Following a rise in Covid-19 infections, Singapore has imposed strict measures to curb the spread of the disease. These include:
- Capping social gatherings to 2
- Suspension of dining-in at F&B outlets
- Hard cap on guest numbers at weddings and funerals
- Return to working from home
- Closure of gyms, fitness studios, spas and all recreational activities that require removal of face masks
- Prohibition of social gatherings at workplaces
- Banning food and drinks in theaters
- Schools must reformat co-curricular activities to be conducted online and place a cap on classroom sizes
It’s quite telling that the entire country fell in line. The media, true to their duty as a ‘nation building media’, faithfully reported the government’s edicts without question. The opposition remains silent on the government’s policies, save for one or two members of a minor political party. Singaporean political bloggers and personalities, all of whom without exception swing left, agree with the government’s stance. Compliance with these policies are extremely high, and violators are named and shamed in the media and slapped with harsh criminal penalties.
In a nation that values conformity, there’s a lot of things you’re not supposed to notice.
You’re not supposed to notice that every Covid cluster in Singapore is in an indoor space, with people packed together in close confines for prolonged periods of time, while wearing masks. This includes ships, migrant worker dormitories, indoor eateries, and airport terminals.
You’re not supposed to notice that less than 1 percent of Covid transmissions occur in outdoor spaces. These include open-air hawker centres reliant on in-person dining, outdoor sports and recreation, and any outdoor gathering that is not crowded.
You’re not supposed to notice that obesity is a major risk factor for Covid mortality, or that governments around the world have discouraged people from exercising, or even moving outside the home.
You’re not supposed to notice that there is no school-based transmission of Covid in Singapore, and that teachers and schoolchildren are among the least at-risk demographics for infection.
You’re not supposed to notice that there are no Covid transmissions linked to cinemas in Singapore.
You’re not supposed to notice that almost every single location visited by an infectious Covid case, indoor and outdoor, did not produce clusters or additional infections—only that the media trumpets these places every day.
You’re not supposed to notice that asymptomatic transmission is extremely rare if not practically nonexistent.
You’re not supposed to notice that virtually everyone who caught and spread Covid in Singapore since the imposition of the national mask mandate was wearing a mask, only the narrative that masks prevent the spread of the virus.
You’re not supposed to notice the studies that suggest face masks do not prevent the spread of Covid, either as personal protection or as source control.
You’re not supposed to notice that countries and states that did not impose mask mandates and lockdowns tend to have lower Covid infections and fatalities than those that did.
You’re not supposed to notice that only 1 to 5% of Covid patients experience symptoms severe enough to warrant hospitalisation, only the ever-growing case count day after day and the doom-and-gloom reports of hospitals being overwhelmed.
You’re not supposed to notice that 94% of Covid fatalities in America had comorbidities and only 6% died solely because of the virus.
You’re not supposed to notice the studies do not support harsher restrictions, only the studies that the media and the government roll out to justify them.
There’s a lot of things you’re not supposed to notice about the virus, about the studies into the virus, about the government and media response. You’re only supposed to notice the narrative—and obey.
And after a government conditions its subjects to immediately obey all edicts from above in the name of public health and safety, what else can it do with that power?
That is something you’re definitely not supposed to notice.