The ‘no pain, no gain’ pandemic situation

March 02, 2022 13:38
Photo: Reuters

If you do not have a friend with COVID-19, it means you have no friends.

This online joke has become a sign of the times as the number of COVID-19 cases surged geometrically to a record level last month that caused panic in our beloved city.

The city is bracing for a so-called “mini-lockdown”. According to media reports, the government is planning to enforce a compulsory universal testing scheme between March 26 and April 3, during which citizens would have to go through three tests and be required to stay home except for food and necessities for four days.

Everyone is of course frustrated with the poor administration.

Every day is flooded with bad news and it probably won’t change before Easter. The economy has no heartbeat.

It is perhaps time to look at what the government should do to pacify its people in this once-in-a-lifetime difficult situation.

I got a good tip from a mentor who just recovered from COVID last week after basically staying home for nine days without infecting his family in Singapore.

According to him, COVID-19 is not scary, so people should not be scary too. But he admitted he didn’t know how to handle the situation.

It started one day when he had a little cough and he decided to try the test kit that the Singapore government sent to every household three months ago. When two colored lines appeared, he knew he was infected.

The next thing he did was to answer the doorbell and ask his son to come back a bit later. He decided to isolate himself so his family members would not be affected.

The next day he called his private doctor who, as one can expect from other doctors worldwide, provided the best and simplest advice to stay home.

He sought help from the internet for some guidelines as to what should be done in this situation.

There is plenty of free advice and the best of them, guess what, was from mother discussion groups. The Baby Kingdom discussion forum, for instance offered details like where to buy certain medicine.

Luckily he only developed mild symptoms. And he gave credit to the Singapore government for having prepared its citizens well to live with the virus. Singaporeans are not scared by COVID-19, he said. In fact, his friends congratulated him because he could now put his worries to rest.

When he looked back, he said he would want some good step-by-step advice on the dos and don’ts during the quarantine period. Therefore he hoped medical and counseling experts, as well as recovered patients, would speak up and spread some positive messages.

Omicron is not terrible, but panic is. It will be a tough month ahead but we have been through ups and downs in the last century and become a better city.

No pain, no gain. Amen.

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EJ Insight writer