2022 Week 47 Update

Last week we humans reached a historic milestone – we are now 8 billion strong! Until 1804, fewer than one billion people roamed our planet. More than a century later, in 1927, we crossed two billion. Since then, the world population has shot up in the shape of a hockey stick, boosted by the triumphs of modern medicine and public health. Earlier this month, the United Nations said the world population had reached eight billion, just 11 years after it passed seven billion.

After a week of uncertainty and the first-ever hung parliament, Anwar Ibrahim became Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister and will lead a unity government comprising the main coalitions of Pakatan Harapan (PH), BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS). He has left the door open for other coalitions or parties to join.

I read a very interesting article in the Straits Times this week. India’s economy is set to soar and this is not just in the knowledge and service economy, but also in the manufacturing sector. India now has the world’s third-biggest economy measured by purchasing power parity and is projected to have the same standing in nominal GDP by 2027. This momentum, driven by digital transformation is going to transform the country. India has the second-lowest data costs in the world and a wave of investor interest in India is manifesting as the world scrambles to diversify from China. Today, India is indeed shining and looks to be even more lustrous in the coming years.

Today’s quote does not have any author attributed to it, but what the quote reminds us is that sometimes when our life seems bleak and everything that can go wrong, does and we hit rock bottom, that’s when we need to realise that it’s essential to reach rock bottom because it is only then we will appreciate what we achieve in our lives. Sometimes, for everything to come together, things need to fall apart first. Not getting what we want can be a huge step toward reaching a bigger dream. Everything that happens comes along because it simply needs to happen.

BB & GG are busy with school and things are as usual in our household. As the clock ticks towards a new year, everyone is busy making plans for what the new year will bring to them. Take care and talk soon!

2022 Week 46 Update

Today’s quote is attributed to American psychologist, Todd Kashdan. This quote tells us to keep an open mind and question everything. It is only at this point when we are open to new things, that we will find them. When we close our minds, even if something is right under our noses, we will ignore it, because our minds are closed.

This week was pretty much the same as other weeks, and nothing new happened in our household. Yesterday, we met S’ cousins for a family lunch and that was the highlight of the week. It was a fun-filled afternoon of talking, sharing, and having fun.

2022 is winding down and many of us have probably started thinking of our goals and what we want to achieve in 2023. I too have started this thinking and once I have my thoughts in order, I will share.

BB and GG are busy with school with GG busy with projects and also prepping for her university application. BB is busy with his project work and goes to school daily. He works in a lab and seems to be interested in doing this kind of work. I am hoping that he does well this semester so that after his national service, he goes to university, this may be something he could pursue later in life.

That’s all from me this week. Take care and speak soon!

2022 Week 45 Update

One of the most decorated skaters in Olympic history, Bonnie Blair comments that winning doesn’t always mean being first; winning means we’re doing better than we’ve done before. By its very definition, winning is the ultimate victory, but according to Blair, winning means being better each time, that we should focus on our personal growth and each time we get better at something, that is akin to a win.

I saw this slideshow on MSN a few days back and given what we know about climate change, this is fascinating and is a must-see. Please have a look so we can do something so that in our lifetime, the earth is still a place that we can gift to our children and their children.

Another interesting article I read this week in the Straits Times was about India’s predicted urban boom. According to the article, India is projected to see an explosion in its urban population in the coming decades, but its cities already cannot cope, and climate change will make living conditions harsher still. My hometown of Mumbai, one of India’s biggest metropolis, grew by some eight million people in the past 30 years, the rough equivalent of the whole of New York City, to a population of 20 million, and is forecast to add another seven million by 2035. And like other Indian megacities, Mumbai’s housing, transport, water and waste management infrastructure has not kept pace, with around 40 per cent of people living in slums, which often have no regular water, power supply or proper sanitation. As the world’s population approaches eight billion, most of them in the developing world, it is a situation replicated globally. Those living on the outskirts of Mumbai commute for hours to work, with many hanging out of doors on packed trains, and others travelling by car or motorbike on clogged, pothole-filled roads that flood during the monsoon.

The United Nations projects that India’s population will rise from its current 1.4 billion to overtake China’s and peak at 1.7 billion in the 2060s, before dropping back to 1.5 billion by the start of the next century. By 2040, 270 million more people will live in Indian cities, according to the International Energy Agency, driving carbon emissions higher from power generation and transport, and from the production of steel and concrete to house them. Overcrowding, shoddy infrastructure and severe air, water and noise pollution are part of everyday life in India’s megacities. About 70 per cent of the billions of litres of sewage produced in urban centres every day goes untreated, a government report said in 2021. Every winter, the capital New Delhi, home to 20 million people, is cloaked in toxic air pollution that, according to one Lancet study, caused almost 17,500 premature deaths in 2019.

On that sombre note, take care people and stay safe.

2022 Week 44 Update

Today’s quote comes to us from Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian freedom fighter who led India’s freedom struggle from British colonial rule using non violence. Also known as India’s Father of the Nation, his birth anniversary is a federal holiday in the country. According to Gandhi, we have to be the change that we wish to see in the world. What this quote means we should not complain about what others are doing and should fight for what the believe in. This means we should look inside ourselves first before we try to change the habits and characteristics of others.

Last week, I read a news article about Shanghai in China creating the world’s first inhalable COVID vaccine. The vaccine, produced by Chinese pharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics, is for use as a booster. The vaccine is inhaled via the mouth from a vessel that looks like a take-out coffee cup with a short mouthpiece. The advent of inhaled vaccines is important not only because of their potential to guard against infection but also because they could lessen vaccine hesitancy.

It’s the end of another month and time for my walking updates. For some reason, I’ve not been walking as much as I would like, but this month, I am continuing to walk in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Currently, on the Purvanchal Expressway, I am about 15 km east of the state’s capital, Lucknow. I am about 400 km from the next state which will be Madhya Pradesh.

I had a low reading month because of Diwali and the varied preparations I was busy with, so that’s something I need to rectify this month. Hopefully, I will be able to give a better report next month.

Earlier this week Singapore’s Ministry of Health officially launched a new research programme that aims to build up Singapore’s preparedness and response capabilities for future pandemics. The Programme for Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response’s (PREPARE) immediate task will be to work closely with MOH to develop a national epidemic research and development plan. This dedicated research programme will help to bring together multi-disciplinary experts throughout the pandemic research ecosystem in a coordinated fashion and will also further strengthen Singapore’s existing capabilities by forming research networks as well as developing necessary tools, methods, and products to respond to future infectious disease outbreak threats. Internationally, the new programme will strengthen research partnerships, share information and knowledge, and collaborate in clinical trials with various institutions in the region.

That’s all from me this week. Take care folks and stay safe.

2022 Week 43 Update

This week’s quote from Walter Whitman, the American poet, essayist and journalist tells us to always keep our faces towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind. What this means is that when things are bad, we tend to go into despair and feel that our world is ending. At this point, our future looks grim and we don’t see a way out. In such a case, we can continue to wallow in our misery and see life as a dead-end or we can turn our face and life towards the light and let the shadows of the past fall behind us with a sense of optimism and positivity, look at the glass as half full as opposed to being half empty.

In the last week, Singapore reported about 50,000 cases of COVID-19 and also confirmed four cases of the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 Omicron subvariants, all of which were imported. First detected in Nigeria in July, the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subvariants are sub-lineages of the Omicron variant BA.5. The strains have since been detected in more than 50 countries. I am waiting for when I can become eligible to get the new Bivalent Moderna Spikevax Vaccine as a booster shot and hopefully can get it by the end of the year or early next year.

BB & GG are busy with their lives and school and there are days when I barely see them. We are all tense about GG’s university application and I keep praying that she gets into the university of her choice.

That’s all from my side this week. Take care and talk soon!