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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Silver Lining


FADE IN.

INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY

PETER watches TV news story about quarantine.

PETER (V.O.)

Oh, starting from

tomorrow, Hong Kong

is going to quarantine

all people arriving

from China for 14 days.

FLASHBACK

INT. STUDY - DAY

Checking his phone, Peter sees a requested question from a Quoran: How do the people quarantined in Wuhan pay their monthly bills?

PETER (V.O.)

I've just settled my

tax via e-banking...

Oh no, how can they

earn a living in a

lockdown city?

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Yes, it's a real chore

for some to make ends

meet every month...

Big businesses too.

END FLASHBACK

Another news story about an airline's downsizing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Oh, hundreds of staff

are fired and some

have to take no-pay

leave.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Governance, riots,

and now coronavirus.

Another news story about the first Chinese whistle-blower doctor died because of coronavirus infection.

PETER

(Sighing)

So professional!

A tragic sacrifice

for the public good!

Another news story about Hong Kong nurses' strike.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

So disgusting! They

hold patients hostages

even at such time!

INT. SUPERMARKET - DAY

Accompanying his WIFE, Peter is shocked to see some empty stacks.

PETER

Well, I now witness

panic buying.

EXT. PHARMACY - DAY

Peter and his wife walk past a long queue.

PETER

I've never seen such

a queue here. What

are they buying?

WIFE

Tissues.

INT. RESTAURANT - DAY

Peter and his wife are having lunch.

PETER (V.O.)

But for my wife's

home-working, there

isn't a chance to have

a lunch like this.

Reflecting.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

It's an upside. She

has worked too hard.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I don't have much to

do as the courts are

generally closed. That's

okay for me as a senior

citizen.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

But the public swimming

pools and the estate

clubhouse are also

closed...

Phone in hand, Peter checks an incoming mail.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Oh, that budget airline

is offering super sale.

Perhaps, I should fix

another tour...

Scrolling up the phone screen, Peter notices something.

PETER (V.O) (Cont'd)

Oh, that isn't another

scam mail...

Peter reads the details.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Oh, it's an online

assignment from KL.

First time offer! I'm

available as I'm under

involuntary quarantine.

Peter types on the phone as food is served on the table.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Done! There's must

be a crack in things

to let the light in.

INT. STUDY - DAY

Peter watches TV news intermittently as he works behind the computer.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

During SARs 2003, I

wasn't sure there'll be

a 2004. Now, I believe

we're in the midst of

the coronavirus storm

and it will be over by

summer this year.

Pausing,

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Out of the 10 Quora

requested questions

I answered today, 6

were about the coronavirus.

Peter notes an incoming mail.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Oh my good Canadian

friend is watching

nervously again the

developments here.

Yes, I'll take care! I

wash my hands more

and longer than before.

Reflecting.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I'm a very positive

person. While every cloud

has its silver lining,

every difficulty brings

opportunities!

Peter continues to type on his computer.

FADE OUT.

The End

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