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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Quarantine 4

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Dark. Taking off his eye mask, PETER wakes up.

  5. PETER (V.O.) : Why am I waking up now? Morning hasn't broken yet.

  6. Peter checks the phone time.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Around this time a fortnight ago, our younger daughter was flying home from UK via Dubai. The COVID-19 outbreak in UK then was about to pick up its momentum.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So her compulsory 14-day home quarantine is over.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Her COVID-19 test result was negative too. But the testing result isn't foolproof.

  12. Peter rolls over to one side of the bed.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When shall we meet and greet? She must be missing our pet very much. No one likes any restrictions.

  14. Peter rolls over to another side of the bed.

  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As to my wife and maid, I believe they've got used to serving her for the past 14 days. That our darling daughter is around and isn't in UK should be fine for my wife.

  16. Pausing.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As for me, I've also adapted to working and enjoying in my min-study cum studio.

  18. Pausing.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's the implicit understanding that our social distancing should be extended voluntarily. But for how long?

  20. Peter gets up.

  21. Act 2


  23. Peter switches on his computer and sees the background image of swimming pool action.

  24. PETER (V.O.): Yes, I haven't swum since the Chinese New Year.

  25. Peter clicks a screen icon and begins to type.

  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I've switched my exercise routine to running and dancing. Good substitutes.

  27. Pausing.

  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Furthermore, my wife has been home-working. She used to sleep very little. Now, she can sleep away the travelling time. Good for her health.



  31. Having checked something, Peter's WIFE makes a burning remark to Peter.

  32. WIFE: Due to recent events in Hong Kong, my MPF investment has changed from blue to red! Should I retire a little later?

  33. PETER (Nodding): It's your choice.

  34. Remembering.

  35. PETER (V.O.): I should be contented, as I now have a good feel about how life would be like when both of us stay home most of the time.


  37. Peter puts a finger on his chin.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When we heard about UK's herd immunity concept and that our daughter's University had students confirmed COVID-19 positive, we're very worried about our daughter. Even before UK had any social distancing measures, we took the initiative to arrange our daughter to return home.

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Only after she was back did she tell us the story that once a car drove up to the pavement where she was walking and had headlights flashing at her, obviously because she was wearing a surgical mask! That was the British mindset.

  41. Pausing.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now, Boris Johnson has been under ICU care, although he doesn't need a ventilator yet.

  43. Thinking.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The coronavirus is fair as it doesn't discriminate against humans because of their belief, race, or position. Once infected, whether a patient can live or not depends on his or her immune system.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was an office-worker, I worked long hours and my physique wasn't as good as I'm now.

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Can one's will overcome a decease? If that's foolproof, there won't be any deaths. Who would will to die?

  49. Pausing.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The fact of the matter is: the number of deaths in US and Europe are mounting up, surpassing Wuhan. I initially thought Wuhan's situation was bad enough. Now, it is hell in Europe and US.

  51. Pausing.

  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The lockdown in Wuhan is lifted today...Legally, our daughter can come out of quarantine today...

  53. Thinking.

  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When she is out of quarantine, I believe the first thing she'll do is to hug my wife and our pet.

  55. Worrying.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What if her COVID-19 test result was incorrect and she's a latent spreader?

  57. Act 3


  59. Morning has broken.

  60. PETER (V.O.): I think the 14-day quarantine can't be measured with precison in the COVID-19 context.

  61. Thinking.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our core value should be that we including our pet, neighbours and members of the public can stay healthy. We should play safe and assume the worst scenario, otherwise the communal effort to break the COVID-19 spreading chain would be in vain.

  63. Pausing.

  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): All factors considered, I think our daughter's quarantine should be extended by one week.

  65. Pausing.

  66. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I know it'd be hard for our daughter to accept as she can't wait to be freed. But being prudent is the best policy.

  67. Thinking.

  68. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, let this be my suggested solution.

  69. Peter stops his typing.


  71. Going back to bed, Peter puts on his eye-mask.

  72. FADE OUT.

  73. THE END

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