How to ensure your restaurant fails

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 22 May 2020

Some "yellow camp" restaurants are refusing to serve customers wearing masks from Hong Kong's free reuseable mask program.

If it was because they look like underpants, I'd understand - but it's just petty politics.

It must give rise to strange conversations.

"You can't come in! You're wearing a mask distributed by the government."

"Oh, I'm so sorry! Let me take it off and cough all over you."

* * *

Churches in Hong Kong are ordering single portion "bread and wine" sets from Amazon for Holy Communion.

Each congregation member gets a sealed plastic cup - like the tiny milk containers used on inflight meals - with a wafer on top and nonalcoholic wine beneath.

It doesn't have the symbolic power of drinking a shared ancient chalice, but at least you don't die.

* * *

The pictured sack may have been labeled as a warning for workers who have to carry it, but I suspect most people feel like that.

* * *

Earlier this year, US media repeatedly poured scorn on Hong Kong (Bloomberg sneered at our community as "a failed state") and put Singapore on a pedestal for its "unbeatable" coronavirus response.

Oh how quickly things change.

The world's top science journal recently posited Hong Kong as the world's virus-killing role model, while Singapore's list scarily soared to 29,000 cases.

You Singies want help? Just give us a call.

* * *

Singapore's normally placid population has been complaining about the government's low testing rates.

"Are they holding back from testing as many foreign workers as possible because the number of infected cases would really shoot through the roof, thereby exposing them for their failed response?" asked Kenneth Tan.

* * *

Hong Kong developer David Fong Man-hung this week bought a building in Shau Kei Wan at its reserve price of HK$804 million, since there were no other bidders.

History may be repeating itself. During the SARS crisis year of 2003, he bought a whole building in Central for a bargain HK$310 million.

In crises hide opportunities.

* * *

Bankers in Exchange Square yesterday were discussing the price collapse of Luckin Coffee, a Starbucks-like chain in mainland China.

Luckin claimed extraordinary high sales figures until someone got hold of 11,000 hours of instore video and noticed something missing: customers.

Surveillance cameras, hated in the West, have turned out to be the most useful rule-of-law tool ever.

* * *

Looking at the list of people who make up the Hong Kong Coalition, I notice something: it includes the vast majority of this city's biggest landlords. If they want to help the city, they could simply cut everyone's rents. How about it?

* * *

A widely discussed problem in Hong Kong is the existence of fake reporters who claim to be journalists, but have no connection with actual newspapers and work for obscure websites you've never heard of.

So it was ironic that the loudest complaint against police calling some journalists "fake" this week came from a woman named KY, who claimed to be a journalist, but had no connection with actual newspapers and works for an obscure website called Ben Yu Entertainment.

No, I've never heard of it either.

* * *

A report says that tens of millions of used masks will eventually pollute the oceans. I guess that's why thoughtful Hong Kong people are throwing them away in our country parks instead.

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