It’s a weird time. Covid-19 has swept the planet, and while the United States and Europe seem to be especially embattled with the virus right now, Singapore has been fighting its own Covid-19 fight since January.
In February, the Dorscon (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) level was raised to orange, only one below the most severe rating of red. Singapore went into business continuity planning (BCP) and segregated staffing, with teams alternating their time in the office so they wouldn’t encounter the same germs.
Since then, we’ve steadily gotten worse and worse. What seemed like an international pandemic that was pretty under control in SG has now spiraled (semi) downward, with all of us stuck in our houses, businesses unable to operate, and new laws and regulations passed daily to limit the spread.
It’s illegal to go outside without a mask on unless you are running. You may not have anyone in your home that does not live there. When out you must keep a 1meter distance between you and anyone else. You must not loiter anywhere and if out should be constantly on the move to your destination.
The rules are necessary and what, in the end, will keep us safe. I appreciate them tremendously! There are no more warnings for breaking social distancing rules. You will be immediately fined at least $300 on first offense. Foreigners are also at risk of having their employment passes and work visas immediately revoked should they break the rules.
(This has resulted in me shoving TT to an arm’s length any time we venture out to the grocery store haha!)
What has been amazing to see has been the sheer solidarity of the country. Restaurants remain open for takeaway and delivery. Bars have kept a table at their entrance for takeaway cocktails. The innumerable hawker centers and families operating hawker stalls are offering islandwide delivery and there are facebook groups that allow them to post their menus and promote their product as there is little to no foot traffic frequenting the hawker centers right now. It is great to see! We have taken the opportunity to order from lots of hawkers and restaurants to support the delicious foods and local small businesses of Singapore.
Grocery stores remain stocked and there’s no panic compared to the panic that ensued after the initial Dorscon orange ranking. It seems more that people are just sitting and waiting for this to pass. The government keeps us informed with daily check-ins and updates and assurances that we will get through this.
The silver lining, as many have already realized, is a very hard to come by chance to slow down. Confined in our apartments, we are doing puzzles, making crafts, coloring, journaling, watching Netflix, sitting on the balcony to watch the sunset, chatting, and generally just being ok with not being on the move.
We are talking to our friends in the States more than we ever have in the past two years with weekly zoom call game nights scheduled which have been so fun (even if they are all drinking at night and it’s breakfast time the next morning for us!). We’re having zoom calls with many of our friends here as well. Playing pictionary and charades, having debates, and all making the same cocktail so it seems like we are together.
We are lucky to be so lucky and I continuously think about how blessed we are to be able to sit at home, with aircon, and savings, and jobs and each other. Plus the ability to facetime Kiki whenever I want.
One of my sister’s best friends passed away last week. I am sad for my sister and her boyfriend and rest of the group whose lives have been shattered by the loss of such a close friend. I am sad for the friend’s family who have to deal with such unimaginable grief in this confusing and already grief-stricken period. And I am sad at how easy it is to get caught up in so many other things, too many to name here, that in the end are insignificant compared to life and friendships and love.
It’s Saturday and we are planning to go on a nice long walk (with masks on of course!). Tonight we are having a zoom call beer tasting with our friends! We all ordered the same craft beers from a brewery and will go through and taste them together over videochat. Should be fun! More on that later.
Happy weekend, everyone! Getting up to anything fun during lockdown?