When we woke up on the morning of 1 Jan 2020, we assumed this would be a year just like any other.
We made New Year’s resolutions that we had no intention of keeping and exciting plans to travel the world.
But instead, we spent most of the year in our beds watching shows on Netflix and hit upon the realisation that showering daily could be optional.
Some say 2020 has been the worst year ever, others are currently taking a nap.
Aside from the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve had plane crashes, bush fires, devastating floods, riots, celebrity deaths, earthquakes, and even locusts to deal with.
But, as we all know, most of our troubles in 2020 have come from the much-detested coronavirus.
Here’s some bad news we received in 2020 that we’re desperately hoping not to hear again in 2021.
Circuit Breaker 2: The Return of Loneliness and Despair
Go up to a Singaporean anywhere in the world and whisper the words “circuit breaker” and they’ll instantly collapse to the ground.
It’s a technique that might be used against us if we ever enter into a war.
For those who have blocked it out of their memory, the circuit breaker was a stay-at-home order implemented by the government on 7 April 2020.
Residents now needed a valid reason to leave their houses, and social gatherings were illegal.
Over the 1 month, 3 weeks, and 4 days it was in place, residents slowly became one with their sofas, as their homes turned into comfortable jail cells.
If there’s a huge spike in infections next year, which could certainly happen if we flout the rules in place, we might just see a return of the circuit breaker.
And I know no one wants that.
Boba Shops & McDonald’s Outlets Will Close
One of the most traumatic and painful moments of 2020 was when McDonald’s announced on 19 Apr that it was closing all of its outlets across the country.
No more McSpicys, no more questionable bowel movements.
We thought that was the worst of it, but then the authorities announced that all bubble tea shops in Singapore would close as well.
These were preventative measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, of course, but to Singaporeans, it felt like two of our basic necessities of survival had been taken away from us.
Fortunately, both have since reopened and our hearts have started beating again, but they could very well shutter again if Covid-19 makes a big comeback.
We’ll Have to Work From Home (Bad News For Some, Fantastic For Others)
I know what you’re thinking: who the heck wants to return to the office?
Well, you’re forgetting that some parents have had to work alongside their annoying family members while taking care of their kids.
And if you’ve ever had kids, you’d know that breathing alone is a tough task in the presence of energetic children.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo recently said that restrictions on returning to the workplace might be eased in the near future, but if there’s a desperate need to once again separate Singaporeans, we might have to work from home again.
As of now, telecommuting remains the default mode of working.
Another Covid-19 Strain Has Been Discovered in Singapore & It’s More Infectious
As you know, the UK has discovered a new variant of the coronavirus that is believed to be up to 70% more infectious than the OG virus.
The new strain has already made its way to our shores, as a 17-year-old student who returned here from the UK was confirmed to be carrying it.
What we don’t want to hear in 2021 is that another strain has spread to our country and is even more infectious, as it might lead to all the bad things I listed above.
Our Favourite Retail Stores & F&B Establishments Will Close
We’ve had to bid adieu to many retail stores and F&B establishments this year.
Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, countless businesses have been forced to close for good, leaving its employees jobless and its customers broken-hearted.
We’ve already seen the closures of Sportslink, Topshop, Japan Food Town, and Robinsons, to name a few.
We hope that business will pick up for such establishments in 2021, and that we won’t have to say any more goodbyes.
Eating At Coffee Shops Will Be Illegal
Remember the days of lukewarm Prata?
Melted Ice Kachang?
Cold Wanton Mee?
It’s hard to believe it happened, now that we look back at it, but for a short period this year, eating at coffee shops was actually illegal.
So, we had the choice of buying the food ourselves, or paying more to order it in.
Most of us went with the second option.
While having good food delivered to your home allows you to be the lazy bum you were born to be, there’s nothing quite like having a hot meal at the coffee shop.
If this restriction is reimposed, expect to see uncles and aunties arguing with safe distancing ambassadors and police officers as you dabao some Chicken Rice.
Leisure Travel Will Still Be a Distant Dream
Most of the travelling we’ve done this year has been to our fridges and maybe the coffee shop if we’re feeling particularly energetic.
This is because leisure travel has been snatched away from us by the coronavirus, leaving our raging wanderlust unsatisfied.
Last month, it was announced that Singapore and Hong Kong were forming an air travel bubble, meaning residents of both countries could travel to the other for leisure.
We celebrated when we heard the news, but we must have momentarily forgotten we were still in 2020.
Due to an alarming rise in locally-transmitted infections in Hong Kong, the travel bubble was postponed, and later delayed to 2021.
Infections are dwindling in Singapore but rising fast in other countries, so we have no clue whether leisure travel will return next year.
You Will Be Separated From Your Partner
If you happen to be in a long-distance relationship, 2020 must have been a torturous year for you.
With border restrictions in most affected countries, couples have been forced to live apart for a significant period of time.
Here in Singapore, many residents are still waiting for their baes from abroad to see them, once the gahmen gives the green light for them to visit.
But if nothing changes next year, some couples may have to face yet another year apart.
You”ll Have to Celebrate Birthdays Alone
If coronavirus infections rapidly increase next year, social gatherings might once again become illegal.
We’ll reminisce about the days we complained about five-person gatherings, as we won’t be able to meet any friends at all.
Birthdays and other celebrations will be a rather sad and muted affair if this is the case.
KTV Outlets Will Remain Closed
The closure of KTV outlets has hit Singaporeans particularly hard, as it was our favourite pastime after queuing.
Some karaoke establishments will reopen under a pilot programme next year, but it comes with a host of safety measures, such as a mandatory Covid-19 test before entry.
We desperately hope the pilot will prove to be successful, so more KTV outlets can reopen.
Conversely, if it goes badly and leads to infections, we might have to say goodbye to our beloved karaoke sessions once again.
Obeying the Rules
Most of the horrifying scenarios I’ve listed above can easily be avoided if we do one thing: obey Covid-19 rules.
The situation might seem under control at the moment, but this could change drastically in a second.
Hopefully, I won’t be writing the same article next year, as 2021 surely can’t be as bad as 2020, right?
Featured Image: kandl stock / Shutterstock.com
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