Whenever there is a crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, governments should be proactive rather than reactive. Most governments have been reactive rather than proactive in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Mainland China tried to cover it up and then became reactive when too many people got infected and died. The US and other Western countries at first didn't take the pandemic seriously and became reactive when infections shot up. India was somewhat proactive by ordering everyone to stay at home for 21 days. Taiwan, and to some extent Singapore, were the most proactive.
The word "proactive" means taking action by making changes instead of just reacting to something when it happens. The word "reactive" means reacting to something, such as a crisis, instead of doing something first to control the crisis. Most Hong Kong people feel our government has been too reactive and not proactive at all in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. When it first started in Wuhan, Hong Kong people asked the government to shut all borders with the mainland. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor refused. She then agreed to shut only a few borders. She shut most border crossings only after nurses went on strike.
She flip-flopped on shutting bars and karaoke lounges. At first she said she would shut bars, then flip-flopped and allowed bars to remain open. Now she has shut them. At first she refused to shut karaoke lounges. Now she has flip-flopped and shut them. To "flip-flop" means to refuse to do something and then suddenly doing it. Many Hong Kong people say trying to make Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor listen to public opinion is like flogging a dead horse. The expression "flogging a dead horse" means to waste time and effort doing something that is impossible. The word "flog" means to hit someone with a whip as a punishment. It is a waste of time flogging a dead horse because the horse will feel no pain. Many people feel Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor doesn't listen to public opinion. That's why asking her to listen is flogging a dead horse.
許多香港人都說，要嘗試令林鄭月娥聽取民意就像 flogging a dead horse。習語flogging a dead horse意指白費力氣，浪費時間在一些不可能的事上。Flog是指鞭打某人作為懲罰；鞭打一隻死馬（flogging a dead horse）是浪費時間的，因為那隻馬不會感到一絲痛楚。許多人認為林鄭月娥不會聆聽民意，因此叫她聆聽，實在是徒勞無功的（flogging a dead horse）。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧