[Hong Kong Standard] Rare instance of long-lost HK spirit
University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital chief Lo Chung-mau is to lead a team of doctors and nurses - including a dozen from the SAR - to the new coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan to join the battle at ground zero.
While the choice to go into the heart of the virus battleground is very much a personal decision, it's also truly inspiring.
Obviously, Lo is confident that his staff who will be staying behind will be able to cope with the local situation so that he and others can be spared to head to the frontline in Wuhan.
But his special team is encountering a problem that has to be overcome before they can go ahead: transportation.
When so many cities are cut off from each other in the mainland, the only practical way of getting in is by air.
Perhaps Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor can help them liaise with the mainland - or even directly charter a special flight to airlift the team to Wuhan.
According to a member who has signed up, they plan to join their peers at Wuhan Asia General Hospital, which was founded by a Hong Kong businessman.
Their selfless action serves as a reminder of the old days when Hongkongers came out en masse to help mainlanders whenever they were hit by disaster.
When severe flooding devastated a vast region in eastern China a few years back, donations poured in from Hong Kong.
Despite reports of corruption among rescue officials, Hongkongers still went ahead to give what they could.
Obviously, not everyone can be expected to act like Lo and his team as there are needs that are no less pressing at home.
And it needs repeating that, at such a critical moment, the last thing any hospital staff should do is to go on strike. Such an act would have been unthinkable in the past, and Hong Kong seems to have changed a long, long way from what it once was.
It is time to unite rather than divide. As often repeated by one of our most respected microbiologists, Yuen Kwok-yung, everybody must cast aside any differences and focus on fighting the battle together.
Meanwhile, I find it extremely distressing to see local communities springing up to oppose government plans to turn some local facilities into temporary centers for people who have to be quarantined.
Bear in mind that many of these unfortunates are not actually ill with the coronavirus but have to be kept away from others for 14 days only as a precaution.
It's really frustrating to see this "not in my backyard" attitude strike again. Unfortunately, this is also indicative of the sick syndrome that has existed in Chinese culture since time immemorial.
Such blind bias has no scientific basis. Why shouldn't a whole block of newly completed public housing be used for isolation if it is best suited for that purpose?
Otherwise, where should those few hundred stuck on the Princess Diamond cruise ship go after they are flown back home on special flights?
As far as Hong Kong's Nimby supporters are concerned, definitely not in their backyard.
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