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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Empty Slogan that Detracts from Collaboratively Combating COVID-19 in Hong Kong


The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be unending and is creating challenges all over the world. Confirmed cases in Hong Kong are comparatively low, but the four waves are caused by imported carriers from abroad. Thus, the government claims that its efforts have been effective in coping with this disease. However, the public observes other dimensions of this claim. The discussion in this paper argues that policy loopholes, violation of normal practices and government estrangement from the community all damage anti-pandemic outcomes. The root cause of this failure comes from distrust in the government. Such a fiction of power brings negative reactions. On the one hand, the community suffers from tight disease-control measures which are disproportionate to the infection risk, and people are fighting not only the coronavirus but also poor leadership, policy loopholes and hidden agenda in social control. On the other hand, people are already self-motivated and self-disciplined enough, with the aid of mutual support, to adopt basic preventive methods, such as masking and personal hygiene, showing a robust civil society and social mobilisation.

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