By Hans Ebert

On Friday night, the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong announced that its iconic Champagne Bar would be closing its doors from the next day until further notice- another victim of the panic and pandemonium gripping the city caused by the Coronavirus which has travelled from Wuhan in Mainland China to infect the rest of the world.

Hasn’t this world been infected enough, especially by different versions of the Peter Principle where so much mediocrity is so readily accepted and those Everyday People angrily wait around for someone to sort it out while they make their feelings known on social media?Right. That’s going to get us far.

Most susceptible to this coronavirus are those in Hong Kong- many still trying to learn to survive after over eight months of often violent social unrest where the city was smashed to resemble something never seen before- broken, twisted and with battle lines being drawn in the sand to show the huge generation gap that had been bubbling underground.

It showed today’s generation wanting nothing from the past including laws put into place before the British returned Hong Kong to China after using and taking what it wanted from the city.

These laws, whether the Basic Law or not, and the concept of “one country, two systems”, were never discussed with these younger people. Many say they know about the Basic Law. Maybe. But what’s it to do with them? They were forced to inherit what their parents had willingly accepted with no questioning and were now rebelling against what was not part of their future.

Unless living in Hong Kong, it would be impossible to understand that the only thing anyone is talking about these days is their health- and the future. And asking where this “future” is taking them/us?

Blame us/them for asking? Not when it’s non stop news on social media showing people rushing to purchase everyday necessities. Not when they’re questions without answers. No one has answers. They’re not just in short supply, they’ve upped and left the building with Elvis choking on a cheeseburger.

For example, the shortage of protective face masks has caused widespread panic. Sorry, but all this often perverse delight in spreading words of bad tidings has a very definite Monty Pythonesque vibe to it.

Of course, there will always be those who will profit from supply and demand. Suddenly, these masks are being shipped to Hong Kong, ironically, many in bulk from Wuhan- and through a drip feed. It’s a warning from the mainland to stop thinking about closing the border between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Given the job of communicating some half arsed drivel about the border being “partly closed” again falls onto the shoulders of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the most reviled person in the city.

Whenever Carrie Lam announces holding a press conference, Hong Kong holds its collective breath and reaches for the rosary beads. It’s kinda like hearing that the other Carrie has decided to go back to the prom.

The past almost year has proven that the Carrievirus behind the feng shui won’t be good and nothing positive will come out of it. It’s Hong Kong bracing itself for another exercise in futility and stupidity by a woman kept on in a meaningless and thankless job and, supposedly, not allowed to easily leave through the back door.

Like Chinese Water Torture, it’s seen as a way of her serving penance for not quelling the storming of Le Bastille by the protest movement when she could have.

With her husband and children in the UK, she’s not just caught between a rock and a hard place, Carrie Lam must carry the mother lode and do the bidding of her masters.

The big problem is that no one was expecting the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus. Especially Mainland China. But it had reached a point of no return. It could no longer be kept a secret. People die, people talk.

Today, Hong Kong is once again in panic mode. Dettol and other antiseptics are made available- at two hundred percent more than what they cost a month ago. People are stocking up on rice, water, milk, chestnuts roasting against the open fire. This once vibrant city is a combination of “Bladerunner”, Gotham City and the desolate world of Mad Max.

What’s Carrie Lam and her bumbling civil servants doing? What CAN they do? Primary schools have been closed until March. Most of Hong Kong is in lockdown mode. The local medical staff is so stretched, they are threatening strike action.

Us? Many will take to social media to show how much they’re hurting. New emojis and hashtags and more sanctimonious Hallmark Greeting Card “good vibes” will come into play.

Playing on social media. It’s today’s version of fiddling while Rome burns. Hong Kong is only one Rome. The whole world is one big fiddle. Why? Where does one start? Ageing and bad world leaders put into office and controlled by Big Business?

Who else? Those one dimensional twitterers and sheeples bringing nothing to the table of life other than bad spelling and more and more anger?

More shameless showbiz and snowbiz like another new awards show with embarrassingly cringeworthy speeches and bad music being fed to lost little guppies?

While watching a repeat of the recent Grammy Awards- Sharon and Ozzie Osborne as presenters? Steven Tyler still trying to sing? Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas?- what kept going through this head was that key word in the Billie Eilish track “Bad Guy”: Duh.

There are lots of Duhs bouncing around the walls. That random video above really captures the mood and IQ and EQ of today’s world. Priorities are lost amongst the clutter. Who’s looking out for the NEXT generation? What’s being done to wean kids too young to know to put down that app or switch off a video game and that there’s a real world out there?

How many have read “I Am Odd”, the homework assignment give to Benjamin Giroux in 2016 who lives with autism? And if so, how far has it travelled to educate the world in four years about something that affects so many- and who are often living in a world where we might learn some very much needed New Thinking?

Think about this. Think about music education in schools. How has this improved? Think about how the online world can bring children together by inspiring them to think for themselves. Don’t meddle. This is why the world is the way it is- a Rubik’s cube of clutter lacking words like honesty, kindness, unselfishness and only about looking after número uno.

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