Showing posts from 2020

Tourism as if people mattered

Of all the sectors to be impacted by the Covid19 pandemic, tourism has to be the worst.  Cruise ships have been grounded, and in the worst cases, left stranded at seat as public health directives prevented docking at terminals, airlines are running at a tiny fraction of capacity, the business infrastructures that service both reeling from the collision with public health needs. Hotels, bed and breakfasts, AirBNB and pubs in almost all cases have been forced to shut their doors.  Cafes and restaurants mostly the same. Sports stadiums, with seasons stopped before their end of year finals, lie quiet.

There have, of course been silver linings. Some hotels have been repurposed as social distancing friendly accomodation centers for vulnerable populations like homeless people and asylum seekers, though not always with greetings of approval from a cynical public.  Sports centres like Croke Park became, for a while, part of an extensive service of public health testing for the virus.  Local clu…

The Brave new world of COVID19

Like a lot of people I've been working from home since early March. In fact, because the company I work for is Swiss, and because they also have a significant presence in Hong Kong, my employer was wised up to this long before most, so we were sent into social distancing mode back in early March, something many found bewildering. Initially we were told not to intermingle in any of the other 5 or 6 offices in our country, so some were quite annoyed to find themselves barred from the company canteen in the other office around the corner. By the 2nd week of March this had extended to splitting the office into 2 and only 1 group coming to work. By 12th March, we were already about 5 people to a huge room about the size of an average house, and were told the office was closing for us. Everyone in my part of the organisation has a laptop and VPN setup - so we were all sent home indefnitely, but working, on full pay, we got our bonuses in April and the company quietly held its AGM behind…