2020 Week 48 Update

This week Singapore had a mixed bag with regard to the COVID-19 situation. On the plus side, there are no more active clusters since February 03 with the closure of the last cluster and on the minus side, after two weeks of no community cases, on Thursday, we broke the streak with one locally transmitted case. But I think Singapore is still much better off than most other countries and hopefully this one case does not lead to full blown community cases. Contact tracing is very strong here and everytime we enter a new place (not residences), we have to scan a QR code with a government mandated app which will allow the ministry of health to get in touch with us in case someone with COVID-19 symptoms was in the same place as us. In fact inside malls, other than scanning the app when you enter the mall, you also have to scan the QR code each time you enter and exit and the store to register your presence. It may seem a bit 1984ish, but if it keeps us safe, then I am all for it.

Worldwide, we have reached nearly 62 million cases with the United States as usual leading the pack. This is the Thanksgiving weekend in the States and seeing how many people have travelled to be with family, I think we can all safely assume that an explosion of cases from the country can be expected in a couple of weeks, just in time for Christmas! Mumbai has started testing those who arrive from certain states upon arrival at train and bus stations as well as the domestic airport and there was a video circulating in Whatsapp groups about the huge crowd that one could see at one of the terminus stations and the common refrain was that this was a disaster waiting to happen. Again let’s see what happens in my city a couple of weeks from now.

The children are busy with school work and projects and will probably go through some mid-term exams before they go on a two week break for Christmas. As for me, work-wise, I have entered the quiet period which usually characterises this time of the year. I am also missing my parents as it is exactly a year since I last saw them. It’s been a year since we have left the house for anything other than errands and I am feeling it. But to be safe, we have to be inside and I realise this, but I can whine about it, right?

As you head into the holidays, please stay safe and masked and if you have the elderly, vulnerable and immunocompromised living with you, please spare some thought to their safety as well. They may not be able to fight off the disease as easily as you can, should you give it to them.

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