Our Desk | Sandal revolution

Julie Zhuj

Does Macau’s weather bother you? Have you ever heard about “Hong Kong foot?”
Hong Kong foot, athlete’s foot, tinea pedis, or ringworm; choose the name you are most familiar with.
“Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the upper layer of the skin of the foot, especially when it is warm, moist and irritated. Athlete’s foot most commonly develops between the toes. It usually causes burning, stinging, redness, and itching. It also causes flaking on the skin in some people.” – Medical News Today.
To those who care more about physical appearance than their health, the abovementioned situation is not as scary as Onychomycosis.
“Onychomycosis, also known as tinea unguium, is a fungal infection of the nail. Symptoms may include white or yellow nail discoloration, thickening of the nail and separation of the nail from the nail bed. Toenails or fingernails may be affected, but it is more common for toenails to be affected.” – Wikipedia.
The causes behind these fungal infections may be related to when the weather is “warm, moist and irritable,” which is precisely the kind of weather Macau has to offer. It also makes sense that “Hong Kong foot” is the term overwhelmingly used in mainland China to describe people who suffer from such feet problems.
The number of people with athlete’s foot in Macau is probably not well-documented, but it is very likely that there are people around us who have athlete’s foot.
Why is then a Sandal Revolution so much needed in Macau? Because the Macau government wants the city to be the Capital of Creativity. But, seriously speaking, home remedies for athlete’s foot and onychomycosis very much encourage patients to expose their feet, especially during summer, a season that settles in Macau for almost eight full months of a year.
“Steps can be taken at home, including wearing loose-fitting, well-ventilated shoes, especially during warmer months, and removing shoes as soon as exercise or sports end.” – Medical News Agency.
Certainly, the solution does not consist entirely in shoes, but my writing will focus just on the shoe part.
In Macau, we spend the whole year in warm weather, not to mention the extremely hot and wet months. As a result of following the “world’s” dress code etiquette, we rarely see people working with their foot exposed, for instance by wearing sandals.
I may be utterly wrong by saying that “I bet many people want to wear flip-flops to go to work”, but, at least, I will be right when I say that “wearing socks and poorly-ventilated shoes is bad for people’s health,” assuming, of course, that fungal infections are considered bad for their health.
A sandal revolution consists in giving workers freedom to wear sandals in their workplaces, whether it is in an office or somewhere outside under the sun.
A sandal revolution would also bring many advantages to Macau. It could inspire more local people to get involved in the shoe making industry. The Macau government could also apply for the Guinness World Record for “having the biggest population wearing sandals to work”, similar to when Macau established the record for “having the biggest population group dancing at one time.”
Personally, no outfit is more respectable and solemn or more appropriate when someone is visiting me.
Shoes cannot be offensive to any event, place, or person. People have the natural right to wear whatever they like. Freedom of wearing sandals should be respected, just as much as freedom of speech, because sandals have never hurt anyone.

Categories Opinion