Perhaps it’s cabin fever — Singaporeans are getting antsy working from home, frustrated with cancelled holiday plans in the face of tightening travel restrictions. Or mayhap, complacency has set in. The world’s medical community has, after all, touted the Singaporean government’s rigorous measures against the spread of Covid-19 as the gold standard for keeping the disease in check. Whatever it is, our island this past weekend was not the ghost town it resembled a month ago after the Dorscon Orange alert was sounded. It was jam-packed everywhere we went: at a kopitiam in Upper Serangoon, a mom-and-pop bakery in Tiong Bahru, a chic new restaurant on Purvis Street, a Chinese fine-diner in Orchard Road, a Yakun outlet in Ion Orchard, and the food basement at Takashimaya. All were thronged with people as if it were 2019 during the Great Singapore Sale, back when we weren’t in the thick of, you know, a pandemic.

We’re not suggesting that everyone (who is healthy) isolates themselves at home indefinitely. As social creatures, this is easier said than done. Also, Singapore (for now at least, hopefully forever), doesn’t have alarming levels of infection as seen in Italy. We ourselves venture out about twice a week these days, when the claustrophobia from working at home 24/7 threatens to drive us stir-crazy. However, what we experienced these past few days was a cause for concern.

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