COVID19 survivor’s log: August 25, 2021
It has been exactly 571 days since Singapore raised its alert to DORSCON Orange first in 2020. Life is returning back to normal in the island. Inoculations are proceeding at an applaudable pace. The people have hope, they see a light at the end of the tunnel. This could all end… or could it?
I think it would. I hope it would.
But the big question in the mind of every Singapore resident and specifically expats… when can we travel out? When can we see our families back in our countries?
It might sound selfish. After all, Singapore has given us one of the world’s best cities to live in if you are an expat. The safety and quality of life is second to none. So, why would we want to go back to our countries even if it’s a short visit, where the COVID19 response has been abysmal or worse?
Because that’s what humanity is. We will always miss family, no matter how dire the circumstances.
Singapore’s COVID19 response has been an adaptive one to say the least. The earlier predictions were off and our counter measures had fallen short at some levels, but then again, which country got it 100% right?
In the world cities response index, Singapore still ranks quite high. But back to our original question, when can we start travelling again?
In terms of commercial travel, perhaps it is a little unreasonable of us to expect or anticipate normalcy imminently.
But perhaps we could take a page from cities around the world opening up selectively for humanitarian reasons.
Mark (name has been altered for privacy) recently lost his father back in India last week. He had not been able to travel home since the start of the pandemic. And since he is on an Employment Pass, he cannot afford to leave his livelihood in Singapore and return to India. He cannot bid his father goodbye one last time. All he can do is painfully assuage himself that this is probably what his father wanted.
Mark’s case is one among many in Singapore.
Countries around the world have been opening up selective travel to inoculated individuals, who have passed the stipulated double dosage and post vaccinated period of 14 days. The exotic city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is the latest to join the list. Dubai expects such measures to have a profound economic impact on the much-anticipated World Expo to be held this year (postponed from last year). And mind you, such travel is also heavily controlled, with a multitude of tests and protocol required to be completed before and after flying. But, the important thing is they do have such an option.
Now that the percentage of population double dosed is approaching 80%, perhaps it is time for Singapore to think of similar measures?