Coronavirus – an ex-pat’s view from Singapore – Circuit Breaker 2

Coronavirus – an ex-pat’s view from Singapore – Circuit Breaker 2

Recently, Singapore has hit the headlines due to the sharp rise in COVID 19 cases. As a result, its slipped from being a nation to emulate, to one learning painful lessons. The increase was a consequence of the virus taking hold in the cramp and dirty dormitory accommodation provided for migrant workers.

Millions live in such conditions in S.E Asia, so Singapore’s experience is being used as a timely warning to its neighbours to be particularly vigilant when dealing with the poorer, more vulnerable communities.

Despite being knocked out of the beauty pageant, the mood in Singapore is unchanged. The government remains trusted. There is still confidence in its ability to tackle the crisis. I think it also demonstrates integrity as it has knowingly sacrificed its global standing in favour of a vigourous testing regime to protect its citizens and residents. I make the distinction because, as an ex-pat, I am a resident, not a citizen. My status is no different from all the other migrant workers.  It’s just that they live there and we live here.

Compared to the migrant workers, we live in unimaginable luxury.

The difference between ours and their living conditions, make it immoral to complain about the increased restrictions imposed on 21st April by Prime Minister Lee. Concerned about an undetected reservoir of COVID carriers, he announced that the circuit breaker would be extended beyond 4th May to 1st June. More businesses were to close and tigher restrictions imposed on shopping. Transport was to be reduced and, most painfully of all, household members were forbidden from shopping or exercising together. Each new announcement has heralded a reduction in the size of the ‘bubble’ and an increase in the craving for human contact. I thought I had a strong instinct for survival but it is nothing compared to the People’s Action Party determination to keep me, and millions of others, alive and well. Unlike Mr Trump. 


Yes, you did Mr President and its been turned into song.

Sorry about missing last week’s post. I achieved a grand total of 1.5 out of my five targets which got me down and, under the new restrictions, could not take solace in a family stroll. Once again, I reverted to some self-help and am heading back on track. I have also started work on my next book, Shakespeare’s Sister and it’s a joy.  So far I’ve developed the premise, theme, some main characters and sources of conflict. I am about to embark upon the dangerous path of research, ever watchful for the Sirens call  to ‘do more research, do more research.’

On a completely different note, it’s Tom’s birthday today. Tom appeared in my very first blog back in 2009 when he was only four years old.

Tom and Richard in July 2009. 

Now he’s grown into a strapping 15-year-old with a great taste in music and an exciting future ahead.

Tom last summer shortly before he took control of Cessna 172.

As a sign of his increased maturity, I’ve let him chose this week’s links. First up is I built a surgery robot. Comes with a health warning and a lot of swearing. Second up, an interactive choose-your-own adventure story on YouTube with Markiplier, titled: A Heist With Markiplier (one of Tom’s favourites). And finally, a real musician’s take on the collection of videos given by celebrities who tried to sing John Lennon’s Imagine, line by line. I hope you enjoy his choices. We have.

Thanks for dropping in and see you next Friday 8th May.

With love from Singapore.

4 Responses to Coronavirus – an ex-pat’s view from Singapore – Circuit Breaker 2

  1. Hi Liz, I loved this week’s blog. Thank you, I enjoy your use of expression and words and of course, the content. Loved the video on robotic surgical invention, except for all the “blood”. And loved the music. An interesting insight into the minds of the future,

    • Hi there Karin,
      I’m delighted that you loved it and thank you for telling me. Always great to get feedback.
      There was indeed alot of blood and I jumped out of my seat several times. It really was thrilling to see what Tom loves. It’s just full of joy, energy and fun. I want some. Take care. xx

  2. Thanks Liz, this is great. It’s fun to connect with you regularly by Zoom but looking forward to getting together “properly” ere too long. But I’m not complaining- far from it, you’re right that we are really privileged whether we’re SG citizens, Permanent Residents (like me) or on a work vida (like you guys), have nothing to complain about..

    • Hi Jane,

      Thanks for your comment and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The human touch is so precious – be it a gentle hand on the arm or a bear hug. I’ll never take them for granted again. Yes, we are so lucky, not deserving, just lucky.
      Have a great week and stay safe, Liz xx

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