Obviously, as we’ve seen with the effects of COVID-19 around the world, trying to predict the future of the virus’ spread is damn near impossible. Sure, we know how to slow down the spread and smart folks are taking heed of warnings to wear masks and stay away from public gatherings, but without everyone buying in, those efforts seem destined to fail. And we’re seeing how that is happening in Hong Kong, a city that has now had to shut down cinemas yet again after the third wave of COVID-19 is wreaking havoc in the city.
According to Variety, Hong Kong was on the brink of releasing the highly-anticipated “Train to Busan” sequel, “Peninsula,” in theaters but has had to stop that plan because of a new wave of COVID-19. Apparently, some undetected imported cases of COVID-19 have slowed down the progress made by the citizens of Hong Kong, forcing restrictions to take hold in the city where cinemas are being shuttered and public gatherings are being limited from 50 back down to 4 people. And according to reports, Disneyland Hong Kong is being forced to close again.
Long story short, Hong Kong was believed to be on the mend and doing pretty well, but it just took some undetected cases to send them back to square one. Now, that economy is taking another major hit because of the new cases. Normally, we look to other countries to show us what the future of the illness spread can look like, with international territories affected before the US and recovering before America can. And if this Hong Kong news is any indication, even when most people are doing the right things, COVID-19 can still mess up everything based on the actions of a relative few. Makes you look at Florida, Arizona, and the other new COVID-19 hotspots with a bit more disdain, huh?
This is also bad news for the future of the US cinema industry, which is still yet to fully open in the wake of the pandemic. With people hoping August was the likely start date, it’s beginning to become obvious that September should be the real target reopening time frame, and even then, that’s just an estimate. And if portions of China begin to spike again, it’s unlikely studios are even going to risk a big release.
Basically, just wear a damn mask and stop acting like assholes. Otherwise, this is just going to keep happening. And when “Tenet” is pushed to April, you’ll look back and wish everyone just followed the rules months ago. But I digress.