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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Ang

5 New Normals Singaporeans Have To Adapt To In The Long Run

We’ve been through Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 restrictions, all of which left us with more and more optimism that we could go back to our normal lives once the pandemic was over -- dining out in groups, hanging out with friends and family without a cap, and singing karaoke.

However, with the advent of Covid-19 mutant strains in Singapore, all hope of normalcy has mostly ceased, and we find ourselves back in square one, unable to resume our usual social activities with friends and family.

In such unprecedented times, all of us have to manage the challenges that Covid-10 throws our way and adapt to it. Here are some possible challenges we have to adapt to and make our new normal as we progress in the reign of the Covid-19 virus.

Wearing Masks

Perhaps the most obvious situation we have to learn to adapt to, masks don't look like they’ll be going away anytime soon. Masks help to slow down the spread of bodily fluids in public spaces if worn properly by members of the public. While it may be one of the peskier things we have to get used to, if we haven't already by now, there is no denying the efficacy of everyone wearing masks to curb the spread of bodily fluids which can transmit diseases and viruses.

Mask wearing has some downsides, such as skin irritation, sore ears from the straps pulling at our ears and occasionally foggy spectacle lenses, but these are all minor inconveniences that can be easily overcome.

Your skincare routine can be altered to have more skin-nourishing ingredients, you can purchase mask hooks that your mask straps hook onto instead of your ears, and instead of wearing spectacles, you can make the switch to contact lenses if your spectacles constantly fog.

Unexpected Cancellation of Plans

As government restrictions ease, it is also natural for the regulations on international borders to be eased as well, which would invite international travellers and foreign workers into our country. With the large number of construction projects taking place, an extreme amount of stress has been placed on construction firms who cannot get enough labour, so foriegn migrant workers are forced to work longer hours and more shifts bear the brunt of travel bans.

Some of these workers may have been infected with Covid-19 prior to their arrival, but may have gone undetected which could lead to a spike in cases in Singapore, which then would lead to tightened safety measures again.

While it may be inconvenient for our plans to unwind or have fun be abruptly cancelled, we have to recognize that it is a privilege for us to be able to worry about not having fun, and better empathise with the migrant population who have to bear the brunt of such scenarios.

Disrupted Work Life Balance

With the volatility of the Covid-19 pandemic outlook globally, working from home is slowly becoming the new norm for many companies. While many of us enjoy working from the comfort of our own home without having to leave the house, some of us may struggle to work from home as it is difficult to separate our personal and work lives, especially if we live in small, cramped and crowded homes.

This may result in some people feeling constantly mentally exhausted as they have to share their workspace with their personal space, so they have to take care and be especially diligent in separating their work life from personal life at home.

Changes in Shopping Habits

Safety distancing measures are probably here to stay, especially with inconsiderate people who find one way or another to stick close to you like duct tape. As such, people may prefer to stay at home and shop online to avoid crowds and lower their risk of contracting an illness. Brick and mortar stores may suffer and not be as relevant, so it’s up to the community to do their part to support local businesses, such as hawker stalls, wet markets or local provision shops.

Instead of buying from big name chain stores, consumers should be more discerning and extend their support to those who need it most. Many people are left in the lurch and have to shut down their only source of livelihoods because of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with government subsidies being completely insufficient to help them tide over this difficult time.

More Quality Time

With working from home becoming the encouraged norm and restriction on entertainment and social distancing measures, it is inevitable that we stay home and therefore see more of our family. We are able to spend more time with them even if it’s not active companionship. As we dine out less, we also usually will spend mealtimes with our family members, which is wonderful for fostering closer ties between family members.

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