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The novel coronavirus COVID-19 arrived in Hong Kong on Jan 23, 2020 with the the first confirmed case from a mainland Chinese tourist who arrived by high-speed train.

Highly suspicious of reported numbers from the mainland, who withheld information in 2003 when SARS blew up, there was pressure from both sides of the political divide to shut the border entirely to protect the city. As cases increased in the coming days, and coupled with the Chinese New Year hutdown, rumours started flying of supply shortages. Crowds cleared supermarket shelves of rice and toilet paper.





While officials tried to quell the rumours and business leaders reassured abundant supplies, line-ups continued when stores tried to restock their shelves after the long holiday. A lot of mistrust against the government had built up from half a year of pro-democracy demonstrations, and residents could not rely on the highly-paid government officials to help secure vital supplies. Here, a line formed to buy toilet paper at this supermarket, a fairly common sight in the weeks following Chinese New Year.



Sanitizer and face masks hae also become hot commodities. Huge crowds lined up for hours to obtain the small quotas available as the shortage spread across the region There was considerable anger at the government for not imposing price restrictions to prevent gouging. Officials' promises that millions more masks were on their way and the government was actively souring them amidst the global shortage never materialized. Supplies started re-emerging in limited numbers by late February.







Amidst the shortage, some mischevious sellers were recycling used masks by ironing them to make them look new. Others ventured further to Korea and Japan to find stock. At the time, they still didn't experience mass outbreaks.





With schools closed, people working from home, and malls thinned out, people headed to the countryside to relax. Hiking trails became crowded on the weekend.





























Back in the city, Soho has been hard hit with many restaurants and bars closing. Rents are still too high while business has collapsed. This is quite evident along the escalator ride up from Central, as well as the epicentre of the bar district along Staunton, Elgin, and Old Bailey Streets.































More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-covid19.htm
 

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Don't think HK was ever in a bad situation, there is only 4 deaths since the crisis started few months ago.
 

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While the popular outlying islands are busy with residents escaping the city, Kat O's remoteness has kept it relatively quiet. With only 1 ferry a day to keep numbers in check, this island only has 10 households now, a fraction of a much more bustling past as a major fishing village. Shenzhen's Yantian container port looms in the distance.





There aren't many choices for food, but the few local restaurants offer good home-made fare.



Sea urchin fried rice





There is a mix of both modern buildings and dilapidated abandoned structures along the island's main street.













Some parts of the island are so close to China that you lose Hong Kong mobile signals.







































More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-kato.htm
 

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Indeed great, very nice photos; now in Hong Kong its much better, right?
We get single digit increases every day so it seems to be relatively under control. Recent cases are more imported from people who have traveled, and luckily we haven't seen a major community outbreak of untraceable origins.
 

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Formerly called the Shatin-Central Link, the Ma On Shan Line is being extended from Tai Wai to Admiralty. The 17km railway has been delayed by archaeological discoveries and a massive construction scandal. The first phase from Tai Wai to Kai Tak stations involves 3 stations and opened relatively quietly on February 14, 2020 amidst the virus outbreak.















The extension is the brown line from Tai Wai to Kai Tak.





























More on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-tuenma.htm
 

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Lung Ha Wan is famous for a rock carving by the sea. Accessing the location is relatively simple by bus. This was perhaps why the trail was so crowded, and with many not wearing face masks, I was a bit concerned at the increased level of complacency.











A sign and staircase leads down to the rocky shore and the rock carving, which was discovered by hikers in 1978. The geometric patterns resemble animals and birds, but there is a debate whether this was man-made or natural.























More photos on my website : Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Lung Ha Wan
 

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Finding a good activity on the weekend without the crowds is quite difficult. Many have hit the hiking trails or outlying islands. I didn't want to invest in a yacht and sail to an empty piece of real estate in the sea so I turned to a forgotten historic squatter slum for inspiration.

Originally a Hakka settlement, many of Cha Kwo Ling's residents worked at the granite quarry from the mid 19th century to the 1940s. It was one of 4 old villages in Kowloon, of which only 2 have survived. As the city grew around it, this place seemed to have stopped in time. Today, it is just a short walk from Laguna City, a highrise residential area where a 500 square foot apartment can cost USD $1 million.

Much of the population left in the 90s for public housing, and the village is slated for redevelopment although there are new immigrants from China living in the squatter homes.









































More photos on my website : Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Cha Kwo Ling
 

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Finding a quiet hiking trail with a nice view is a challenge these days as people flood the countryside on weekends. The hike up Cheung Ngau Shan in the northwestern suburbs starts in a small old village and looked promisingly empty.















This dirt trail gets steep and slippery at times, and with no tall trees, I roasted under the sun for almost an hour heading up.



The hills on the other side are far higher and looked just as difficult.















The skyline in the background is Shenzhen.





More : Hong Kong - Hiking in Yuen Long Photo Gallery
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Are you still in quarantine because of Coronavirus?
Great, very nice photos btw
Hong Kong hasn't imposed a lockdown like we have seen in some European countries. While there have been limits in the # people at restaurants and bars have been closed, we're generally free to roam around the city, albeit with increased precautions such as face masks. Hand sanitizers are generally available at public facilities such as shopping malls.
 

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Miniature replicas of classic Hong Kong were out on display at Heritage 1881 earlier this year. The exhibition is divided into 5 different theme areas. At the entrance is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, a floating colour parade (piu sik), and the Cheung Chau Bun Festival.





















Dim sum carts with name plaques of its contents at the front once roamed restaurants, but labour got progressively expensive and now the common way to enjoy dim sum is to check off what you like on a piece of paper.













There was a drive to remove street food carts like these due to sanitary concerns.









More : Hong Kong Miniature Photo Gallery
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Strange to see HK with few people in its streets :)
Things have been more or less back to normal these past few weeks, with crowded malls and streets. Even the hiking trails have been super busy before summer arrived in mid-May. I do miss some of the more eerie scenes back in Jan/Feb.
 
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