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?"
Eating in the ParkAh 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.
No Student Health ServiceChing's two daughters, who are in Primary 3 and Primary 6, did not encounter discrimination at school.
Lost Her JobAh 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.
Unable to Renew Driver's LicenseAh 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.
Procrastination in Hong Kong's Epidemic PreventionAh 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.
Don't Forget the UnvaccinatedLegislative 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.