By Hans Ebert

It is what it is and it’s now all to do with how the world adapts to the new normal of living under the threat of the coronavirus/COVID-19 and working out what’s real, what’s not and shaping that personal mind map to see whether to move forward and think whether this is a solo journey of discovery or part of a gypsy caravan.

It sounds strange to say, but COVID-19 just might be a very different kind of “life coach” that’s party crashed its way from way outta left field.

Maybe it was needed. Maybe we have been on auto glide for too long and not going anywhere except back to the online well. Who knows, COVID-19 might even help us prioritise things better. Depends on the individual. Depends on individual thinking.

For those in Hong Kong, well, misery loves company, and some in the city can now fly high through social media and see the Oliver Twisted ones from other countries hoarding toilet rolls, masks and every bare naked “necessities” of life. It’s good to know that we don’t have a mortgage on morons. But we’re not outta the woods yet…

Seeing the elderly recently storm Le Bastille to collect their winnings after a few HKJC Off Course Betting Centre re-opened for limited business hours and then opening new betting accounts now that their daily mahjong group sessions where playing with tiles for hours on end might not be the most hygienic game in town, shows just how desperately void Hong Kong is when it comes to leisure activities for the elderly.

As for the HKJC, they are now winners way beyond horse racing. Why? When COVID-19 was the still the unknown coronavirus and the Hong Kong government went into panic mode in its usually bumbling way, cool heads prevailed at 1 Sports Road under the leadership of CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

It was through his efforts that racing continued. And even though this is to almost empty houses, turnover has been remarkably strong with the government receiving a much-needed boost of around HK$110 million in betting taxes.

There’s something else to think about: Hope. With racing going on even in its “abbreviated” form, to those outside of the racing bubble, it’s a small but important reminder of Hong Kong’s Can Do spirit. And with what’s now known as COVID-19 and affecting the entire world, the ways in which the HKJC tackled this problem at the very outset- and continues to tackle it- puts the organisation several lengths ahead of other industries- and racing clubs- in showing how to fight an invisible enemy as well as a resilience that’s hard to find today. Anywhere.

Hong Kong is hardly overrun with heroes. But in the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the city has an organisation willing to live up to that well worn out cliche about not all superheroes wearing capes. Below are the latest initiatives by the Club to combat COVID-19.

Jockey Club launches further initiatives to combat COVID-19 – HKJC

What I personally find to be a sad indictment of society in these unusual times is how it continues not to address where and how children might be affected by the mayhem going around them- children basically under “house arrest” and seeing adults running around like headless chickens and listening to bursts of paranoia through mobile phones on information overload.

All this is now part of their childhood that will live with them forever and many of us adults are to blame. It also says much about a world full of weaknesses, greed, paranoia, easy manipulation and poor parenting.

Many are happy to live in this bubble and leave the hard lifting to someone else. But let’s not forget that bubbles are fatuous and usually burst.

#COVID-19 #coronavirus #HKJC #hongkong #charity #horseracing #children