The virus: a season of madness

My little lime tree has been completely stripped off its leaves. My neighbour Rita and I have decided that human hands have been at the bottom of this misdeed.

Does somebody in my block think that these lime leaves will keep away the coronavirus ? Quite Possible. People, I hear are sniffing cut onions and leaving sliced onions in every room to keep away the virus. Others are drinking ressum to clear lungs of the virus. Somebody suggested that I might become rich encouraging this idea and devising a commercial enterprise selling ressum spice mixture. My sister, Celine in Perth, is down to 5 rolls of toilet paper but is too embarrassed to shop for more, in case she is mistaken for a loader. Heaven forbid that any one of us is identified as a panic buyer! I too am coming down to the end of my supply of toilet paper. In Perth 350 people want to install bidets.

During our discussion about toilet rolls my sister and I tried to recall the process when there were no toilet rolls to be had and when the bathrooms and the toilets were in different locations. Our discussion did descend into unsavory details but it failed to trigger our memory.

Our anxiety about the virus COVID-19 is the unknowns about it. It is new; there is no vaccine as yet so we can’t be vaccinated against it; it is extremely infectious; too much information and not enough information lead equally to much confusion; every day we hear something reassuring and something more anxiety triggering (I just heard the US lead physician declaring that it is ten times more lethal than the ordinary flue).

The most insistent message from the experts is that so much depends on individual behaviour. We, the people have control. The fear of the virus and this message about individual behaviour, alone, should lead to more responsible, healthy and respectful civic behaviour and we will be better people for that. One habit I had formed during the SARS epidemic is to wash my hands after I have been out. It has become a habit since. Singapore experienced a tuberculosis crisis in mid- 20th century which prompted our first campaign – the Stop Spitting Campaign which after many years of public education download-1and legislation put an end to the unhealthy habit of public spitting.

To give us some perspective about viruses:-

Thus far a total of 219 viruses have been identified some less harmful and some devastating as HIV virus was. New species of human virus are still being identified, at a rate of three or four per year. Viruses make up over two-thirds of all new human pathogens. Throughout history, there have been a number of pandemics of diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. In this globalised world a pandemic is always waiting to happen.

But once the current panic season settles down we will accept living with coronavirus as just another virus. It will be part of the new normal, joining all the other viruses we have to deal with. Such is life. But we will continue washing our hands, keeping hawker centre tables clean and treating our cleaners with respect. Their contribution to our health is beyond measure.

Meanwhile since I form part of the most vulnerable demography I shall just stay home and shop less. May be this pandemic will neutralize the excesses of consumerism and capitalism.

 

Constance Singam

* The writer blogs at https://constancesingamblog.wordpress.com/.

 

 

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18 Responses to “The virus: a season of madness”

  • shop via INTERNET:

    it is very unwise to shop in person in pap Singapore.

    because of pap land pricing, everything in pap Singapore is at least 3 to 5 times more expensive than in JB. the same items made by the same manufacturers.

    even without Wuhan virus, the best strategy to beat pap at its game is to shop via INTERNET.

    now that the Wuhan virus has reached our shores, it behooves us to start shopping via INTERNET if we have not already started.

    the only thing pap has utter control is the 3/4 tank rule. anyone with a brain knows petrol pricing in pap Singapore has gone haywire. when crude prices rise, petrol prices rise more. but when crude prices drop to a 30-year low, petrol prices in pap Singapore drops S$0.03 aka 3 cents.

    sheep who behaves as pap demands surely ask for it. why not shop via INTERNET. and despite 3/4 rule, top up petrol in JB.

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  • Bapak:

    No toilet paper no problem, got shittimes paper.

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  • Malay sure boleh:

    Malaysia overtaken sg in coronavirus cases with addition of 190 cases.

    Pro malaysia fans now all keep quiet.

    What a screw up !

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  • TruBlu:

    Silly GRADING OF HYGIENE such ad A,B or C for hawkers or even more expensive dining n water-hole$$$,isnt it?
    See,even top class Mandarin wasnt that *HYGIENIC*?

    See what is happening all over this VERY TINY ISLAND IN TERMS OF SG CLEAN N GREEN.
    KEEPINF TINY SG CLEAN SHOULD NOT BE AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK; WE HAVE BEEN ADMIRED AS A CLEAN CITY BY ALMOST ALL WHO VISITED OUR SUNNY ISLAND LONG BEFORE THE LAZY GOVT AGENCIE$ OUT-$ource their PRIMARY DUTIES such as PUBLIC CLEANING.
    LOOK around n see carefully HOW GOVT OUTSOURCED CONtractor$ *CLEAN* oye ROADS ETC.

    Oh,these CONtractors even AUDIT THEIR OWN WORK BY TAKING PHOTOS OF SO-CALLED CLEAN-UP AREAS N SEND THEM TO NEA OFFICERS TO *INSPECT*???

    MANY TIMES,I OBERVE LITTERS STILL LYING AROUND NEARBY THE *SWEPT AREAS* N WHO CARES?

    What about other more serious matters like ILLEGAL PARKING N ILLEGAL RESERVATION OF PUBLIC SPACES AS PRIVATE CARPARK LOTS?
    ASK LTA!

    ALL BULLSHITTING AWAY!.
    LTA ENFORCEMENT CAN CLOSE BOTH EYES TO SOME OFFENDERS BUT ARE SO *NGOEW* to people who iverpark for a little while?

    Check it out yourselves.

    This country is in a LEEgali$ed me$$!
    Govt agencie$ care not for KPI OF THEIR RESPECTIVE CORE DUTIES BUT ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH COLLECTING MORE MONEY from peasants???

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  • A season of madness indeed!:

    UK wants the older people to isolate themselves at home for their own protection, since they are the most vulnerable (can die easily from this virus).

    In sharp contrast, some (“very clever”) CC gather many old folks together for more virus-sharing session. They call it a virus-fighting session to make sanitizer.

    Singaporeans better pray hard. Because your “leaders” are playing relax.

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  • Consumerism for Cronies:

    Yea, the Crony Pappy pockets are taking the biggest downturns….for sheeple it’s been rock bottom all along … where got minimum wage in the most expensive city in the world? Straighten your bent backs toil on grampa gramma the graves are just upcoming..
    ..

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  • PAPVID-20:

    My son told me, all his friends studying in the UK are scrambling to return home to sg now. Prices of air tickets are sky high but what to do? Money cannot buy life but money can save lives.

    Who is scared of who now?

    Earlier Asian students kanna beaten up, being insulted and discriminated by the Ang Moh bcoz Ang Moh feared Asians might bring them the virus. Now Asian students are running away from the Ang Moh bcoz large no. of Ang Moh have been infected with the virus.

    Yes, it’s madness all over the world bcoz of the tiny invisible virus.

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Humankind has Identified numerous viruses many more to be Identified sooner or later…is there a Silver BULLET for all these Viruses???

    A man was created through such a complex system that it can and will COMBAT anything that comes its way i.e. the Natural Way… for every disease, there is a cure in the Nature of things that can be GATHERED all around from the Grassland to the deepest of Jungles…Distort the Natural way that man was created for will expose the Hidden Evil ever lurking in the background…

    Hunters, Planters & Gatherers that is the way…Never a Soldier, Sailor, Beggarman or Thief

    “Let There Be Peace” in the World and let it begin with you and the World will be ONE… with the Viruses kept in the closet of Hell…unless Lie Con You Rise from the dead as he claimed he can and that is NOT NATURAL!!!

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  • we cant go on like this:

    wonder what virus the PRC,China will be exporting next to the world?
    the chicken flu, pig flu, SARS and now Wuhan virus..
    seems its getting worse n worse.
    hope the gov there is doing some damage control…or else how can the world suffer or cope like so every few years???
    Governments all over the world should put some strict controls or pressure on the prc gov to do what is morally right for the good of everyone.

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  • Malay sure boleh:

    Malaysia 420+++ cases.

    Sg 220+++ cases.

    How come the idolized malaysia people here unusually quiet. Flabbergasted?

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  • Siow:

    At this time of highly infectious disease pandemic, you are happy that your neighbor has more cases? Siow! So many Malaysians crossing the causeway everyday.

    Per population basis, Singapore is still very high up the chart. Lousy gov strategy leads to this high number.

    Malay sure boleh:
    Malaysia 420+++ cases.

    Sg 220+++ cases.

    How come the idolized malaysia people here unusually quiet. Flabbergasted?

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Malay sure boleh:
    Malaysia 420+++ cases.

    Sg 220+++ cases.

    How come the idolized malaysia people here unusually quiet. Flabbergasted?

    Aiyah!!! why like that!!! The Crown Virus issued by the Emperor will strike wherever & whenever it like…

    just take a look at all the Virus created by an Emperor now DEAD with an Idiot for a son giving the virus more ways than one to Destroy the people by saying “Under Control” no need abortion to do the trick of killing LEEgally

    have gatherings not more than 250 and go to church and do Namaste or Gong Hee and NOT shake hands

    Evil knows no BOUNDS!!! it creeps up stealthily and like all virus Strike when you are Standing for your RIGHTS…”THINK” and the answers are written and shown between the lines of MSM CONvictions!!!

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  • Hu Chian:

    Prevention is better than cure

    1.” Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.”
    Desiderius Erasmus

    2.” In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
    Desiderius Erasmus

    3.”Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”
    Albert Einstein

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  • Before mouth open brain lah:

    Singapore island size is 721.25 sq.km. & 6 million people …. West Malaysian Peninsula alone covers 132,000 sq.km. with several large cities in it and a total population of about 30 million people.

    So what if Malaysia got 420 cases as compared to Singapore’s 220? Rather we should be more concerned about the characteristics of the infection distribution and causal links isn’t it?

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  • Malay sure boleh:

    Malaysia now 553.

    Sg ….still 226.

    Malaysia now > double of sg.

    So malaysian seeking treatment in sg is it free or chargeable?

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  • Bad Boy:

    2 methods against covid19.

    1 Totally isolation e.g. Israel

    2 uk method. Kena early, recover ( or die ) then with antibodies or whatever less likely to kena again.

    The world should class action lawsuit to claim mainland.
    We should alliance world nations and wage war on mainland.

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  • 243 and counting:

    SG latest 243 cases total.
    11 imported.
    with all the restrictions how come many imported?

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  • Malay sure boleh:

    @ Siow

    @ ”’ At this time of highly infectious disease pandemic, you are happy that your neighbor has more cases? Siow! So many Malaysians crossing the causeway everyday. ”’

    At a time like this , you people seem more happy Sg have more cases than your neighbor. What worst ? Who worst or siow?
    What a screw up !

    By the way ,
    did your neighbor distribute masks ? When ?
    Did they ask all their people to wear masks ? When ?

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