COVID-19 A Singaporean Story Part 22 – Tapao to eat

21st March 2020 2.58 AM

Singapore on Friday (Mar 20) confirmed 40 new COVID-19 cases, of which 30 are imported infections. This increase takes the national total to 385 cases.

What I looked at the news about the infections in Singapore are not the imported or known linked cases but the unlinked ones, the unlinked ones means unknown clusters are spreading the virus to many people including their family, friends, co-workers & strangers living nearby.

Who infected the unlinked cases? That’s the mystery that the authorities need to find out quick.

The good news is that Singapore had developed a new iOS & Android mobile app called Trace Together that uses bluetooth to collect information if someone are also using the same app at the same time can log down the information into your smart phone privately.

Visit www.tracetogether.gov.sg to get the iOS or Android app NOW!

Once someone who are confirmed tested by MOH to be infected with COVID-19, they can upload their information to MOH within the app & the app can notify all who get within close distance with the infected.

All these informations are not using geolocation data & only anonymous bluetooth information hence no data are sent to anyone until the user upload to MOH upon knowing they are infected and sent a CODE to upload data.

The only downside are the application cannot run at the background when you are using other applications which kind of defeat the purpose, you need to open the app & let it run in “battery saving mode” by screen facing downwards (Like on the table) or put the phone upside down (like in the pocket) to dim the screen hence using less battery.

The problem is the only time I won’t use my phone for games, news or other apps is when I sleep, some games may be running in auto mode even sometimes when I sleep…haha.

The idea is for everyone make sure to remember to open the app TraceTogether when they are in the meetings, public spaces and public transport for it to work perfectly.

More improvements need to be done to make the app run at the background of other applications, hopefully soon & maybe a tracker smart watch or something similar…heh.

For now, I will probably use a secondary phone or tablet for this app (NO NEED SIM CARD JUST USE WIFI) & the main phone for other applications when I move around.

Next is the announcement of more social distancing measures & advisories for eating out by sitting with proper space between each other and/or tabao (packet) take away back home when the location is full.

If the place is full…. tapao back home or office to eat.

I like to add my own pro-tip by brining your own re-usable lunch box to save the environment for packing take aways.

I will try to pay the hawker with POSB PayNow via mobile number tomorrow & see if it’s possible to reduce contact with cash as there are rumours that cash may be spreading the virus as well. Will update you guys if it’s possible! :D

What is unknown is how will the authorities enforce this social distancing measures & will there be an penalty for people who simply refuse to obey this “advisory” similar to what some countries are doing, since we are not as strict as China in enforcement…..YET.

I guess, eventually public shaming will be the usual way forward which is pretty bad considering the repercussion for the jobs of the “person who refuse to obey social distancing measures”.

Hopefully, more empathy & compassion will be given to those who do not understand or haven’t been updated to this social distancing measures. Hopefully more hawkers put more stickers or banners or other ways to inform the public about this social distancing measures.

COVID-19: How will Singapore’s cap on crowd size impact weddings and religious gatherings?

For crowd size that’s limited to 250 people or less for social gatherings that’s also comes with the conditions of spacing the people out with at least 1 meters apart, personally I think this is a pretty terrible idea.

250 people gathering in a location like a meeting room, wedding dinner, company gathering, seminar room, entertainment KTV or any enclosed spaces will bound to have some chaotic movement of people.

Knowing if any infected person that presents mild symptoms like a bit of sore throat & headaches can easily mingle with the crowd of 250 or less crowd can potentially infect a much larger group of people compared to a home setting.

The probability of many people using the same object(s) will be much higher like door handles, microphones, pens to sign in and etc will also create some indirect infections.

Some studies also include how long the COVID-19 will remain in the air for how long depending on the temperature & humidity, the lower the temperature like air conditioned environment & higher humidity may cause the virus to linger longer in the air hence having 250 or less people gathering in one location for a long period of time more like above 30 minutes probably have higher chances of breathing in the virus droplets when someone coughs or sneezes.

In my own personal opinion, in order to really reduce the chance of infection the organisers may have to place their seats at least 1 meter or more apart, have hand sanitisers ready at multiple points, ask to wear masks during the event for every attendees, & make everyone to use their smart phone to send their contact to the organisers in any event of someone being infected can be contact traced by MOH.

Now, maybe everyone probably may have to turn on the “Trace Together” app during the event. :D

I feel more can be done at this point of time to increase social distancing without further disrupting our life similar to what China had done with more informations like information banners, stickers, labels & allow innovative ideas to be utilised to increase the awareness of social distancing & reduce infections.

Question now is do we have to wait until the infections starts to explode to start increasing more social distancing measures like a shut down of the movement of everyone & stay at home like Italy, Malaysia and other countries?

Stay safe, stay healthy, be prepared & good luck!