A young woman with a face mask jogs along the waterfront in Hong Kong,
A young woman with a face mask jogs along the waterfront in Hong Kong,
Sundays are for getting outside in Hong Kong — coronavirus or not. February 16, 2020. © Ben Marans Photography.

“Why don’t you move back to Canada where there’s world-class healthcare, no riots and less population density?”

“Maybe it’s time to skedaddle from China?”

“Jeebus — you move to China and they get hit with riots and the plague? You’re like a one man horseman of the apocalypse!”

It was late January and my phone was blowing up with these and other messages from friends around the world. The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak was kicking off and it had started to make headlines globally.

It hadn’t arrived on their doorsteps (yet) but it was at mine.

At that point, all they knew was that tens of thousands of people in China were falling ill and dying from this new disease and that my family and I were living next door to ground zero. What they didn’t know was that Hong Kong was already mobilized into taking precautionary measures and that, despite the 57th confirmed case living several floors above us in our flat on Hong Kong Island, we felt safer here than in any other place. …

About

Ben Marans

Freelance photojournalist in Hong Kong. Chief Experience Officer for Photographers Without Borders.

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