When the authorities announced that they would be giving four surgical masks to every household, some people asked: What if I have five people in my household? Four masks enough meh? Why only give once and not every week? When is the election and where is my CPF?
It’s understandable; with the number of people donning surgical masks in public, it’s easy to get fearful and draw conclusions fastly.
In fact, this morning, I saw someone wearing two masks. That fellow is either super kiasi or super sick (or maybe I smell bad I don’t know).
So, why did the government only give four masks to each household? Did they average out the number of people in a household? This kind of thing can play agakration one meh?
Yesterday, Senior Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary was in CNA to explain the rationale.
Gov Explains Why Only 4 Masks Are Given to a Household & Why It’s a One-Time Distribution
If you prefer to watch the entire interview, here you go (the minister does speak like a YouTuber so it’s rather entertaining to watch):
If not, here’s a summary of the reason:
These free masks are not for daily use if you’re feeling healthy.
That means if you’re feeling well, the best defence at this moment is to practise good personal hygiene: wash your hands two times or three times if you want to, don’t anyhowly rub your eyes whenever you feel like it and shower regularly even if you didn’t sweat the entire day.
After all, experts have reiterated that wearing surgical masks might not prevent infection, since some of us like to touch our face every few minutes.
So why did you see people wearing masks everywhere?
If they’re healthy, then it’s primarily due to anxiety. It’s human nature for us to take precautions, and wearing masks seems like a logical way to do so.
Now, if so, then why are the Government giving out masks? Aren’t they sending the wrong message then?
Because the masks are not supposed to be used daily.
Instead, the masks should be kept at home and only be used for one purpose: if anyone of you in the household is sick, you can grab the mask, wear it and make your way to the doctor.
You see, while the masks can’t protect you from getting infected, it can stop you from infecting others.
According to Dr Puthucheary, once you’re at the clinic, you’d be given more masks to use if needed, so all you need is one mask for your journey to the clinic.
That also explains why it’s a one-time distribution and why only four are given to each household: it’s unlikely that everyone in your household got sick at the same time. If I may add, four is more than enough.
*siam-ing all the rotten eggs*
Simply put, the masks aren’t for you to use whenever you feel like it.
So go take the masks, put it at home and hope that you’d never need to use it.
But Seriously…Don’t Wear Masks?
Of course, if you’re Reader Bao, the next thing you’d be thinking is: Government say then we must believe me?
Well, Reader Bao, of course.
The Government isn’t like your best friend Ah Hock who gives life advice every day leh. Whatever the Government says is weighed carefully because it would have serious repercussions if they’re incorrect.
I mean, the Government cannot anyhowly say that you can withdraw your CPF at 35 years old before, right?
Reader Bao: Wait, you mean we can withdraw CPF at 35 years old?
Reader Bao, wear your mask on your forehead and go see the doctor, please.
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