🍀 St Patty's Tide 17/3
Son of a beach - we can't go for a swim
Remember Harry Harrison? Who doesn’t. He sent us this little ditty and we love him for it.
If you’ve forgotten about him (somehow), he’s SCMP’s political satire artist and somehow we’ve managed to nab him for occasional illustrations too!
Also St. Patrick’s day!
Today’s deals/events are all about St. Paddy’s so don’t miss out. Won’t even blame you for skipping the COVID news and jumping straight down.
On Today’s Tide
Saints and Scholars: It’s St Paddy’s!
HK #1 in infections (not in the world, just still high)
We’ve got no coffins
Beaches are closing again
Mainland medics make their way down
Events: St Paddy’s Special
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Government and policy updates
Protests | HKU painted memorial replaced by potted plants
Transport | COVID chauffeurs get COVID themselves
Crime | Ding Rights are a problem again
🍀St. Paddy’s Part of Tide🍀
I’m torn between making really bad Irish jokes based on outdated potato stereotypes, or whether to summarize the wikipedia page about Ireland to be super respectful to the culture.
We are doing neither. Instead here is an interview we did with Irish CG David Costello during the first wave of COVID (ancient history - do you remember the first wave? Wow), where he talks about Ireland’s long relationship with Hong Kong, Delaney’s infamous business breakfasts, as well as how helping each other out is ‘part of the Irish blood’.
Pour yourself a pint of Guinness and a shot of whiskey and give a listen to the soothing voice of Mr. Costello (and the less soothing voice of me).
For those of you who hate podcasts: we did a write up of it. Those who can find the joke in the image get a free month of Tide.
COVID in HK
New cases: 29,261
Total cases: 975,212
New deaths: 278 (61 backlog)
Total deaths: 4,846
Son of a beach
Beaches are closed again from today onward, so no St. Paddy’s uh…BBQ? Cabbage….boiling…Guinness…ing, by the waves for you!
CE Carrie Lam notes that this has been done before during the pandemic, and that although she doesn’t want to close them off, the government was forced to in order to protect “the system”. To no one’s real surprise, everyone showed up at the beach yesterday.
“We are reluctant to take such a measure as there are some people who will go there for a walk, but we have seen people flocking to the beaches. We must take appropriate action to protect the system and ensure the safety of the people”
CE Carrie ‘definitely not in a swimsuit’ Lam
Some Hongkongers jokingly said online that the ‘swift action’ to close beaches was due to complaints from Shenzhen residents on Weibo who said that Hong Kong doesn’t “treasure the contribution made by medical workers” and should “reflect” on their actions.
Shenzhen is currently in lockdown with all transport banned - a spillover from our 5th wave.
Here’s a meme I stole:
One of HK’s biggest gym chains - Fitness First - closed all 8 of its branches yesterday and began the process of liquidation, affecting around 100 staff and 10,000 members. The company is based in the UK and has operated in HK for over 20 years under a franchise model.
Gordan Yau, chairman of the Hong Kong Fitness Guide, said that 100-150 gyms could close if restrictions aren’t lifted by mid-April due to high rents and lackluster support packages.
While Fitness First is the only ‘major’ firm to close, Goji Studios shut down in December.
Mainland Medics Marching In
300 medics from ‘top hospitals’ in Guangdong province have arrived in Hong Kong to help treat patients at Asia World Expo. CE Carrie Lam noted that they are all ‘very young’ and are bilingual in Cantonese and English. They’ll be working in a closed-loop setting traveling privately from their hotels to Asia World Expo.
Lockdowns in Shenzhen and other major Chinese cities have made it particularly hard to get Mainland staff into HK. This is especially a problem for care homes who are desperate for 5-6000 staff to help with operations. Local drives haven’t been working, and due to flight bans, it’s essentially impossible to bring in workers from elsewhere.
Dying? So Rude.
Hong Kong is now not only #1 in death rates, but also #1 in infection rates, compared to other world cities (not in the world thank god).
We’re so great at not being great in fact that we’ve now just about hit the 1mil mark: currently at 962,581.
This of course has led to a large number of deaths in very quick succession (you don’t get #1 status with no ‘work’). No jokes - we’re running out of coffins.
Kwok Hoi-bong, chairman of the Funeral Business Association estimates there to only be around 300 coffins left in Hong Kong, barely anything considering our ~200 death rate p/day. Normally, coffins would be shipped from China, but lockdowns in Shenzhen have made shipments ‘erratic’.
The FEHD have put coffins under ‘necessary supply’ in an attempt to speed up shipments.
Events and deals: St. Paddy’s Edition
Support Harbour Times, our friends and partners by attending these events! Let everyone know who sent you by tagging @harbourtimes
A virtual St. Patrick’s Day celebration
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Hong Kong with a special upcoming virtual event hosted by the Irish Consulate General next week, with notable guest appearances from Olympic medalist Siobhan Haughey and singer-songwriter Serrini.
When: 17th March, 6:30 p.m.
Details: Sign up for the virtual St. Patrick’s event here
St Paddy’s Live-Not-Live
If hanging out virtually with the consulate isn’t enough, then you can join the St Patrick’s Society of Hong Kong’s livestream of very warm, very special, very Irish entertainment. Performances from local Irish bands like the Naggin Eejits, as well as sports teams, dancers and apparently ‘bakers’.
(Video below will go alive at 7pm HKT)
Luck o’ the Irish: Special Discounts
Nothing says Ireland more than a pint of Guinness, except at Craft Logic where they’ll be serving up a keg of nitro-infused O’Hara’s stout (if that’s not your thing, I’m pretty sure they still have Guinness Special Export too…of maybe the last bottle is in my fridge).
Dram and a Draught with The Globe
Seems like everyone’s on O’Hara’s this year. I’ve got to get myself a few cans. The Globe in Sheung Wan is doing $60 pints with free shots of Hinch - after a coin toss. Feeling lucky?
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