By Hans Ebert

It’s a time when you really get to know people- how they think, how they react, how it’s all an act, how it’s all too easy to call someone “mate”, but when it’s all said and done, “mates” are all too often shameless users.

It’s also proof as to just how easily priorities and supposed friendships get lost in the puddle of panic and personal agendas. It’s all about looking out for number one and keeping plans on the down low.

It’s surprising- but maybe not really- how many have so little to offer when it comes to originality and trust and loyalty and try to run away with ownership of the dish, the spoon and the entire kitchen sink.

Living in Hong Kong in January and February has been tough going. It’s more about surviving than living, but it’s also been a steep learning curve. Learning and finding out about the person inside the exterior is as useful as holding four of kind. It comes down to how and when to show your hand. It can make life interesting.

The “social unrest” that we had to endure for over eight months, and see the more violent elements of a generation, quite correctly, feeling that they have inherited a future that, to them, is an irrelevant past run amok and tear the once “safest city in the world” apart very suddenly morph into a multi tentacled beast born in Wuhan in Mainland China and christened Coronavirus cause widespread global panic, has meant Hong Kong receiving the another battering.

It’s been another battering that’s affected tourism, businesses, the economy, daily life, the ability to think and with bits of information fed every few hours through an intravenous drip from the aptly named DoH- Department of Health- and the Hong Kong government again caught napping through an inept and rudderless Chief Executive who must surely realise that instant karma is just a shot away.

If Hong Kong is going to outrun the hounds of fear from the spread of Coronavirus, prepare next for the peasants to storm the Bastille and demand for the head of our very own Madame Deficit aka Marie Antoinette.

It’s ALWAYS been about the Haves and the Have-Nots. This goes back to Hong Kong under colonial rule and when taipans owned the city and governors were in their pockets.

Today’s generation are no longer prepared for a rerun of this- watch the rich getting richer- and turn the other cheek.

Maybe this has always been the plan of Carrie Lam’s masters in Beijing: let Hong Kong take care of its own while they look away and try to solve their own problems.

With Hong Kong in lockdown mode, and even thinking of going out for the night being a non-starter as the lights have been switched off, it’s all about having facial masks to wear and horde as much of everything as possible as the usual suspects on social media have a new alarmist hashtag to ring.

Though today there’s an even deeper chasm between generations and Mainlanders versus Hong Kong Chinese, let’s not be naive enough to think that certain foreign powers don’t have their online snipers in place taking potshots at Beijing, but for very different reasons to the people of Hong Kong.

Again, there are different agendas at work. The same can be said about the entire world. The online world has met the real world headfirst, and butting heads is trending.

The dream sellers might be selling, but no one’s buying for the simple reason that even if you win, the odds are you lose. So why bother?

The bottom line is that what we have in our hands is a world that has accepted leaders who can’t lead. But with no other options waiting in the wings, we take what’s given without question.

Every country needs a Batman, but there’s not even one to be seen. It’s very tough to come to grips with what’s next and the point of working to get somewhere as no one knows where this is and why one should bother.

Meanwhile, what’s playing in my head over and over again is Don Henley’s “End Of The Innocence” and lines about “that tired old man we elected king” and asking that special someone to lay her long hair fall all around you and, “offer up your best defence, because this is the end, this is the end.. of the innocence.

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