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Youth react to tightened COVID-19 measures starting Sep 27

The COVID-19 measures will be tightened from Sep 27 due to a spike in local COVID-19 community cases in Singapore.

Noreen Shazreen
Noreen Shazreen

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Published: 27 September 2021, 11:23 AM

Singapore will tighten its COVID-19 measures to address the recent spike in local COVID-19 community cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Friday (Sep 24).

The announcement comes after a huge spike in local COVID-19 cases, with Singapore reporting more than 1,000 community cases in six straight days as of Sunday.

From Sep 27 to Oct 24, Singapore will reduce the size of social gatherings from the current limit of five to two. Similarly, households are only allowed to welcome two visitors per day.

F&B outlets will only allow up to two fully vaccinated diners per group, a reduction from its initial five. Work from home will also be the new default.

We spoke to some youth to find out how they feel about the latest COVID-19 measures.

Impact on the F&B industry

When I first heard of the new measures, my first thought was how it will affect the F&B business as the measures will lower the level of footfall. As I’m working at a cafe, the tightening of measures negatively impacts me as more planning and adaptation is required to prevent the business from failing, therefore increasing my stress level.

“The limit for dining-in has also been reduced to two. This measure greatly impacts my workplace as it lowers the number of footfalls that the business needs in order to operate and survive.

 

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The new measures reducing dine-in limits from five to two customers puts F&B employees like Shahrul under overwhelming stress. PHOTO CREDIT: JAI

 

“Manpower and inventory management also rely on the inconsistent traffic of customers. Fewer people dining in might not mean less traffic, so it’s harder to predict our manpower and ingredient stock needed.” – Shahrul Yazan, 32, Cafe Manager

Concerns about Singaporeans’ emotional well-being

“I am very much concerned about the recent spike in local COVID-19 cases as I sincerely do not wish the amount of emotional and mental distress the pandemic has brought upon even more people. The individual stories people have shared about their experiences have already been harrowing.

“I have come to know of a teacher who has had both her children hospitalised. She goes after work to look after her children every single day as her husband works full-time. 

“I think that nobody really deserves these kinds of emotional and mental burdens, thus I am concerned about how the increasing cases will affect the mental state of our population.

“The government has to manage with appeasing the population and at the same time ensuring that this ‘freedom’ does not yield negative consequences.” – Belle Ng, 19, Student 

Missing out on family time

“The change that will impact me the most is the reduction of social gatherings from five to two. I come from a family of five, so the new measures mean that we cannot go out together as we have to constantly be in groups of two. 

 

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Those with large families, like Daryl’s, will lose out on some family time outside in light of the new measures. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/NUR SABRINA

 

“This makes going out very troublesome and not enjoyable at all because my family is focused on complying with the measures instead of bonding with each other.

“As the government is planning to transition the COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic, I assume that the decision to implement tighter measures was a difficult one. However, I think that the measures were implemented at the right time to further stop the spread of the virus.” – Daryl Dela Cruz, 20, Radio Intern

Serving the nation through a screen

“I had just started serving my National Service (NS) two months ago and one of my bunkmate’s parents tested positive for COVID-19. We all had to be sent back home from camp and serve our Leave of Absence or Stay-Home Notice until further notice. 

“I feel that the COVID-19 pandemic will impact us in a way where we have to serve NS in our own homes through Zoom calls. There will also be an increase in antigen rapid test or polymerase chain reaction tests for recruits to ensure that no infected individuals are brought to the camp.

“Serving NS in my own home is very different compared to staying in the bunk.” – Muhammad Ali Bin Abdullah, 20, Full-time National Serviceman

Challenges of home-based learning

“The local COVID-19 cases were rising at a rapid pace. It made me worried that there might be more asymptomatic people out and about than I realise, especially since I’m living with my youngest brother who’s in primary school as well as my grandparents who are 63 and above.  

“The latest measures probably will not affect my daily life much. However, it would affect those in my family who are currently schooling. My youngest brother is in Primary 2 and he still needs guidance for home-based learning.

 

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Home-based learning will be challenging for Natasha’s brother as he needs more guidance. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/NOREEN SHAZREEN

 

“I think in general, home-based learning isn’t a good arrangement, especially for primary school students. My brother has difficulty focusing on the task at hand and since it’s online, it really tests his willingness to participate in learning. 

“The teachers are also unable to monitor the learning as well so it’s really challenging. The only other person in my family who would be able to monitor my brother would be me but I can’t be with him every day. Students definitely have it harder learning and I pity those growing up in the pandemic era.” – Nurul Natasha Binte Mohamad Iswan, 22, Juice Bar Employee

The need to stay socially responsible

“I’m quite concerned about the spike in community cases. It shows that there is a high number of transmissions going on in our community. This could potentially put our vulnerable groups at risk of severe illnesses if we are not socially responsible.

“Poor social responsibility could possibly be due to the fact that with the vaccine, people may tend to be more complacent as they have misconceptions about how the vaccines work. 

“We could try to educate the population and correct the most common misconception that vaccination makes them resistant to infection. We should also encourage proper infection control measures such as the proper wearing of masks and hand washing.” – Kiarra Rajoo, 19, Healthcare Intern

Written by Noreen Shazreen, Nur Sabrina and Charlotte Chang


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