Here at CK, we recently had a reassuring and heartening message from Shahana Hoque-Ali a Scientific Affairs Manager, now based in Hong Kong who has been a friend of CK’s for many years now.
She sent us this encouraging message regarding her experience in Hong Kong of the Coronavirus, she speaks about how the people of HK coped and are now coming through the other side. We thought that it would be nice to share it with you all.
“To my friends and colleagues in the UK,
I can understand the difficult time you are going through at the moment, we were there 3 months ago. Thrust into a crisis situation which was extremely scary. Schools closed, social isolation started, people had no idea what they could do or should not do so we did nothing.
Panic buying created shortages and added more stress. People started to work from home and the Hong Kong economic situation took a hit. Budgets got pushed back and everything went into survival mode. Homeschooling quickly became the norm and the only rest bite was being able to take the kids to an open space to run around for a bit. Most of their friends were either too far away or had not returned from holidays.
If you had ever tried to entertain a 9, 4 and 1.5-year-old together, you know how much fun that is. As the weeks passed we slowly started to spend more time hanging out with our neighbours. We are extremely fortunate and have some nice ones and found ways in which we could safely interact, trusting each other. No large groups, taking proper hygiene precautions and so on. In busy areas, we wore a mask out of respect for others since people are a little cautious when they don’t know you. Considering anyone could carry this virus and show no symptoms, it’s understandable.
However, at home, we created a sanctuary. People started to create their own little ways of coping, putting kids together and sharing homeschooling responsibilities. Turning up at the same time to a park to allow the kids to have a kick about. Every indoor playgroup was closed so we organised outdoor meeting places, organised hikes, beach and country park trips, our community became stronger and resilient.
Even though we had never gone through anything like this, the people of Hong Kong had experience so they knew what to do and how to react. Hygiene became heightened, not in an obsessive way but just a new way of life. Even small kids knew the protocol: “wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face, don’t shake hands, avoid touching metal surfaces if possible.”
Yes, it has been tough, but the results of adhering to the rules really showed us it works. Also, it has given us some time and space to slow down.
Seven weeks on, the Hong Kong government are pushing the school start dates back further but at least talking about a realistic start date. People started to return back to their offices a few weeks ago.
Please don’t be afraid to take the next important steps. Statistics show that even after one day of social distancing and quarantine, cases start to reduce. You only have to look around to see the devastation it is creating in other places. Healthcare workers, doctors and nurses were and are being stretched to the max. An estimated 3400 healthcare workers picked it up in China alone. It may not be as fatal SARs, but due to the numbers, the pressure on resources is so high that people grapple to be treated (or may not be treated at all). In Wuhan, they had built 16 temporary hospitals in a matter of weeks, which closed a few days ago!
We live in a global world where the consequences of our choices have a wider reach. Due to the flare-up in the rest of the world, we are having new cases appearing as people travel and return. So, we are having to go back to social distancing and quarantine like the early stages.
Please don’t hesitate to start taking precautions and follow your gut instincts. Share kindness and love. Buy sensibly what you need and resign to some downtime for a few weeks. Reach out if you need anything from us here and good luck.
Thank you to Shahana for that encouraging message. Here at CK, we are working from home but business is as usual and we are all contactable as normal on our phones and email.
Our clients are still looking to recruit so if you would like to use this period of downtime to look for a new role, take a look at how to spruce up your CV here.