A colleague returning to work was asked where he spent his holiday. “Oh, my living room, my kitchen, my bathroom …” he said. Welcome to the joys of holidaying in your own home, the ultimate social-distancing staycation. No need to pack or check you have your passport. No air rage or jet lag. Cheap and convenient. This is the reality for those in Hong Kong seeking a summer break during the Covid-19 pandemic. Health risks, quarantine measures and visa restrictions have made travelling abroad impractical. The only safe, sensible choice is to stay at home. But after months of semi-lockdown, working from home and rarely going out, it is not easy to find much enthusiasm for another week in your own flat. Much as we love Hong Kong, this is a time of year when we yearn to escape. The late-summer heat becomes oppressive and the crowded streets seem to close in on us. We need to get away. Our sanity depends on it. But if that is not possible, perhaps a week at home will suffice. At least we can rest and relax, enjoy some time away from work. Or can we? With few distractions, the temptation to respond to emails and messages becomes irresistible. And that only leads to more. Before you know it, you are working from home again. What else is there to do? Social-distancing rules are gradually being relaxed. But until recently dinner at a restaurant was not an option. Neither was a swim or a workout. The restrictions had put paid to all that. We could still hike. But only in groups of two. And you had to wear a mask. Stomping up a hill in the heat while being half-suffocated by a sweaty mask is not my idea of fun. Bingeing on television is an option, but only if you like repeats. How about a home-cooked meal replicating one you enjoyed abroad? Nicoise salad is memorable when eaten in Nice, at sunset, after a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. Sadly, it is not quite the same when made with ingredients from ParknShop under a grey Hong Kong sky ahead of a typhoon. But those of us fortunate enough to have enjoyed holidays abroad in happier times should not feel too sorry for ourselves. More than 800,000 people have died during the pandemic, leaving loved ones bereft. Many more have lost their jobs or seen their businesses fold. And it is not over yet. Perhaps the best way to spend a week at home is to reflect on the value of good health and time spent with your family, while hoping that life will soon return to normal – and dream holidays become possible again.