Disclaimer: The information shared herein is not based on professional research about Coronavirus. The author of this blog makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in Coronavirus. She will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided AS-IS with no warranties and confers no rights.
This article covers about the author’s personal’s understanding of Coronavirus, her reasonable fears of the Coronavirus outbreak, current living situation in Singapore and preparation to exit. Because the information on this blog relating to Coronavirus is based on the author’s personal opinion and understanding it should not be considered professional scientific advice. Please read at your own risks.
I’m not going to play genius here that as If I understand everything about #Coronavirus I don’t have the scientific understanding or professional capacity to advice. In short, just like many people I’m clueless about what’s going on and to educate myself about Coronavirus I read a reliable source of news, I check the statistics report and I watch news online. This isn’t my typical day-to-day routine because, in fact, I’ve avoided following updates of crimes, abuse, and calamity news for a while because the negative energy is getting into me.
But when the Coronavirus hits Singapore, that’s when I started to be worried.
I’ve been living in Singapore for almost 20 years and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to live in one of the safest and most beautiful countries in the world. I’ve secured my career and I have a strong network that I can leverage in business but things changed dramatically when Coronavirus becomes a public threat. I feel insecure.
What the hell I will do now? Where I am going to live if the virus will be 10x worse than Sars?
Slowly I asked myself, “where is home, by the way?”
The reality hits me hard and a huge punch on my face that at my age, I haven’t really established a secured living – I haven’t gotten my citizenship somewhere, I don’t have a home, and I have not secured my legal stability other than I’m a resident in Singapore for many years. I didn’t include an exit strategy in my personal life because I was too comfortable.
How dangerous is the coronavirus and how does it spread?
According to the Financial Times, the coronavirus nCoV had killed 259 people in China and infected 11,791. More than 100 cases have been confirmed outside China. With numbers increasing by around 25% every day, it seems to transmit more readily between humans than Sars.
The nCoV is less virulent than Sars, which killed 10% of confirmed cases. So far the new virus has caused severe respiratory disease in about a quarter of patients and killed 2%-3%.
#CoronaVirus in Singapore
According to the Ministry of Health in Singapore, they advise members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours. Hence, it is important to educate ourselves and read reliable sources of information.
The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation.
Case Summary in Singapore (as of 06 Feb 2020, 1200h)
My living situation in Singapore as of February 2020.
I queued for almost 3 hours to get a surgical mask/N95 at Mustafa. It was sold out but they restock at 6pm. Queue started at 2pm. I really want to pee but I didn’t want to leave my queue because I really need a mask. A situation I never expected one day I will experience in Singapore.
Can masks really help protect against infection?
There is considerable debate among public health experts about the preventive effect of covering the face to prevent infection. Some say a surgical mask is not good enough because the evidence to protect is limited. Some say electronic air purifying mask is good because it is breathable.
People have different opinions and surgical masks in most Southeast Asian countries are out of stock. A week ago, there was a panic buying in Singapore where I experienced traveling from Woodlands (North) to Orchard (CBD) to look for a mask. In the end, I got a mask at Mustafa at Little India but I queued for almost 3 hours and I was only allowed to get 2 pieces.
Luckily, I received a mask from the U.K. (Thank you!!!)
Whilst it looks fancy but this mask is useful the micro-motor supercharged turbine actively delivers air, inhales air and combines the principle of fluid mechanics to form a micro-positive air vortex in the fuselage cavity, which has a large air volume and comfortable breathing compare to regular surgical mask.
It has a better filtering system to take out of the dust, bacteria, pollen, dust mites, smoke, and other harmful particulate matter.
I am confident that Singapore can fight Coronavirus because the government has invested millions of dollars in clinical research to fight similar diseases. Plus, the country is well-maintained and structured. If you will look at the history, Singapore ended Sars within just a year.
However, the problem is Coronavirus is worse than Sars. No existing drugs are designed to treat coronaviruses, though some antiviral medicines may alleviate the symptoms (Financial Times). Some Chinese doctors are giving patients HIV drugs and another antiviral developed to treat Ebola has shown promise against coronavirus in animal tests.
The point here is Coronavirus is contagious however, that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles) and while other viruses are less. Hence, there is so much learn about the transmissibility, symptoms, and severity associated with nCoV.
It is scary indeed I have no choice but to stop my social meetups, to work at home and to cancel trips in February.
I cleaned my apartment like I never cleaned it before. lol Right now I prefer to stay at home for a while and to avoid social meet ups.
In my apartment you won’t see decorations because I don’t like. I like a minimalist home and doing my computer stuff. I am happy this way.
I’ve cooked meal-prep for a days. The chicken menudo, cheese tofu and brown rice have proportional calories and high in fiber.
The thoughts about leaving Singapore soon.
I am pretty sure many expats and foreign residents in Singapore are planning their temporary relocation somewhere. The #Coronavirus fears are real. I legit can’t calm down.
So, I’ve considered to move out but whilst processing my thoughts, I learned the facts of my life.
Option #1: I’ve thought to stay at my late grandma’s house in Batangas, Philippines.
My grandma’s house is lovely plus I don’t have to pay rent. #Win, However, Batangas province in the Philippines is still at alert level 2 after the recent Taal volcano eruption.
I disregard my thoughts.
Option #2: I’ve thought to move to Manila.
I’ve been away for many years and I will be confused about the local culture and traffic but I’m pretty sure I will cope and enjoy the taho and pandesal in the morning. I watched the local news, the Philippines reports first death of coronavirus in Manila and the number of suspected cases is growing each day.
Option #3: I’ve thought to relocate to Malaysia.
Malaysia is near Singapore and I’m familiar with the culture and I love Malay food. I am pretty sure I will enjoy the expat living there. However, after I watched the news the first locally transmitted case of a novel coronavirus in Malaysia is now 14. 😨
Option #4: Move to Europe.
I’ve thought it would be lovely to relocate temporarily to somewhere cold, quiet and away from the Coronavirus situation but the reality hits me hard that I don’t have a legal pass [yet] to move to Europe. I can definitely apply for a short-term tourist visa, but a month of visa is not good enough especially the Coronavirus in Singapore may take longer than 8-12 months, in my opinion.
Option #5: Move to the United States.
I’ve asked my sister if I can move to Los Angeles and she offered assistance for a dependent pass. The problem is I’m not sure how the government will restrict the relocation of foreigners from Asian countries like Singapore who are known to have an on-going Coronavirus outbreak.
I asked myself what if I pack my things and move out then I reach L.A., what if the government will send me back to my airport of origin (Changi), what will happen to me next? Where will I stay?
When my mum passed away in 2007, I remember our last phone call, “take care of yourself because there will be no hero in your life to save you when bad things happen. You gotta be your own hero.” It registered in my head so, I’ve been independent for as long as I can remember.
Indeed she is right and I’m preparing to find a new home somewhere.
If your perfect day means you can get out of your house and have a lunch date with your mates, that’s great! You are blessed. Enjoy it because you will never know what may happen in the future. I used to be overconfident that my life will always be “okay” but when the Coronavirus hits Singapore my perspectives in life changed.
It sucks I can’t go out.
It sucks I can’t meet friends.
It sucks I don’t feel safe going out.
And I am writing this article because it is okay not to be okay. It is okay to be worried and share your fears. It is okay to spend an hour on couch wondering what can be your best exit strategy.
In my situation, I still don’t have any idea.