As several countries see a devastating renaissance of the Covidian events, a small Asian island has emerged as the best place to end the global epidemic.
This week, Singapore topped the Bloomberg Covid Resilience rankings by knocking out New Zealand, which topped the charts for months. The decline is seen in factors ranging from Covid case numbers to freedom of movement.
Bloomberg cited Singapore’s effective vaccination program as the main reason for the shift, compared to the slow spread in New Aland ելland.
So how did Covid live in the best place in the world in these uncertain times? And is it really broken?
Almost normal life և deep dissonance
Well, mostly right. Life in Singapore can be pretty good, though I say it with a few big warnings.
In recent months, except for small outbreaks that have stopped quickly, almost zero cases have been registered in the community. Although several new cases emerged this week, restrictions were immediately tightened.
Strict travel rules և Border security means that imported goods generally stop their tracks and arrivals are immediately isolated.
Except for the two-month “switch-switch” at the beginning of last year, we had no choice but to block.
Life is almost normal. I can see my family at any time or have dinner with friends at a restaurant, even though there can be no more than eight of us. Masks are a must everywhere, even outdoors, although you can wear them while exercising or eating.
Most of us have returned to the office at a social distance, և you can watch a movie, watch a concert or go shopping as long as you wear your mask և check in the contacts search program.
Schools and childcare centers are open, օրերին I can take my children anywhere on the weekends, although in many places the ability to provide social distance has decreased, so planning for the weekend is like training (I am an unlucky soldier, my children are generals).
About 15% of our population has been fully vaccinated since the beginning of the year. This statistic is partly due to the small base. We have only six million, but also because of the good start-up, the great confidence in the government, the diminishing hesitation about vaccines.
So we are safe ենք we are doing well. The obligatory wearing of a mask, the search for aggressive communication, the restrictions on “travel”, “long gatherings” all helped, as did the fact that we are an island easily controlled by borders, with large financial reserves, and a ruthlessly efficient system.
At the same time, there is a deep disagreement with the idea that we are now the best place to live.
Many in Singapore enjoy freedom of movement, but this is not the case for the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who still remain mostly in their workplaces, dormitories, due to last year’s outbreak due to poor, unsanitary living conditions.
They have to ask their employers for permission if they want to leave their dormitories, և mostly in government-approved recreation centers.
The government insists that all this is necessary to protect the rest of the country, as there is a “real և significant” risk of another outbreak in their community. This is not true given that many workers continue to live in more crowded homes than most Singaporeans, even after efforts to improve their housing.
But it also underscores the bitter fact that, despite rumors of its equality, Singapore remains a deeply divided society.
This is “shameful and discriminatory,” said Olovan Wem, a migrant rights activist.
“As labor migrants have no political power, it somehow becomes acceptable in society that they bear the burden of our political failures.
“New Zealand may also be at the top of the Covid Resilience list, but it has not violated human rights. It’s not just about the result, it’s about the means to get there. ”
The epidemic continues to leave its scars on insecure, low-income families.
The government has pledged millions of dollars to boost the economy and help needy families, while unemployment remains low.
But the numbers do not tell the whole story. Some workers have seen pay cuts, and many of those laid off have found new businesses as suppliers or drivers.
“It’s uncertain, the feeling that you do not know how much you can work that day can be very stressful. They are also easily replaceable. That’s the lack of social security, “said Patricia Vin, a social worker.
“This stress can affect families in the future with ‘insidious ways,'” he added. Cases of domestic violence, for example, are on the rise, even after the blockade.
Even for those of us who enjoy the benefits of freedom և stable income, there are some downsides.
The little privacy we had before this epidemic in this highly researched state has been further diminished. We agreed that wherever we went, we should use a program or have a sign that traces our location, the people we interact with, even though the government says the data is anonymous.
Covid-19 is in a hurry for further control without much public discussion.
Many agree with the government’s argument that this is necessary in times of crisis, but some have warned against the possible misuse of such a massive crop of data. When the government recently admitted that it allowed police to use the data for purposes other than searching for contacts, despite earlier assurances of confidentiality, this lack of transparency angered some.
Many are investigating what became of the gilded cage, due to strict quarantine rules elsewhere in Singapore, which for the time being preclude easy travel. This means that many of us are still unable to see our loved ones in person in other countries.
Living in a crowded city-state without a homeland, many in Singapore are accustomed to traveling abroad, even if it is a day off only to the nearby island of Indonesia or the border towns of neighboring Malaysia.
This is not possible anymore, so tens of thousands of people have traveled nowhere, while hotels are booked for “leisure”. Motorcycle enthusiasts, accustomed to tracking Malaysia and racing on highways, were expanding the endless rings around the island.
Rumors of Singapore opening a travel balloon with Hong Kong rejoiced after a failed attempt last year, followed by a sense of fate after community events were reported in both cities this week.
It is difficult to complain of boredom, considering how the virus is still destroying some parts of the world.
Some of us, like the writer Sudhir Thomas Wadaket, who has a family in India who is witnessing a devastating second wave, experience something like the “survivor’s sin” as they watch their loved ones suffer from afar.
“It’s just weird that in some countries on this planet the situation is literally hell, while here we are looking forward to the travel bubble. It feels almost immoral that we do so well, enjoy our lives while we are closed. “Other countries are doing so badly,” he said.
“Singapore is a city that has become rich behind globalization. Given our connection and the nature of economic development, I feel we have a greater moral responsibility. [to care about other countries]«
Many in Singapore will say that for now we are just grateful to be safe in this safe little bubble to withstand a dangerous global epidemic.
But it will sound in the end. The Singaporean government has repeatedly stressed that the country needs to reopen for economic survival, and has already begun restricting restrictions on travelers from some places, such as mainland China and Australia.
Singapore will one day be fully connected to the rest of the world, “then” will be our real test of cowardice.