An Unvaccinated Person's Struggle to Survive

No dining in restaurants, no student health services for her children

An Unvaccinated Person's Struggle to Survive
A child refuses to be vaccinated. (Nataliia Maksymenko/Shutterstock)

According to the Hong Kong Vaccination Dashboard dated Dec. 8, some 6,902,737 (94.5 percent) people aged three and older have had the first COVID-19 vaccine. Hong Kong people need a vaccine pass to provine their vaccination status before they can enter offices, restaurants, sports centers, universities,  libraries, and public hospitals.

However, there are still some people who choose not to get vaccinated. We wondered how they survive in a society of "no vaccine, no entry?"

Our Epoch Times reporters interviewed two family members who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Eating in the Park

Ah Ching (pseudonym) lives with her mother and two daughters; and none of them have been vaccinated.

She and her mother applied for the COVID-19 vaccine exemption, but the government declared the certificate, issued by seven registered medical practitioners, to be invalid effective on Nov. 9.

Ah Ching has not attempted to apply for exemption from other doctors since then. However, her daily life has been greatly affected by the vaccine pass requirement.

She has developed an unvaccinated lifestyle. Because she cannot enter a restaurant, she takes her meals to the park and, more often, to the beach and other places where a vaccine pass is not required to enter.

She says she can manage to adapt to this lifestyle. Although she is restricted from most places, she tries not to stay indoors at home for too long.

No Student Health Service

Ching's two daughters, who are in Primary 3 and Primary 6, did not encounter discrimination at school.
However, because they have not been vaccinated, they cannot enter the premises of the Department of Health, and so they are unable to use student health services or dental services.

Lost Her Job

Ah Ching was working in a middle to senior-level position at a telecommunication company. When her vaccine exemption became invalidated in November, her employer fired her for “unsatisfactory performance.”

She pointed out that in January 2022, the company started firing unvaccinated colleagues. She doubted the reasons the company gave for dismissing those colleagues.

“Is there such a coincidence in the timing of issuing a termination notice?”

When seeking a new job, she felt frustrated as most job listings cited vaccination as a necessity for applicants.

Although there is always a way to adapt to a new lifestyle, the situation in the workplace seems to be more hopeless.

Unable to Renew Driver's License

Ah J (pseudonym) was originally a residential nurse. She did not get vaccinated or apply for a vaccine exemption.

Before the authorities extended the vaccine pass to all nursing homes in February 2022, she resigned and founded her own health care company.

For her, daily life is not too inconvenient, but because of her unvaccinated status, she cannot enter the post office to post mail for the company or go to the Transport Department to renew her driver's license.

She lamented that she used to be able to get around, but now she can’t eat in a restaurant, and she can’t even take her mother out to celebrate her birthday.

Ah J has had to get accustomed to living as an unvaccinated person.

Procrastination in Hong Kong's Epidemic Prevention

Ah J originally thought that Hong Kong would lift the epidemic prevention measures in 2022, but she said it looks like changes may not happen until July 2023.

She criticized the government for saying it would follow China’s Zero-COVID policy and then procrastinated when it was deciding which epidemic prevention measures to adopt.

It was a worry that the epidemic had lasted for three years and would greatly damage the Hong Kong economy. "When the number of confirmed cases goes up, the government gets scared and shrinks back a bit; Hong Kong will never be able to resume normality.” She also said that she was more worried about the economy than the virus.

She questioned why Hong Kong has not significantly relaxed the anti-pandemic measures so far, and suspects it may have something to do with the interests of some pharmaceutical companies.

"Now that the virus has mutated, the government still asks people to receive the old vaccine. It is really too much," complained Ah J. "Hong Kong's epidemic prevention policy modifies very slowly, and I believe it will take a long time to relax the restrictions."

Don't Forget the Unvaccinated

Legislative Council member Doreen Kong Yuk-foon, has been criticizing epidemic prevention measures as a hindrance to Hong Kong resuming normal operations.

In her opinion, the pandemic is not the end of the world.

Kong pointed out that senior government officials and councilors contracted COVID-19 one after another and went back to work after a few days. Even though they were sufficiently vaccinated according to the standards, they still became infected.

She posted on her social media page on December 3, that activities such as private banquets and receptions are gradually resuming as the end of the year approaches.

"Are we going to go back to normal or continue to track the number of infections every day?" She said that if we are determined to resume normality, we should strengthen hospital equipment and manpower.

She also said while resuming normality, every citizen should be treated equally, and people should not forget that there are many unvaccinated people in Hong Kong.