Coronavirus – an expat view from Singapore – The circuit breaker

Coronavirus – an expat view from Singapore – The circuit breaker

Singapore has finally entered the Lockdown Olympics 2020.

Time for Team Circuit Breaker to shine

The announcement came yesterday during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s address to the nation;  “We used to see fewer than 10 new cases a day but in the last two weeks, despite our best efforts, we have routinely had more than 50 new cases daily.”  Efforts at contact tracing bought limited success indicating that the virus was more widespread in the community than expected. That was a game-changer.

SG’s team, Circuit Breaker, will join the Games on 7th April with the usual fanfare of shutters pulled down, doors being locked and computers sparking to life as e-learning begins. If teamwork prevails, we’ll leave the contest on 4th May.

Weeks ago, we were one of the ‘go to’ countries for inspiration and advice. Now we’re lagging behind. The first sign was on Monday when Martin Verga, a British expat, inspired by the UK clapping the NHS, organised a similar show of gratitude for all essential workers. The previous week, National Development Minister, Lawrence Wong, gave an emotional tribute to all the Singaporeans who were doing their part to fight the virus.  And this is where it becomes tough being an expat. I am very proud of Singapore and admire its considered and calm approach, but my heart belongs to the UK.  A country which is suffering and I’m not there to help it in its hour of need. I am here being socially responsible and cheering the UK from the safety of the sidelines.

Talking of which, this blog is five days late. Ops normal for me which is a win. It means that I have freed myself from the grips of anxiety and returned to normal.

I did this courtesy of a timely reminder of my tried and tested technique of the Worry Hour.

The Worry Hour is like a mental enema. An hour spent alone in a safe and comfortable environment in which you think about what’s worrying you, rationalise it and get it out of your system. If the list of worries is horrendously long, chose the top three, then dive in  with that great opening question, ‘What’s the worse thing that could happen if X came true?’ Here’s a snippet from one of my worry hours this week.

What is the worse thing that could happen during this coronavirus outbreak?

I could die. Richard and Tom could die.

What is the likelihood of that happening?

Slim. None of us have got it. We are healthy. We are living in one of the safest places in the world with an early detection rate and good medical facilities. We also know how to avoid catching it.

So on a scale of one to 10 where 10 is certain death and 1 survival. Where would you put yourselves?

Low risk, 2/10 which is probably the same or lower than road traffic accidents.

Can I continue as normal facing that level of risk?


It’s a basic introduction, but that’s how I use it and I’ve tackled some ‘impossible’ issues using this technique.  Only rule is that you don’t go on longer than an hour or you might disappear down a worm hole. If you haven’t finished just carry on the next day.

Talking of advice.


How about joining Bedok Team for their towel workout? My parents-in-law are trying this one. Or the Netflix/ chair workout? And don’t forget to do your stretches. I’m still waiting for the sequel.


If you fancy a musical accompaniment, here’s one for Michel Buble fans and a heartfelt song written and performed by one of our local schools.

Just thought, should more kids be putting their feelings into song?

A prayer for all home-schooling parents.

This one is for all my friends who are about to launch into week three of home-schooling.

Thanks for dropping by. I’ll see you FRIDAY 10th April. Until then, STAY SAFE.

6 Responses to Coronavirus – an expat view from Singapore – The circuit breaker

  1. That was lovely Liz ??☺ . Today’s mortalities were about 100 less than expected, and also the no of new cases. Fingers crossed we’ve ended the exponential phase of the curve…

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed it. Its always good to hear from readers. Keeping everything crossed here. The cases are going up and up in SG despite their best efforts. We need to step up to the plate now and help to stop the spread. Stay safe. xxxx

  2. Thanks Liz, great as always to get your – very rational! – thoughts.
    I’m thinking of doing a blog too; may as well in these times of having no business (:
    It’s funny that as a Brit, & even with some family still there, my heart is much more with Singapore than the UK. Guess I’ve been away too long (21 years). But like you am SO glad to be here in sensible, relatively safe SG.
    Take care! Jane

    • Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I’d definitely encourage you to do a blog and celebrate the vibrant communities and wonderful sites in SG.
      I understand your viewpoint. Lenght of time makes a difference and you are also embedded in the community. I hope to get much more connected by volunteering to help with local groups. Feel handicapped by only speaking English.

    • Hi Peter, Great to hear from you and thank you for your comment. I feel humbled. Hope this unexpected pause enables you to focus on your next book. Keep in touch and stay safe.

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