CAET Hong Kong Special Issue Online
This special issue on Hong Kong has been waiting in the wings to be published since the start of 2020 and follows the special issue on COVID-19. It is an important and exciting special issue as Hong Kong art therapists have made great strides over the years and this issue gives us a window into the way they are imagining, thinking, questioning, and debating how to adapt their traditional training to their local contexts. Their commitment to this subject shows a conscientiousness, seriousness, and concern for the people with whom they work and the profession itself. Since the writing of these articles, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the entire world on multiple levels and no less so Hong Kong. It has highlighted the prominent role of Hong Kong’s civil society and the ability of the local communities to engage in spontaneous social mobilization. As a result of their experience during the previous SARS epidemic – the resulting number of deaths, as well as the subsequent economic depression – Hong Kong society, was quick to respond to this current pandemic. People were disciplined; donning masks, sanitizing their environments, and observing social distancing from very early on, and even before the World Health Organization (WHO) was recommended these as helpful actions.
This quick social mobilization prevented a large-scale community outbreak during the early stages of this pandemic. Indeed, Hong Kong communities have shown tremendous resilience and capacity to adapt. Art therapists in this edition speak of their practice before COVID-9 and of their wish to return to “normal” but also of the advantages gained and lessons learned in adapting their work and lives to taking place online.
We are still in the midst of the pandemic and are only just getting a glimpse of how the pandemic will impact on the world. Just as SARS had a profound impact on Hong Kong society, so inevitably will this pandemic shape the post-COVID era. We do not yet know what this era will look like in Hong Kong or anywhere in the world, but we do know that it is the values of cooperation, cross cultural dialog, and internationalism that characterize this journal. It is our understanding that our differences enrich us and make us more complete and it is in this spirit that this special issue on Hong Kong has been written and compiled.
Debra Kalmanowitz, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief CAET