Take stock of the lessons you’ve learned from last April’s circuit breaker and be kinder to both yourself and others during these stressful times. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.
If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything at all, it’s to never take things for granted—especially joyful experiences like traveling and socialising. With Singapore’s tightened COVID-19 rules set to kick in from May 16 to curb the growing community cases, it’s a good time to take stock of the lessons we’ve learned from last year’s circuit breaker.
While washing one’s hands properly with soap and keeping one’s masks on while in public places should be standard practice by now, it’s not uncommon to spot people being sloppy with their hygiene. Even if you’re in a hurry, practice lathering your hands with soap and scrubbing them for the recommended 20 seconds. Stocking up on hand sanitisers to use on the go? Ensure that they contain at least 60 percent alcohol for efficiency against the SARS-Co-V-2 virus.
If you’re guilty of bad habits like wearing your mask on your chin or slinging it around your arm during meals, it’s time to make a change. After all, the surfaces of a mask contain microbes and for an infected person, these viral particles can easily accumulate on the surface that comes into contact with one’s face. Instead, keep a clean carrier or mask holder that allows you to store your mask separately from your other belongings within your bag.
With dining in prohibited and social gatherings capped at two people, it might seem like we’re back to square one like last year’s Circuit Breaker but that’s certainly not the case. Instead, make time for intimate one-on-one catchups with close family members and friends who truly matter. Make time for a leisure walk in the park with them or invite them over for a home-cooked meal. While large in-person gatherings with your loved ones are not allowed, it’s a great time to go back to group video calls, which can be made fun and interactive with online games and quizzes.
The new rules will no doubt affect the local F&B industry even more critically, especially hawker stalls and small heartland cafes that may not have the capacity to organise online orders and deliveries. As such, it may be a good idea to ramp up support by ordering takeaways from your favourite dining establishments. Those missing out on birthday or anniversary celebrations as a result of the tightened rules can make the effort to deliver a delicious surprise to two to their family and friends. If you’re planning to whip up a storm in your kitchen, know that there’s no need to panic buy or stock up unnecessarily.
Meanwhile, staying home means having time for meaningful hobbies that once kept us happy and sane during the last circuit breaker. Whether it’s baking sourdough bread, brewing kombucha, growing indoor plants, or reading a new book you never had the time to complete—these activities, when done mindfully, can help lessen the anxieties that come with these unusual times.
With most gyms closed, consider turning to virtual classes to upkeep your exercise regime. On-demand fitness apps are aplenty, as are local studios offering Zoom versions of their usual class offerings across themes like HIIT, yoga, and indoor cycling. After all, regular exercise helps to boost one’s mood and even helps you sleep better.
Overall, it’s heartening to know that we as a nation have weathered the storm well together so far. Being made to stay home and slow down our hectic pace of life might not sit well with work-obsessed Singaporeans, but it’s certainly reminded us to be kinder to one another and ourselves during these stressful times.