On Tuesday, Circuit Breaker came into effect in Singapore to contain Covid-19. The government’s resolve to impose stay at home rules was enshrined in the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, but that has not stopped the steady rise in cases, a significant number of which sprang from foreign workers dormitories.
As at June 2019, there were 981,000 semi-skilled foreign workers employed in construction, manufacturing, marine, process and the service sectors. They come from all over SE Asia attracted by an endless demand for labour and relatively high wages. Female foreign workers usually live in their employer’s homes. Male workers frequently live in dormitories provided by the employers and there has been a long-standing concern that they forced to live in overcrowded and insanitary living conditions. The government has tried to stamp out abuses but it had no hope of containing the spread of Covid-19 when 12-20 men regularly occupy one room. Now that cases have been detected in three dormitories, foreign workers are being hurried into alternative accommodation in a concerted attempt to contain the outbreak. As has been the case across the world, Covid-19 has once again, drawn attention to society’s most vulnerable and forced us out of our indifference.
Talking of vulnerable, a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been paralysed by anxiety due to the impact of the virus. I eventually dusted off one of my self-help tools, the worry hour, and got things back on track. Hence, this week, we, as in I, introduced two new routines. The first was called, ‘going to bed and getting up at a sensible hour’. The second, was called ‘this is what we’re eating’. The former has met with mixed results, we have a teenager. The latter works, otherwise you go hungry. All benal stuff, but at the moment it feels revolutionary and fresh.
In fact, I believe that it’s time to embrace revolutions, and with that in mind, I’m going to start jogging. I have not jogged for 30 years and I expect to die of exhaustion after 30 seconds. Regardless of that I am aiming for the 5k. Being sensible, I’ll warm up first with Pamela Pupkin. Incidentally, Tom, the teenager, was doing the ‘bloc ’em,’ way before Covid.
Here are a few of my other favourite offerings from Youtube at the moment:-
The quarantine schedule.
The wonderful Marsh family from Kent.
Dancing in the street – Washington DC style
Below had me in tears of laughter.
It feels like we are living through a period of transformation and I hope I will look back and take pride in how I responded.
On a different note, on THURSDAY 16th APRIL, I’ll be ‘in conversation with’ Women’s Writes at 08.00am GMT . Come and join me.
Until then, stay safe and see you here next FRIDAY, 17th APRIL.
From Singapore with love