Behind Closed Doors: The Hong Kong Quarantine Experience
Hong Kong’s mandatory 21 days quarantine is the longest in the world, and controversy surrounds the benefits to society versus the consequences to those who endure it. Journalist and therapist Kate Whitehead won the Mind HK Award for the best English-language journalism coverage of mental health issues in 2019 and 2020, and has written extensively about the Hong Kong quarantine experience. Today she moderates a panel of experts who weigh up the long term impacts of 21 days in solitary confinement: Dr. Judith Blaine, who wrote the first scientific study of quarantine in Hong Kong, Dr. Elisabeth Wong, a psychiatrist with the Alpha Clinic and Dr. Gira Patel, a Hong Kong-based mental health counsellor and co-founder of mental health app bien-être.
Author – Dr. Judith Blaine – will appear virtually.
Featuring (click on author names to read more)
Kate Whitehead grew up in Africa and then Hong Kong. She holds a BA (Warwick) and MA in Literature (Sussex) and is the author of two Hong Kong crime books, After Suzie and Hong Kong Murders.
Dr. Judith Blaine, a Research Associate with Rhodes University, South Africa, wrote the first scientific peer-reviewed study exploring the psychosocial consequences of mandatory quarantine in Hong Kong. Judy lives and works in Hong Kong, where she founded her company, Odyssey, which offers a strength-based approach to wellbeing.
Dr Elisabeth Wong is a Specialist in Psychiatry in private practice. She is Honorary Clinical Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry, Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also a Clinical Advisor for the mental health charity MindHK.
Gira Patel, a British psychiatrist and mental health therapist in private practice in Hong Kong faced a big personal challenge to her own mental health earlier this year. She was unexpectedly sent into prolonged Government quarantine in Penny’s Bay and published her moving account of this experience.