A shopper wearing a face mask sorts items in her trolley as she stands next to bare supermarket shelves, usually stocked with toilet paper and kitchen rolls, in Hong Kong on February 6. Panic buyers in Hong Kong have descended on supermarkets to snap up toilet paper after false online claims of shortages, prompting authorities to appeal for calm. Photo: AFP
Mike Rowse
Opinion

Opinion

Mike Rowse

Coronavirus outbreak: Why I refuse to queue up for masks and participate in the general panic

  • The outbreak calls for a calm and considered response, keeping in mind its severity compared to other diseases and the utility of products such as masks
  • Shoppers panicking in supermarket aisles and medical worker strikes are not helpful

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A shopper wearing a face mask sorts items in her trolley as she stands next to bare supermarket shelves, usually stocked with toilet paper and kitchen rolls, in Hong Kong on February 6. Panic buyers in Hong Kong have descended on supermarkets to snap up toilet paper after false online claims of shortages, prompting authorities to appeal for calm. Photo: AFP
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Mike Rowse

Mike Rowse

Mike Rowse has lived in Hong Kong since 1972, and is a naturalised Chinese citizen. He spent six years in the ICAC from 1974 to 1980, then 28 years in the government as an administrative officer until retirement in December 2008. He is now the search director for Stanton Chase International, and also hosts a radio talk show and writes regularly for both English and Chinese media.