The new year began in subdued mood bearing in mind we had now been under severe social restrictions, social distancing etc for almost a year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. My regular six-monthly medical turned up no nasty surprises, which was good, but the only really bright spot in January was the safe return to Hong Kong of Tiffany, albeit that the quarantine arrangements now required her to spend three weeks in a designated hotel. The previous requirement of two weeks was bad enough, but the same administration that had kept beaches and swimming pools closed in the absence of any evidence they were dangerous felt the increased stay was justified in the interests of safety but also on flimsy pretext. She finally joined us at home in early February.
The birthday of my Macau-based goddaughter Hedwig Brockman (three!) on Valentine’s Day was a sad reminder that a visit to her home the previous year was the last time I set foot outside Hong Kong. The Lunar New Year holiday mid-month was inevitably also subdued. I visited the Tai O school which looks set to become the first local customer of the Swedish glass-making machinery company of which I am director. Finally, on Tiffany’s birthday we spent the night in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel after dinner in the just-reopened park. Then the virus precautions kicked in again: Tiffany’s return flight to LA was cancelled by Cathay Pacific. We have her home for an extra week, but the disruption to everyone’s life is creating strain all round.