While the whole world begins to hyperventilate about the coronavirus, Hong Kong is cautiously limping back to normalcy. Friends and family who had sort of rolled their eyes at the measures Hong Kong had taken are now actively discussing the coronavirus as if this problem had not been ongoing three months ago.

I finally got a diagnosis on the persistent sore throat I’ve been experiencing. Tonsil stones. Not the coronavirus and nothing to do done, except surgery the pain is too bad. I have been drinking some ginger-haldi-pepper-honey concoction my mother recommended that has done the wonders that the three courses of antibiotics (!) I was cavalierly (and pointlessly) prescribed failed to.  It’s not contagious and so I was clear to go back to work.

To see the ENT, I had to go to Central, requiring me to walk through the (empty) posh Landmark mall, reinvigorating my senses with the bouquet of designer perfume. The stylish mask clad people walking the streets restored my faith in humanity, even as I wondered when I might sit down in a cafe next.

Despite new Covid-19 cases being reported in Hong Kong, my office decided it’s time for everyone to come back to work. After some wrangling, I managed to negotiate two days a week work from home so I can help the kids with their work.

Last Saturday, we noticed the new restaurants lining the waterfront and V consented to taking the kids for a meal, provided we could eat outdoors. We headed there pretty early, but turns out, we had missed some memo and the place was packed. We ended up seated indoors, though in an empty restaurant with hopefully fewer germs.

At work, the sheer size and brightness of my screen blinded me for about an hour until I managed to adjust it to “comfort view” and fell in love with my two screens once again. I also enjoyed not being interrupted every now and then by the kids. I did not enjoy having to listen to the stream-of-consciousness rants of the guy two desks away.

One of my big dilemmas was whether I would go out to lunch. The office was recommending that we didn’t. In the end, the temptation proved too much and I went out with my usual lunch buddy, who had clearly been waiting for this, although we chose a larger restaurant so we didn’t have to touch elbows with our fellow diners while we ate, as is the usual practice in our fair city.

I went one further on Friday and met up with two friends at one of their homes on Friday. V was not pleased – the whole coronavirus has played perfectly into his antisocial tendencies. I knew I was taking a risk, but I’ve also sort of had it with the isolation.

It was nice to catch up with people other than my immediate family. Not sure when it’s going to happen again, but a girl does need her girls.

I took a tram to my friend’s place, which always brings out my love for Hong Kong. There is nothing like the view of the city from a tram when the weather is cool. It’s been too long.