中國確診)已經去到一萬一千宗,比起沙士同段時間,遠超沙士傳播力。」雖然武漢肺炎死亡率約百分之二,但住院及需要使用呼吸輔助的個案亦不少。他又稱其他地區都有傳播,包括泰國、新加坡、日本都有本地人感染,未知會否成為風土病。袁國勇警告,如果傳播率跟流感相似達五分之一,而死亡率至少百分之一,全港會有一百四十萬人感染,一萬四千人因武漢肺炎離世,「希望香港有最少病例、最少死亡、守得最長時間」。他呼籲市民勤洗手,未有口罩則盡量留在家中,並與人距離一至兩米。
 

An opinion piece of a scenario of 1.4 million infections in HK. 

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889

The other problem is that at all times, one-way fares are usually not much more than round-trips, except on budget airlines.

 

The other possibility is to look for cheaper fares on those budget airlines to regional hubs like Taipei or Seoul or Singapore, then try to get to the U.S. with a reasonable fare from there.

 

Expedia shows fares HKG-Dallas in the US$1000 range one-way the next few days. And trip.com is showing a US$707 fare HKG-Dallas tomorrow, with just one stop, but it's an overnight one at San Francisco.

 

As to flying via Canada, watch carefully whether Canada follows the U.S. lead and blocks foreigners who've recently been in the Mainland. As I read the U.S. rules, Canadians can't transit through the U.S. now if they've recently been in the Mainland (unless they're U.S. permanent residents).

 

Finally, Hong Kong lets you stay for 90 days, and with the virus and the protests, hotel rates in the urban area -- though probably not around the airport at the moment -- are downright cheap.

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889

Just don't look feverish!

 

Anyway, that is indeed THE current issue with travel: it's almost impossible to get up-to-the-minute information on entry restrictions for those who've recently been in the territories of the People's Republic of China. You've no choice but to head to the airport and risk dealing with those charming always-err-on-the-side-of-caution check-in people. Or those not so charming immigration folk on arrival.

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Ruben von Zwack

You made it! Well, the biggest part of the journey, I'm glad it worked out!
 

Quote

It's like America thinks the whole thing is some kind of a Chinese joke.

 

Irks me in Germany, too.

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roddy

Glad you made it! 

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Flickserve
3 hours ago, abcdefg said:

It's like America thinks the whole thing is some kind of a Chinese joke

 

Glad you made it.

 

I wonder if the limited American response is related to cuts in the public health budget mandated by the current President (according to the Guardian).

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imron

I wonder if the limited American response is related to a large number of major news outlets all posting stories saying there's nothing to worry about, and that you should be more worried about the flu than the coronavirus  :shrug:

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Balthazar
6 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Very few face masks in use here. It's like America thinks the whole thing is some kind of a Chinese joke.

 

Could also be due to the fact that wearing a mask is generally not recommended (at least not by the WHO) unless you already have the virus, as the risk of getting the virus might actually increase with mask usage (for one thing very few people wear them correctly, for another wearing masks generally increase the amount of face touching). Perhaps the recommendation is different for hotel clerks and other service workers than for the general population, though.

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abcdefg
2 hours ago, Balthazar said:

Could also be due to the fact that wearing a mask is generally not recommended (at least not by the WHO) unless you already have the virus, as the risk of getting the virus might actually increase with mask usage (for one thing very few people wear them correctly, for another wearing masks generally increase the amount of face touching).

 

I did not realize that. Guess I need to do a little more reading, now that I'm nearly home. 

 

My limited understanding of this bug was that a person could spread it without even feeling ill. I had assumed the face mask suggestion was to reduce that early, asymptomatic transmission/spread. 

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ChTTay
7 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

My limited understanding of this bug was that a person could spread it without even feeling ill. I had assumed the face mask suggestion was to reduce that early, asymptomatic spread. 

For some reason the advice in China is and has been to wear a mask all the time. However, the WHO and CDC (US) have said it’s unnecessary unless you’re sick (or I assume a health worker?) The head of the Chinese CDC is also quoted as saying it’s unnecessary (below). 
 

I posted the below on wechat and also mentioned that, like most in China, will continue to wear one outside (many places make you wear one anyway). I still got a few strong reactions saying it (my post) is bullshit and that you should wear masks. 
 

Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, urged Chinese people not to over-react to the current epidemic. There is no need to "wear surgical masks on the streets in Beijing", Zeng said as he categorically added that fear and lack of epidemiology have elicited an overreaction among the public to the novel coronavirus. 

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1177958.shtml

 

WHO on masks 
For Individuals without respiratory symptoms: a medical mask is not required, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons." (2)  "Wearing medical masks when not indicated may cause unnecessary cost, procurement burden and create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices.

https://www.thebeijinger.com/sites/default/files/advice-on-the-use-of-masks-2019-ncov.pdf

 

(used thebeijinger upload of that file as it loads quicker in China that the WHO one)

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abcdefg

Good to know. Thank you. 

 

These past few days all my energy has been devoted to making my own exit. Have fallen behind on the more general background science issues.  

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Balthazar

  

21 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

My limited understanding of this bug was that a person could spread it without even feeling ill. I had assumed the face mask suggestion was to reduce that early, asymptomatic spread. 

 

My understanding is limited too, and it might be that the general advice does not take into account especially crowded places such as airports/train stations,  full airplanes etc.

 

Whether or not you can spread the virus before you have symptoms is still not clear, but in any case you could mistake the symptoms from the virus for a common cold or have mild symptoms that you brush off as being nothing too serious. So even for people without the virus/symptoms, masks are not a bad thing if you are careful to avoid touching your face and take more important measures such as hand washing seriously. I'm guessing the WHO has assessed that there is a higher chance that non-sick people get the disease from excessive mask wearing induced face-touching than there is for (unknowingly) sick people not wearing masks to infect others, but I really don't know.

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889

Carrie Lam has just prohibited Hong Kong officials from wearing masks.

 

“'We look at all officials who are going to meet the media, and in their regular duties. If they do not match those criteria, they are not allowed to wear masks,' Lam said. 'I actually told them they cannot wear [the masks], and they have to take them off even if they are already wearing [them].'"

 

Given she knows everything about everything, I guess that settles it.

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