People wearing protective masks stand on a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong on February 3. Hong Kong needs strong community bonds, including those between the government and people, to survive the coronavirus and other crises. Photo: Bloomberg People wearing protective masks stand on a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong on February 3. Hong Kong needs strong community bonds, including those between the government and people, to survive the coronavirus and other crises. Photo: Bloomberg
People wearing protective masks stand on a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong on February 3. Hong Kong needs strong community bonds, including those between the government and people, to survive the coronavirus and other crises. Photo: Bloomberg
Mark Clifford
Opinion

Opinion

The View by Mark Clifford

The coronavirus was no black swan. Hong Kong and China just weren’t ready for a crisis

  • Lessons that should have been learned after the harrowing Sars experience were not: diseases like Covid-19 will happen from time to time in a hyper-connected world, and the trust and transparency that will fortify a society’s response to such a crisis is lacking

People wearing protective masks stand on a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong on February 3. Hong Kong needs strong community bonds, including those between the government and people, to survive the coronavirus and other crises. Photo: Bloomberg People wearing protective masks stand on a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong on February 3. Hong Kong needs strong community bonds, including those between the government and people, to survive the coronavirus and other crises. Photo: Bloomberg
People wearing protective masks stand on a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong on February 3. Hong Kong needs strong community bonds, including those between the government and people, to survive the coronavirus and other crises. Photo: Bloomberg
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Mark Clifford

Mark Clifford

Mark L. Clifford is executive director of the Asia Business Council and author of "The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia’s Environmental Emergency". Previously he was editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard, and Asia regional editor for BusinessWeek. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Walter Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University. He has lived in Hong Kong since 1992. www.markclifford.org