How are youths adapting to Phase 1 of exit from circuit breaker?
Singaporean youths have seen their spirits up in anticipation of Phase 2.
For the most part, life in Phase 1 of post-circuit breaker Singapore has remained relatively unchanged for most. Yet, there seems to be a growing optimism in the air as Singapore approaches the much-awaited Phase 2 of reopening.
We caught up with three youths to find out what they have been up to during the circuit breaker, the difference Phase 1 has brought to their lives, and their outlook for the still uncertain future.
The country’s baby steps towards normalcy
“When the circuit breaker first started, I was initially not used to the day-to-day routine. Having too much spare time also meant I had to be finding tasks to distract myself. I caught up with friends mostly via Zoom.
“I slowed down for a bit initially and had more time to do things that I have been putting off such as setting up my photography website which is still WIP and did a little bit of online learning. I had more time to exercise and do leisure activities such as reading and cooking.
“I was then redeployed to a role for my job during the circuit breaker that required me to commute for work daily. That took my mind off things as I had a routine set. The emptiness and the abundance of space does provide a reality check on the present situation.
“Now that we are in Phase 1, public transport is getting more populated these days but I am not so worried. I do feel slightly more assured about the situation as that does signify we are slowly inching our way towards normalcy with baby steps.”
“For Phase 2, I do hope to see more businesses being allowed to reopen as everyone is facing their own struggles, both employers and employees.” – Yu Bin, Marketing Professional, 25
Overcoming isolation with positivity
“Initially, it was really, really difficult. Living in a very bustling neighbourhood, it was hard for me to look out of the windows and see all the shops closed and nobody around. That sense of community was gone overnight.
“I started getting into a rhythm with work and my hobbies. Ended up working more than I would back at the office because time just seems to lull by. The circuit breaker gave me a gift of time at a very heavy cost of not seeing my loved ones. My mental health was really affected because of that.
“After I settled into a rhythm, I finally managed to use my time positively, working out, discovering content online (films, series, blogs) and reading.
“In terms of my feelings, I do actually feel much better. When the circuit breaker was extended, I dwelled in some anxiety and darkness. With Phase 1, I am beginning to feel slightly more hopeful. I see people returning somewhat back to normalcy and I have a newfound appreciation for that.
“I am, however, more nervous as to how the world around me is going to be affected – with the economy, events, and so on. Another thing I am quite worried about is the environment. It recovered so much due to the whole population being in some sort of lockdown all over the world. I am afraid things will become even worse than before.” – Stacy Tanya Shamini, Writer, 25
Cautiously optimistic for the future
“It has been very monotonous seeing the same four walls everyday during the circuit breaker. I tried to exercise in the morning but by late afternoon, especially with the heat, I tend to start getting very lethargic. I tried learning things like baking and Japanese too but I definitely watched too much Netflix and spent too much time gaming during this period too.
“Now that we have entered Phase 1, I can see that traffic has definitely increased. I do think that this is good as more people moving about might suggest the economy recovering faster. I haven’t really been out except to buy food and such. Personally, there’s not much difference between the circuit breaker and Phase 1 day-to-day wise.
“As I am recently out of a job, I am, however, cautiously optimistic that maybe more companies will start hiring again. Furthermore, I am hoping I can eat out again soon and maybe catch up with some friends.” – Chan Yong Lin, 25
While no specific date has been set yet, the government has suggested that Singapore might be able to enter Phase 2 before the end of June if the situation stabilises. If that does happen, let us remember to continue to do our part by keeping to safe distancing measures and being tip-top with hygiene.