As Reality Bites As Coronavirus Spreads, our social responsibility to flatten the curve and ease the burden on public healthcare grows. What can we actually do?
Stay At Home
Current opinion is that if we stay at home, the fewer the chances of precipitating more clusters of outbreak. And so we stand at the edge of reason, where the best solution to save the human race is simply Netflix & chill.
Personally, I’ve taken the opportunity spend more time at home and give thanks for whatever comes my way. Floral therapy has been key. If hope blooms where flowers do, then I must thank Floral Atelier & Atelier Jen for their encouragement. Dabbling in self-care at home has been heaps fun with treats from La Mer & Dr GL. But perhaps the best thing about staying at home is time with my puppy Mara and old Dylan, who is 18 this year.
Leave Of Absence
As for my children, the youngest 3 are taking a leave of absence from school due to travel to Malaysia. For most part they stay home, twisting through the house like a tornado. Occasionally we creep out for quick meal in a neighborhood cafe, taking a table in a far corner. Or we play in the park, away from other children. Time with these exuberant kids is precious but I am certainly missing some quiet time.
Just when I am starting to count down to the final week of their leave of absence, their eldest brother returns from the UK. An MOH directive about household members returning from countries of heightened vigilance prompts a reset of the 14 days leave of absence from school. I take a deep breath and remind myself to be grateful for our good health.
Persons Under Quarantine
With M1 home from university, his quarantine is much stricter than the younger children’s. He is confined to his room, and we leave trays of food for him outside the door. We do see him through the windows and holler across balconies daily. I am happy to report he’s coping well, being busy with coursework and League of Legends.
As for everyone else who is well and without significant travel history, staying at home is still a good option. However if you’d like to go out, I’m sure the local businesses like small restaurants and shops, would appreciate the support. The current recommendation is to keep to small groups of under ten.
Unfortunately, larger events like weddings and even my own Dare To Save A Life training sessions have to be postponed. On the other hand, I’m grateful for the enforced quality time with friends. After all, interaction in small groups is often more meaningful.
In line with the measures implemented to flatten the curve, the government announced that they would shut businesses like entertainment centres. However, this prompted several clubs to invite patrons to come for one last party before the month-long ban. Consequently, my medical school classmates voiced their dismay over these parties. Clubs were potentially creating new clusters of infected patients.
As a frontline doctor, I was so concerned that I personally called some clubs up and pled our case. While clubs like Avenue were in complete agreement that a party in this pandemic flew in the face of social responsibility, many were not. Hence, I even created a harried video on Instagram to beg people not to organise or attend these parties.
To my great delight, I received word from various clubs including Cherry & Canvas that they would cancel their parties. My classmates & I are truly grateful that these private enterprises put the public good above their gains. I truly feel like we narrowly averted potential disaster: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/farewell-and-last-hurrah-parties-at-clubs-slammed-by-public.
As for the other clubs that continued with their parties, I’m thankful that they did so with restraint. For instance f club x Attica Singapore, sent me a message to explain that they would just have a mellow evening before completely shutting.
Even the behemoth, Zouk, did not run promotions for their last hurrah party. In fact they promised to run the evening safely, observing guidelines on crowd capacity & distantly placed tables. After the club was shut, they sought innovative solutions to provide entertainment to the public. Using an app, Bigo, one can access cloud clubbing hosted by Razer & Zouk. I checked it out tonight and loved the musical programming.
In times of distress, it is cool to reflect, re-evaluate and innovate to creatively uphold your North Star mission statement.
I’m not sure when life will return to normal. I’m sure it will but I don’t know at what cost. What I do know is that when that happens, I will be much more appreciative of little things. Like, M6 being able to go to kindergarten or violin class. Maybe that’s one of the lessons we shall learn. On a personal front, to take nothing for granted. On a systems level, that cautious preparedness is better than complacency. And when it comes to public healthcare, social responsibility lies with every single person.