Your voice: Hong Kong should re-examine Covid-19 vaccines’ minimum age; online shopping is wasteful (short letters)

  • One reader is a student athlete who worries the age restrictions of the coronavirus jab will keep sports competitions from happening this year
  • This week, we also have letters about the importance of public spaces, a short interview with a young actress, problems with unstaffed stores, and more
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One reader wants the Hong Kong government to consider lowering the minimum age requirement for the Covid-19 vaccine

Have something to say? Send us a letter using this Google form.

Janice Mook: Between a vaccine and a hard place

Diocesan Girls’ School

Currently, the government only allows students aged 12 or above to be vaccinated. But as an athlete, I am concerned these regulations will result in cancelled competitions if too many pupils are unable to compete.

This is my last year of secondary school, and many athletes like me will be devastated if we cannot compete this year, as many competitions have been cancelled over the past two years. These events give us the chance to demonstrate our hard work and create lifelong memories.

The government should re-examine the minimum age requirement for vaccines. If this cannot be done, then I hope they arrange the events by age. For example, those aged 12 and older who are fully vaccinated can compete separately from younger athletes.

How are Hong Kong student athletes coping with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Maggie Yeung: Drop the waste of online shopping

Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

As many people stay home during the pandemic, online shopping has been on the rise. Although online shopping is meant to improve our lives, it has more repercussions than benefits.

Online shopping produces more waste than shopping in stores. I bought a book online and found it wrapped in three layers of bubble wrap inside a large box. These materials were not recyclable.

Shopping online can also be unfair to the customer. When shopping in real life, you can try the clothes and put them back on the rack. But with online shopping, it is much more difficult to return and get your money back. Once, I bought a yellow t-shirt online only to receive a blue one that was too small.

We must balance the benefits of technology with the flaws it brings.

Keep your money safe from scams when shopping online

Genevieve Moore: We need quality open spaces

Independent Schools Foundation Academy

From tiny flats to uninviting outdoor spaces, we often struggle to find space to exercise and relax in Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, the city’s open public spaces are continuing to dwindle. For example, Lockhart Road Playground in Wan Chai is being threatened as the Water Supplies Department has proposed relocating a freshwater pumping station to the playground.

But this would mean the playground would be closed for several years. The existing ground level playgrounds may have to move to rooftop podiums and underground areas, which make it difficult for caretakers to supervise children.

This shows a larger struggle for quality space in the city. A balance must be struck between recreational areas and necessary infrastructure.

Open spaces like this playground in Tsuen Wan are important for everyone, especially kids. Photo: Design Trust

Jason Wong Tsz-san: Stores cannot live on tech alone

Lui Cheung Kwong Lutheran College

There are many benefits of unstaffed stores. The quick e-payment systems save time and reduce stores’ spending on staff salaries. With Covid-19, there is an added benefit of having less human interaction, which limits the virus’ spread.

But I still have concerns regarding security and privacy. When entering an unstaffed store, customers need to download an app that requests personal information such as a credit-card number, and photo for facial recognition to track the customers’ actions. The safety of facial recognition software is yet to be confirmed, and giving out personal information can be dangerous.

All in all, unstaffed stores are trending for a reason. But governments should be on alert for any potential breaches of privacy or security.

A shopper in Tokyo, Japan checks out at an unstaffed cash register using her mobile phone at a convenience store. Photo: Reuters

Natalie Tam: Hong Kong’s waste problem

Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

I am writing in response to the waste charging scheme that has, after many years, been recently passed by the Legislative Council.

I agree that we as Hongkongers produce too much waste. Not many people have the urge to be environmentally friendly. For example, when buying drinks made of recyclable material, people tend to throw it in the trash rather than recycle simply because it is more convenient. As a result, our landfills are filling up.

While the importance of recycling has been taught in schools for many years, it does little to improve this issue. Thus, implementing this new scheme is a great way to handle this serious problem.

Face Off: Should the government charge residents for their waste?

Kwan Wing-sum: Chasing your dreams

SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School

I recently spoke to a 17-year-old Hong Kong actress named Chan Po-kei.

She spoke about her struggles when chasing her dream of acting. As a child, she lacked confidence and didn’t have many friends. She wanted to prove that she had the ability to pursue a career in acting even though they made fun of her.

When shooting a gunshot scene for Chasing the Dragon, Chan felt pressure. There was only one shirt for her to use in the scene, and since her character would be covered in blood after the shot, Chan had to do it in one take. But she pushed through and was successful.

“If you are interested in something, go for it ... Don’t compare yourself with others, because there’s always someone better,” she said. “Just do your best.”

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