As the number of COVID-19 cases and clusters kept increasing, the Singapore government announced more stringent measures last Friday and called these measures the "circuit breaker". These measures will last for at least a month (till 4th May) and are aimed to reduce human to human contacts as much as possible, without a full lockdown.
The circuit breaker
For a start, schools are moving to full home-based learning and tuition/enrichment classes will be stopped. Dine-in option will also discontinue at restaurants, food courts and hawker centers and we can only do take-aways. Sports and recreational activities venues are all closed but Singaporeans can still exercise near their neighborhood or at parks.
Physical work places for non-essential services must also be shutdown and shift to telecommuting/work from home. This implies that most shops in malls will be closed during this period but essential services remain open. Interestingly, "Repair of consumer electronics, IT peripherals, and household appliances" is considered an essential service. Does this mean Sim Lim Square will be still operational? 🤔
Citizens are also strongly advised to avoid physical meetups with people beyond your household members. But without actual enforcement, I am not sure how many will take this seriously. As I mentioned previously in my earlier post, the Singapore government is, in-lieu of a full shutdown, making it as inconvenient and unappealing for people to go out as possible 😅. Will this work? We shall see in 1 month time.
In addition, the Singapore government finally recognize that everyone should wear a mask as much as possible and no longer discourage citizens to do so. They are even giving everyone a reusable mask. I mentioned the following in my earlier post more than 2 weeks ago,
I personally think that wearing a mask is social responsibility because the virus can spread without symptoms and you can never be sure if you are carrier unless you are tested. However, I understand that masks are difficult to obtain in some places. So I suggest to wear a mask whenever feasible.
I can understand why the government do not want to encourage wearing masks (even now, their tune is that they do not discourage) as they do not want people to hoard masks that are important for healthcare workers. It seems that the Singaporean government finally secure sufficient masks for healthcare workers and decided to be more open in this aspect.
I mean the Singapore government is not dumb, it is clear that if everyone wears a mask, there will be 2 layers of protection between each pair of humans and naturally the likelihood of spreading the virus is much lower. However, if they do not discourage wearing of masks earlier, they may find it difficult to secure a sufficient stockpile of masks for the healthcare workers. Weighing the pros and cons, the earlier stance to discourage wearing of masks is understandable.
Anyway, let's see how effective are all these new measures. I am personally quite optimistic and Singapore should be able to see some good results after that. I am also taking this chance to "detox" (since there is no gathering and alcohol) and workout more often. Let's see how much weight I can cut in these 4 weeks 🙂.