First, it was markets.
Then, it was supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and malls.
Then it was public transport.
Next came banks.
And finally, it’s the whole of Singapore.
No wonder when I was in the army, my instructor said, “Don’t worry, we’ll do everything progressively.”
Official: It’s Compulsory to Wear a Mask in Public Now Or You’d Be Fined
After a series of new regulations whereby almost all places that are open would deny entry to you should you not be wearing a mask, the entire nation has jumped on the bandwagon: now, the moment you leave your house, you need to be wearing a mask.
And it’ll take effect immediately.
In a media briefing today, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced this new measure.
The penalty for refusal to wear a mask is hefty; there’s no warning or whatsoever. People who are caught refusing to wear one wear a mask will be fined $300 on their first offence, while those who flout the rule a second time will be fined $1,000.
Egregious (serious) cases will be prosecuted in court.
And foreign residents who are caught breaching these rules might have their work passes or PR status revoked.
Mr Wong said, “Now that we have distributed the mask to everyone and generally people have started to adjust to the new requirements or the advisory, we are making it mandatory for all.
“The minute you leave your room, or you leave your house, you have to wear a mask when you go out.”
How about exercising? From what I see, the only people who don’t wear masks nowadays are people who exercise.
The only exception is that you’re doing strenuous exercises like running or jogging; but once you’re done, you’d have to put on your mask again.
So if you’re just walking on the streets to get some fresh air, you’d have to get filtered air as that’s not considered “strenuous”.
My personal suggestion is to download apps that follow the 7-minute workout—it’s a proven way to stay fit and you can do it at home.
The other exception is if you’re below the age of two.
Reader Bao: That means you’d still need to wear one when you’re three years old?
So, why are the authorities so focused on getting us to look like ninjas?
There’s increasing evidence that people can transmit Covid-19 to others before they experience symptoms (presymptomatic) or even when they don’t experience symptoms at all (asymptomatic).
This is why Singapore is changing its view on wearing face masks because of these silent, ‘hidden’ carriers.
A study in Singapore, for example, showed that at least 10 people got the coronavirus from those without symptoms.
And worse, in a very recent study, it says that up to 70% of infected people didn’t have any symptoms at all, and could pass the virus to someone else for about four weeks.
So wear a mask to protect others, please.
You can also do your part as a responsible citizen through helping out in contact tracing by downloading the TraceTogether app.