- Because outdoor leisure areas are closed, it means people are heading to country parks and not following social distancing rules.
- People need exercise to help them de-stress during this tough time.
The Hong Kong government ordered the closure of leisure venues, including sports grounds, last month to contain the spread of Covid-19.
My parents and I took a wonderful walk in Lai Chi Kok Park recently. The sun was shining and the air was clean. I instantly felt healthier and livelier, as I have been stuck at home since the school suspension began more than two months ago. I also went jogging in Sham Shui Po Sports Ground, two days before it was closed.
There were a lot of people at the grounds. The closure of leisure facilities such as playgrounds is not a good thing. As a result, people are flocking to the countryside to get some fresh air. Country parks are overcrowded and the visitors are not following social-distancing rules.
I believe outdoor sports venues should not be closed. There is plenty of space in those places. Maybe the government should consider closing down changing rooms and toilets in sports grounds. This would prevent people from gathering in a small area.
The closure of leisure facilities has done more harm than good. People flocking to country parks increases the risk of infection.
The next time the government plans to close down outdoor sports facilities, they should consider whether their actions would benefit society.
Helen Ching, Diocesan Girls’ Junior School
From the Editor
I totally agree with you, Helen. Regular exercise not only keeps you fit and healthy, but it also de-stresses you.
Some people prefer walking or jogging while others like to play team sports, like football or basketball.
I think it is sad that many basketball and tennis courts are closed.
But we cannot blame the government for shutting down leisure venues because, with the coronavirus pandemic, we are facing the biggest threat to humanity in living memory.
Also, your suggestion that the government should consider closing down changing rooms and toilets in sports grounds may not be feasible. Such facilities are necessary in any place where a lot of people gather.
But the good news is that the number of daily infections in Hong Kong is very low now.
Hopefully the city will get rid of the virus and life will return to normal by summer.
Although leisure venues have been closed, you can still go for a walk or work out in open spaces.
Always remember the Chinese proverb: “health is wealth.”
M. J. Premaratne, Sub-editor