I arrived in Hong Kong right before Lunar New Year, which fell on the 25th of January this year. On top of adapting to time change, and to a completely new lifestyle, coronavirus was already starting to be a thing here. Political wars between Hong Kong and China were still very very vivid and ongoing.

As a place that was very much affected by the SARS epidemic of 2002 to 2004, Hong Kong was well prepared for covid19. Even before boarding the plane in Montreal to fly to Hong Kong, my aunts advised me to wear a mask on the plane, and to be even more vigilant than usual in terms of hygiene.

I quickly fell into the habit of being extra conscientious of precautions that needed to be taken in order to juggle everyday life in Hong Kong and covid19 complications. I always carried hand sanitizer with me wherever I went, and putting on a mask before heading out the door was as second nature to me as putting on my sneakers.

For personal reasons, I had to visit the hospital quite frequently. When I arrived, visits were already being restricted. While they were previously allowing visitors to visit patients in critical conditions if they entered the ward two at a time, they very soon turned the policy into no visits at all. Furthermore, anyone who needed to enter the hospital had to wait in line, and give a valid reason at the door before entering. Then, a quick temperature check would be conducted, a squirt of hand sanitizer given, before one was ushered on its way.

I remember one of my very first "shocks" was when I went out to eat at a pretty trendy restaurant, called Ho Lee Fook. Two of my friends, who were locals in Hong Kong, invited me out. One of them, who works in the hospitality and tourism industry, told me that this place usually had lineups out the door, and it was pretty hard, if not impossible, to get a reservation.

However, due to covid, we finally had the chance to try it out. The resto bar's seating area was in the basement. Before showing us to our seats, the host checked our temperature with an infrared thermometer gun.

At this time, coronavirus had not yet become a thing back home, in Canada. For them, it was not a worry yet. So for me to experience coronavirus in a foreign country was quite unique and intriguing.

Closed street stores in Hong Kong