Life in the post-pandemic world will never be the same again. As Singapore gradually lifts the Circuit Breaker measures to regain a sense of normalcy, so long as other countries are still battling Covid-19, we can never go back to having a normal life. Singapore must continually be vigilant, so as not to repeat our past mistakes and put the country into lockdown again. Such measures will be devastating to our economy and livelihoods of all Singaporeans.
I think it is safe to say that Singaporeans are looking forward to the lifting of circuit breaker measures. I myself am looking forward to that day. However, judging from how I work from home, order my meals and do my groceries, I am beginning to think of things that I will definitely NOT miss when the circuit breaker is finally lifted. And here are three things that I will NOT miss.
1. Zoom Meetings
I hated it. Period. The latency and poor visual and audio quality that you had to deal with as you try your best to be understand and be understood by your colleagues, peering through the square mosaic representing those in attendance during the Zoom meetings. It’s so impersonal, like as if there is a physical wall in front of you and the colleagues that you are trying to communicate with. I just hated it. I feel restricted when the flow of ideas and information is impeded by all the technical challenges you had to contend with just to get the message across, resulting in longer meeting sessions, awkward silences and uninvited guests popping in your screen, ranging from pets to children.
I so look forward to the day where we don’t have to use such videoconferencing apps ever again just to maintain our social distancing measures and to finally have a decent face-to-face conversation.
2. Wearing masks in public.
I never liked wearing masks. But I understood the need to wear one in the interest of public health. So I diligently wear a mask whenever I am outside as mandated by government rules during this unprecedented situation.
But it’s stifling. It’s warm and my breath constantly fogs up my glasses. Most importantly, I miss seeing people’s smile on their face. Looking at all the strangers on the streets wearing masks, without seeing their facial expressions, it’s as if everyone is so gloomy and detached.
3. Having to check in and out in crowded places.
Singapore implemented SafeEntry, a universal QR code system deployed in public places to allow people to check in an out of buildings and public places all for the sake of contact tracing. SafeEntry will become the norm and you will see it everywhere so long as you are entering a public place.
This scanning of QR code means that entering and exiting a place now takes longer with potentially snaking queues as large numbers of people tries to enter or exit a building like a shopping mall.
While a minor convenience, the day I see this system being dismantled as the pandemic wanes, is a sign that things are finally going back to normal. But this will not happen so soon.