Living Through COVID-19's Circuit Breaker Period

Not half a year has passed but there was so much drama going already all around the world. COVID-19 stealing away the pleasures of everyday lives. A pandemic that needs no introduction has put the world on hold. Of course, it has affected me personally socially as I could not meet my friends to tea, and finance is taking on a grim outlook as we do not know what would happen till situation sees the light at the end of the tunnel. It is easy for us to give up and lose hope. It has been only less than a week since the start of Circuit Breaker but many of us are already complaining how bored they are staying home.

I, on the other hand, am having a sense of satisfaction to see photos of empty malls, deserted parks, unoccupied gyms, closed schools and desolated offices. I was even happier when heavy rain poured on our very island. To me, the world needs to take a break from damages made by our own hands.

This dire situation puts the economy on a standstill and we are not alone. I am just very glad we are politically stable and pragmatic. If you are bored, count your blessings as word has it that those who passed on due to COVID-19 are not allowed to have families see them. The day they were admitted is probably the last day they would see each other.

It feels like this Circuit Breaker (or in loosely speaking, partial lockdown) seems to be a little bit more productive for many reasons. Let's look at the glass half full.

Working from home, there is no need for you to dress up for work although there are suggestions that one should put on office wear to feel a sense of discipline.

You are not at the mercy of heavy traffic, scheduled public transport or worst, weather the heat outside just to walk out for lunch. There may be a day or two where the VPN connection becomes a problem because the whole world seems to be using the internet. Despite that, I feel that it is a minute problem compared to racing with radical boomers chasing for a seat in the train.

The best part, there is lesser laundry to do and consequently, save water because most of us are wearing light at home. No blazers, shirts, pants, and socks mean almost 50% savings because comfortable outfit does not even fulfil full load on the washing machine.

Time spent on commute now is better spent on house chores like cleaning up (since we are on the pandemic, it is best to stay healthy to avoid going to the clinic or hospital). Singaporeans spend on average of 80 minutes per day commuting on public transport and that one hour could have been used for better activities at home like gardening or meditating. Right?

Better yet, since the Circuit Breaker is mandated, you could reject any gatherings that you dread guilt-free. If you are gathering though, it is a wonder where you find a place to hang out. You are not allowed to eat out or have group outings.

We could even have our own movie marathon throughout the weekend with no disturbance. The universe has its own unique way of telling us to take a break because the world does need to take a break. The polluted river could freshen up itself, the trees could see tomorrow before being cut down and the sun could shine to us without smog.

The power of the internet should not be underestimated. Everything can be done online now from shopping to learning from home. Besides, houses in Singapore are sky-high expensive. It is definitely a good time to stay put at home that has been paid for so dearly and make good use of all the trinkets that we have collected throughout the good times.

Nevertheless, in the light of this situation, let us not forget those without shelter. Those without the refuge of consistent income, without the safety of proper health support, those without defence from any forms of abuse or those who depend on the mercy of donations from passers-by.

This is the moment to show the best of ourselves to the world.

In adversities like this, we saw the best and the worst of people. The terrible ones hoarded stockpiles and left them around the supermarket's aisles or bulk purchased masks then charged exorbitant prices neglecting those who need it. Amongst the best are those who donated sanitisers and masks to the needy and provided food for those working on the frontline.

Truthfully there is nothing immoral about stocking up because, in this situation, it would be quite imprudent to go out and go on a shopping spree. If it is at the expense of troubling others by leaving unpaid items on the aisles of the supermarket just because you could not bear the long queue, then I do not think your worry was warranted.

Let's then take this Circuit Breaker as a form of a break to reset ourselves.

The situation is undeniably worrying out there. For now, let's make do with this break. Whichever term used, Circuit Break or lockdown, it is for the better I am sure.

Till then, have a a good CB everyone. 😉