It’s Day 4 of Phase Two.
And here’s how our report card looks like right now:
By the way, I’m not the one who said it.
It’s the experts in Singapore who are saying it.
Experts ‘Deeply Concerned’ That People Are Mingling in Phase 2 As If There’s No COVID-19
Let’s be honest here.
Right now, while you’re reading this article, you’re either in the midst of planning to meet up with some friends or you’re on the way to meet up with some friends.
Experts in Singapore (yes, the same experts who predicted that Singapore will enter Phase Two and it happened almost immediately after) are now “deeply concerned” about how people in Singapore are mingling like there’s no tomorrow.
“It’s as though the outbreak is no longer here.”
Case in point? Here you go:
Pointing out to South Korea, which had eased lockdown measures earlier than Singapore but is now facing a second wave of Covid-19, experts said that the same thing could happen here.
Wearing Masks Doesn’t Mean You’re Safe
You might have read the article about how mask-wearing is more effective than social distancing.
But here’s the thing: in the study, while infection rates dropped after people started wearing masks, they are still practising social distancing during the study.
All the experts that ST spoke to agreed that mask-wearing is good, but it’s not foolproof.
Covid-19 molecules are “small” enough to be breathed in through the mask, especially with the cloth masks that many people are wearing now, they say.
The best way to avoid infection, they advised, is to avoid large crowds.
So why should we care about what they say?
We Could Go Back To Phase One Or CB
Do you miss the days where you will be arrested and fined for leaving your home without valid reason?
Do you want to go back to the days where a picture of a bak kut teh can result in an arrest and jail time?
Because if you don’t, we might want to start rethinking our actions.
The experts that ST spoke to listed down two factors which will result in us going straight back to social restrictions:
- A spike in unlinked Covid-19 clusters within the community
- Singapore healthcare system showing signs of overload
Since the start, Singapore has always placed these two factors as the most important warning signs to look out for.
A spike in unlinked Covid-19 cases means there are larger (out-of-control) hidden reservoirs of Covid-19 out there which can make us South Korea, version 2.0.
And healthcare capacity determines how many people can be saved if they exhibit serious symptoms.
The more overloaded the healthcare system is, the more likely people are going to die.
So chances are, the authorities will impose restrictions again in a bid to lower transmission and buy for time to let the healthcare system cool down again.
“If the healthcare system is threatened, I am sure social restrictions would again be rapidly reimplemented. Singapore knows exactly how to prevent being overwhelmed, and I can’t see that happening.”
“I don’t think it will threaten the healthcare system because we will be back in lockdown before that happens.”
And when do we know for sure?
Well, in 10 to 14 days time, which is the time required for two cycles of transmission of Covid-19.
One of the experts said the crowding over the past few days “could potentially lead to a rise in community cases in a week or two.”
Meanwhile, maybe we should ease back on the “meeting up with long-lost friends” for a bit and make do with Zoom.
After all, Circuit Breaker is a brake and if you’re a driver, you’ll know that a brake can be used as many times as necessary when you’re driving to another destination.
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