Roses are red, face masks are blue: Survey finds people want masks, hand gel for Valentine’s Day

Forget the chocolates, give the ones you love face masks.
Forget the chocolates, give the ones you love face masks.

Don’t rush to buy chocolates or a dozen roses for your Valentine’s Day date tonight. If a survey by a dating agency is to be believed, face masks are the way to Hongkongers’ hearts.

With coronavirus fears gripping the city and leading to a shortage of masks and sanitizing products, a new survey by HK Romance Dating Limited found that about 30 percent of the 572 respondents — comprising 263 men and 309 women — want face masks or hand sanitizer gel as their Valentine’s Day gift.

Apple Daily reports the survey found that 29 percent of men and 24 percent of women surveyed want to gift either face masks or alcohol disinfectant.

About 43 percent of men surveyed said they expect to receive gifts below HK$500 (US$64), and 29 percent of women expect to receive gifts costing from HK$1,001 to HK$5,000 (US$129 to US$644) — which, depending on where you get your masks, might not be totally unreasonable.

But if you’re one of the many people who have struggled to find either face masks or hand gel amid the coronavirus panic-buying, you could just forgo the gifts altogether, like the 27 percent of women and 23 percent of men surveyed who said that they didn’t plan on giving any Valentine’s gifts at all.

A third of people surveyed said they don’t plan on going out on Valentine’s Day, in line with general advice from the authorities to keep social distance and avoid going out unless you really need to.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection confirmed in a press release last night that two more people had been confirmed to have the new coronavirus (officially dubbed Covid-19), bringing the total number of cases in Hong Kong to 53, up from the 51 announced yesterday afternoon.

The statement reveals that the latest two cases are a 67-year-old woman and her 37-year-old son who had dinner with three of the previously confirmed cases at Star Seafood Restaurant in North Point.

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