The start of 2020 has been a rocky one with the world dealing with a potential pandemic. People across the globe panicking to close off their borders with China, ostracizing the Chinese race and even panic buying masks and cleaning solutions. Here, we witnessed the power of technology in play, specifically social media. When the news first broke about the spread of the virus, people started speculating the cause and effects of it and resulted in a tonne of unverified news being shared that attributed to much of the mayhem and panic.
When fear is present, we see people regressing to a state of fending for themselves and others who are more opportunistic trying to profit out of the situation. Singapore having the largest number of declared infections outside of China is also in the limelight as the world watches us to see how we deal with our situation. In the midst of supply hoarding in supermarkets, distancing from healthcare workers, bulk buying of masks and cleaning solutions to be resold at extravagant prices, we choose to see the positives arising from the shambles.
1. Higher Level of Cleanliness
Singapore is already known to be one of the cleanest cities in the world where our common areas and streets are constantly being kept clean. Our citizens also play a part by diligently abiding to the laws laid out by the government to not litter and vandalize. Now, our areas are cleaner than before with and increase in cleaning frequencies and better cleaning protocols set in place.
2. Higher Level of Personal Hygiene
As citizens of an already clean city, sometimes we do take for granted our personal hygiene. During this time, the government through the local media is educating the public how we could better observe personal hygiene by washing our hands with soap more often to covering our mouth and nose when we cough or sneeze. In addition, to wear a mask if we are heading out when we are not feeling well.
3. Acts of Kindness
We are now seeing more and more incidents of acts of kindness as well where people are stepping up to donate and give out free masks, cleaning solutions, and even supplies to appreciate our healthcare workers in the front lines. Tech giants such as Grab launched GrabCare to specifically support and transport healthcare workers. Grassroots with initiatives such as Moulmein-Cairnhill launching “MoCa Cares for Nurses” to show appreciation to nurses where they can go to Pek Kio Market and Food Centre in their uniform to enjoy not only priority queue, but free lunch sets, free bread loaves and even discounted haircut from participating merchants and stallholders.
4. Reinventing Processes with Available Technology
With people hesitant to gather in large crowds to avoid the spread of the virus, Real Estate Developer for Parc Canberra decided to conduct their project ballot LIVE online and then allow buyers to book their units online. Real Estate agents are also resorting to the use of more virtual property tours. Religious groups are also embracing social responsibility by holding off their physical meetings for both large and small groups and instead hold them online using tools such as Zoom, Google Meet and FaceBook Live.
We Will Overcome!
Humanity has overcame multiple epidemics and disasters before and we will continue to do so. We will continue to innovate and reinvent ourselves to better tackle the challenges ahead of us. During this time of trial, let us continue to bind together and support one another. Use technology to bring peace of mind and share the goodness of humanity to encourage all of us that we can do better. As the saying goes, Stay Calm and Carry On. Practice social responsibility, stay positive and let us show kindness every day.