It’s weird having a foot in two camps at the moment.
Whilst it’s comforting to live in a country geared up to tackle COVID 19, it’s dreadful to see it run wild in those that weren’t. Even here, the government is preparing for a hike in numbers as around 200,000 Singaporean students return home from overseas.
The restrictions on our liberty and instructions on personal behaviour have increased considerably since the end of January. As of tomorrow at 23.59pm all entertainment venues will close; people cannot gather in groups of more than 10; all faith based activities will be suspended and safe distancing measures enforced by law. Tough, but still not as draconian as those imposed in the U.K in a much shorter space of time. My family, friends, and neighbours have had to go from total freedom of movement to very little in what seems a nano-second. Of course it was necessary, but no wonder there has been some slippage.
Comparisons with the response and resilience of the WW2 generation have been made, but that is unjust. For a start,
- the WW1 generation fathered the WW2 generation so they grew up knowing what war really meant
- there was a long lead up to WW2 so people had time to adjust to the prospect of another conflict
- they knew who their enemy was
- the war had geographical boundaries
- there were safe places
The WW2 generation did not have to deal with an unseen enemy potentially lurking on every table top, every handshake and every phone. It did not face an enemy that never slept and respected no boundaries, creed, colour or age. An enemy that left its mark unseen. An enemy that recruited its victim to do its work. Yes, recently some people have shown their worse sides, but they also did in WW2, so please be fair. The WW2 generation learnt to be astounding. We will too. At the moment, we’re still adjusting. And for those of us who need it, try this. It’s my current screensaver.
So what to do?
DIY contact tracing
One of the reasons Singapore has been able to keep the numbers low is by testing and contact tracing.
If someone has COVID 19, they are interviewed at length to find out with whom they have been in close contact over the preceeding 14 days. The government has asked us to help by downloading an app on our own phones that makes a virtual handshake with a nearby phone. I’ve downloaded it so if I contract COVID 19, they can see with whom I have spent time recently and test them for COVID if necessary. If you wanted to do the same thing, perhaps you could use a diary recording who you have seen, when and for how long.
Keep in touch
Not everyone is computer savvy so try writing. My parents are in their 80s and they love getting letters.
Love human beings
I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and joy people are bringing to others. From the first cries of jiajou in Wuhan to the dancing policemen in Mallorca, people across the world are reaching out spontaneously to offer support and encouragement.
I love the species called Homo sapiens and here are some more examples of why.
I’ll be back soon.
With love from Singapore.