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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

No Encounter Can Be Bad

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY


  4. Staring at his phone screen PETER is thoughts.


  5. PETER (V.O.): A Quoran asks me how can an under-developed country like Nepal can fight the current COVID-19 pandemic.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've never been to Nepal. But I once influenced a Nepalese on his way forward. Subsequently, he got a PhD in Law (Oxon) and has been working in the UK academia.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We don't have a choice as to where to be born - in a developed or under-developed economy. As an instance of humankind, I share my thoughts whenever I can.


  10. Peter surfs the web.


  11. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The current Nepalese pandemic developments aren't good at all. Governance is one of the problems.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To fight the pandemic, it begins from the individual level. All should assume the social responsibility to adhere to all the public health guidelines and administrative controls.


  14. Thinking.


  15. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Vietnam's pandemic control is a success story. All countries, whether developed or under-developed, should learn from it and make changes, as appropriate.


  16. Peter types on his phone.


  17. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Am I providing a band-aid when the sky is falling?


  18. Act 2


  19. INT. SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS


  20. Peter checks new notifications on his phone.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here's another Quoran, asking me why the US economic recovery is plateauing after reopening.


  22. Peter surfs the web.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here's a report by an authentic consultancy. Consumer confidence remains low, and they buy only essential items, namely, groceries, household supplies and home entertainment.


  24. Reading.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Only people in China and India will help boost their countries' economy.


  26. As Peter checks another new phone notification, we read on the screen: Does the COVID-19 pandemic make you feel like you're swimming upstream every day with no end in sight?


  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Quoran's answer request reflects the sentiment.


  28. FLASHBACK


  29. INT. SWIMMING POOL - DAY


  30. Peter is swimming against the water currents from the jacuzzi jets.


  31. PETER (V.O.): Apart from hydrotherapy, they're also good for practising swimming upstream.


  32. END FLASHBACK


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My daily exercise is to swim 1000 meters. But I haven't swum since the 3rd wave of CONVID-19 infection in Hong Kong.


  34. Pausing.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The pandemic is an endurance test. We've to develop our will to overcome the adverse conditions. Nothing great or bad will last forever. I believe there' ll be a safe, efficacious and effective vaccine before long.

  36. '

  37. Peter types on the phone.


  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I hope my opinion would make him feel positive.


  39. A new phone notification.


  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's an upvote from somebody else. Let me entertain one more request...How bad is the pandemic in Brazil?


  41. Sighing.


  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've never been to Brazil. But I've been thinking and commenting about its COVID-19 developments.


  43. Pondering.


  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As the world's 8th economy, it performs better than the world's first.


  45. Pausing.


  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I notice that Brazil's National Regulatory Agency has already approved the Phase III clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese bio-pharmaceutical company.


  47. Pausing.


  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): By default, Brazil will be the first economy in the world to have mass vaccination, to the envy of other economies.


  49. Peter types on his phone.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Despite the race on vaccine research and development, the winner takes it all.


  51. Act 3


  52. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT


  53. Peter checks another new phone notification.


  54. PETER (V.O.): This is a good question: Is 2020 actually worse than other years or are we just noticing bad things more because of COVID-19?


  55. Pausing.


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The question assumption is from bad to worse. Who can tell what's good or bad?


  57. Thinking


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In general, what we like is good, what we don't like is bad, and more bad feeling is worse.


  59. Thinking.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A lot has happened in 2020, impacting on our lives and livelihoods in ways we may not like.


  61. Pausing.


  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When things are of even intensity, we tend to think and act negatively to protect ourselves. That's our survival instinct.


  63. Thinking.


  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But the longer we live, the more we find that circumstances are changing, for better or for worse. And they won't last forever.


  65. Reflecting.


  66. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As long as we are still alive, no encounter can be bad.


  67. Peter types on his phone again.


  68. THE END


  69. FADE OUT.


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