Two weeks ago, I had no idea what a circuit breaker was (the box of switches you look for in your house when there is a power trip). Now, it has taken on a whole new meaning for Singapore.
Many Singaporeans and Residents have quickly adapted to the stricter measures implemented, as home offices and virtual classrooms become the norm. Most of us are used to being able to step out of the house whenever we want to meet up with friends over a meal, or go to events and movies. The sudden lack of freedom to do so feels strange, as simple things such as having breakfast at a coffee shop are no longer possible, and our friends are on the other side of a screen.
With the measures set to last till May, even our inner-hermits might feel the isolation setting in after a while. When the route from our rooms to the fridge has been taken one too many times, we might get the urge to pop out of the house for a change in environment. While going out to get essential items, take-away meals or a short individual exercise session in open-air area is alright, time outside should be kept to a minimum. We should also make the effort to not mingle with others, whether it be at supermarkets, food places, or our void decks.
But why? How does staying at home help the situation? Well, here are 5 reasons why each of us, by staying home, do our part in this war against an invisible enemy.
1. The fewer people you meet, the less the risk of transmission.
The main mode of passing the Covid-19 virus to someone else is by respiratory droplets. In other words, your saliva or mucus. These pass easily when talking to someone, sneezing or coughing. This is why close contacts of people with Covid-19 are at the highest risk of getting it. Moreover, Covid-19 can also be spread when the person shows no symptoms and appears healthy. You can’t spread Covid-19 to or get it from the people you don’t meet, so stay at home!
2. Flattens the curve
Aside from ‘circuit breaker’, we’ve also been hearing the phrase ‘flatten the curve’ a lot, but what does it mean?
This curve is used to show how quickly the virus can spread if unchecked, and the effects of interventions such as social distancing. Referring to the image above, social distancing slows the spread of the virus between people. This results in it taking longer for the peak, or highest number of infections, to be reached. In addition, the peak is much lower than it would be without interventions. This allows our healthcare system, including hospitals, not be overloaded, retaining the capacity to cope with the influx of new cases.
3. Protects everyone, especially vulnerable populations
By staying home and protecting yourself, you protect those around you. The thought that young and healthy people only get a mild form of the illness so it “doesn’t really matter” is both dangerous and irresponsible. Staying virus-free, you also prevent the transmission of the virus to vulnerable populations such as the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those who have existing medical conditions. These groups of people are more likely to experience severe illness and complications with Covid-19. In addition, you protect our healthcare workers as well, by not exposing them to an uncontrollable number of cases and not overloading healthcare facilities.
4. Gives you time to pick up something you’ve always wanted to try
If we spend an average of 2 hours a day travelling back and forth from work, we now save 10 hours a week by working from home. That’s 10 hours you have per week to take up a new skill or hobby. Whether it be photography, painting, reading or baking, there’s always something new to try. Many online courses are now being offered free or at discounted rates, as the whole world turns to the internet to stay connected and up to date. With so many options available, you’ll be able to chase the boredom away!
5. Allows you to spend more time with your loved ones
One thing that Covid-19 has highlighted is how unexpected life can be. Staying at home with those closest to us creates many opportunities for face-to-face interactions and activities. Many of us have become used to having these interactions through a screen, but we now have a chance to devote more time and attention to our loved ones in person.