2023 Week 17

Singapore has been so hot all this month, and because of the humidity levels, even though the temperature showed 32 degrees, it felt like 40 degrees Celcius. And this is not just restricted to Singapore, starting in April 2023, a record-breaking heat wave has affected many Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Vietnam with several regional temperature records being set. Temperatures so searing in places that people are frying eggs under the heat of the noonday sun with meteorologists tracking temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celcius in India, Thailand and Myanmar, and 42 to 43 degrees Celcius in Bangladesh, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal and China. These are temperatures that most of these countries have not experienced in decades. People are dying of heatstroke as they gather in thick, large crowds under the sun, and students are landing in hospitals as their schools bake in the heat. Power grids are stretched beyond their capacities, and farmers are looking at failed harvests. According to climatologist and weather historian Maximiliano Herrera, the continent is experiencing the worst April heatwave in its history and warned that it will only get worse. This is what climate change is capable of for all those still denying the fact.

Today’s quote is from the creator of a beloved comic strip, Calvin and Hobbs, Bill Watterson. According to Watterson, we are so busy watching out for what is in the future, that we don’t stop and smell the roses and enjoy today. What this means is that we should not let go of what is in front of us today for the chance that the future will be something better.

And speaking of better, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that Covid-19 deaths had dropped by 95% since the start of 2023, but warned that the virus was still on the move. Countries would need to learn how to manage its ongoing non-emergency effects, including the post-infection condition known as long Covid. Some countries are seeing increases, and over the past four weeks, 14,000 people lost their lives to this disease. With the emergence of the new XBB.1.16 variant, the virus is still changing, and is still capable of causing new waves of disease and death. So there’s still a need to be vigilant and stay safe.

And on that note, stay safe everyone and stay blessed!

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