Dragon Boat Fever: Hong Kong’s culture of contagion avoidance

Like many Hongkongers, we spent last Saturday at the dragon boat races in celebration of the Tuen Ng Festival. A great morning of heavy monsoonal rain alternating with blazing hot, humid sun. Like a spa day really: cooling shower, sauna, cooling shower, sauna.

The boat races themselves were great fun to watch. We went to our “local” races here in Tai Po, but I’m not going to share a picture of the colorful races. I want to share this:

 I’ve already mentioned how hard-core Hong Kong schools are about contagious disease prevention. Turns out festival organizers are just as aggressive.

There is such a high awareness of contagious diseases here (obviously because of the reality of SARS and the fear of Avian Flu and Swine Flu pandemics). Sick people who must leave home wear masks, elevator buttons are often covered with frequently replaced plastic sheets, hand sanitizing get is ever-present, and they scan everyone entering Hong Kong for fever.

I have to say, I really appreciate it. In case of pandemic, it might just be one of the best places in the world to be. They have their shit together and they are ready.

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2 responses to “Dragon Boat Fever: Hong Kong’s culture of contagion avoidance

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