Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

An empty McDonalds

It’s been a month since my last post (5 May) where I worried things were getting worse, and they have in a way. Cases continued to grow, the airport cluster became quite significant, and there was a large shopping centre cluster. Many children were found to be infected, and they have spread it to their parents, grandparents and each other.

We were put in Phase 2 (HA) since 16 May and this stage is due to end on Sunday June 13. The restrictions were severe and it must have worked because the last three days have seen community cases come down to single digits.

Well we are just 5 days away from the scheduled end of this phase and no announcement has yet been made as to what’s next. This is no good for planning.

Can we go back to office? Now all must work from home unless absolutely necessary. Companies have been fined for not complying.

Can we have home tuition or music for children? Its school holidays now but all enrichment classes such as music lessons must be online.

Can we have have more than 2 different visitors a day at home? This is giving me issues. I’ve had to text people to say they cannot come visit on certain days when I already have others scheduled.

Will the Hong Kong flight bubble be reinstated again? This has been planned and postponed twice already, first due to rising cases in Hong Kong and this time due to rising cases in Singapore.

The problem is nobody knows if we are going to have more or fewer cases in the coming days. Also, I suspect the task force cannot yet agree and must still be debating what to do next. The recent Cabinet musical chair switcharound with noobs helming key ministries doesn’t help either.

Currencies

Its been almost a year since my last trip out of Singapore. Clearing out my drawers for Chinese new year, I found a stash of foreign currencies. This is because I have a habit of keeping extra currencies after trips in the hope of another trip when I can use it! Sometimes when family or friends travel, I provide an exchange service or make a gift of spending money in these currencies.

Heres a short list of what’s in stock…

  • Hong Kong dollar coins
  • Chinese renminbi
  • Aussie dollars
  • Japan yen
  • Korean won
  • Indian rupees
  • Nepali rupee
  • Pounds Sterling
  • Euro dollar
  • US dollar
  • Malaysian ringgit

There would be a few more if I’d not given them away – Indonesian rupiah, Vietnamese dong, Israeli shekels, Thai baht.

So until my next trip or trips, or until someone i know travels, this stash stays with me.

Look back

What a strange year it has been. I’m sure nobody is going to ask me what I mean by that!

The latest big news in Singapore is about a Covid scare that cut short a cruise to nowhere. An 83-year-old man had fallen sick on board and tested positive. However, on return to mainland, his latest test results, by a proper lab presumably, have been negative. It might turn out to be a false alarm after all. In any case, over 1600 holidaymakers had their trip cut short. The good news is that they might not have been exposed to a real case.

Still, better safe than sorry, as they say. Another cruise that was supposed to depart today was cancelled in response to the false alarm. I guess crew and passengers alike need a bit more time to calm down after the excitement.

Checking through my phone pictures, on this day one year ago, I was on a tour in a desert. Two years ago, I was on a business trip overseas.Three years ago, I was at home. So in the past, I’d often travelled in December. Now I don’t even know if there’s going to be any trips in 2021…

What a strange year it has been. I had a premonition this year would be a year of change for me but I had not anticipated that it would affect everyone as well.