Jun 8, 2020

Going back out

Last week, on June 2, Singapore officially came out of it's 2 month long circuit breaker. While I always anticipated this moment to involve some sort of celebration, it didn't. 

If it wasn't for the news, one may not have felt any difference at all actually. Phase 1 makes a difference only for a select few who work in manufacturing jobs. Also, it impacts those who live apart from their parents in Singapore, who can now visit their parents. 

The anticipation is for phase 2, which would lead to more opening up and allowing for households to mix with each other. It would mean fitness studios can open, and so can more offices with restrictions. Phase 2 is expected to be the new normal, so to say, until a vaccine is discovered. 

I can see myself being quite happy with the type of lifestyle phase 2 would bring. A lot of time would still be spent at home, but with the options to see friends once in a while. 

However, going back out doesn't feel as happy as I imagined it would. Within the first week of phase 1, we see as many as 15 cases of covid among locals per day, which is expected to increase. Many of these were discovered thanks to random testing, not because 15 people were showing symptoms and suffering. 

Going back out would once again bring back the possibility that anyone we are interacting with could have the infection, whether or not they show the symptoms. Given how long people have been locked inside the house, I suspect that people will mingle not just with one set of friends, but with multiple, which will exponentially increase the possibility of them catching the infection. 

Other than the constant stress of touching railings in public places or holding on to the handles on public transport, there is the stress of wondering where the person standing next to you in a public space has been before. Have they been infected? Are they asymptomatic? Do they look unwell? 

When these stressors existed pre-circuit breaker, they somehow didn't seem as stressful. At that point, we didn't yet know the sheer number of asymptomatic cases in the crowd. Now, we have more research showing just how many people could be unknowingly infected, which is surprisingly high. 

It doesn't change the chances we have of getting infected, which is likely similar to before unless our bodies have already become immune. However, it does make me think of the idea of going back out with more caution and worry. Perhaps, I won't be the first one back to dining out or to the yoga studio. 

No comments: