On 3rd April 2020, the Prime minister of Singapore announced a ‘circuit breaker’ phase (yes, its like the middle ground between lock-down and non-lock-down situation) where only essential services are allowed to operate and schools across the full spectrum of ages will be closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
This circuit breaker phase will start from 7 April 2020 and end on 4 May 2020 (note – as of 21 Apr, this has been extended to 1 Jun) .
Read: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/a-new-normal on what this circuit breaker phase from 8 April to 4 May entails.
Of course, life has changed, and we in Singapore have been very very lucky to not have gone into full lock-down unlike some of the other countries in an attempt to protect health and life.
My take towards life is there is always a silver lining, as long as we are willing to look for it.
In the midst of this worldwide situation, we are given an opportunity to rediscover that maybe its very basic things that bring the most joy.
Hence I am just going to focus on the present with a look towards the future, and capture the daily during this close to a month period.
This post will be updated daily as we all prod along this period of time.
All photos will be shot by a Leica M10, Fujifilm X-Pro3, and iPhone, basically whatever camera is available when a moment comes.
The sequence of posts is read “most current on top”.
Day 47 – 25 May 2020 (344 new cases, 4 community cases)
Day 46 – 24 May 2020 (642 new cases, total 31,068 cases as of 23 May 2020)
Coming to the last ten days of the circuit breaker, one point I have to share is having good neighbors can make all the difference in that this creates a community we can look out for each other and provide each other support where needed.
Here’s what I got for the good neighbor for their good home made desserts shared with us over the last few times 🙂
Day 43 & 44 – 21 and 22 May 2020
On the midnight of 21 May, I experienced chest pains that wouldn’t go away and admitted myself to the nearby hospital for a check-up. This ended up in an overnight stay while I was being tested with ECGs, blood tests and the now routine chest X-rays.
The experience again reminded that of the tough jobs that our medical practitioners are doing on a daily basis during the Covid-19 period. Despite all the difficulties, they still push on and they should be only proud of this.
Day 43 – 20 May 2020 (570 new cases, 8 community cases)
Coming to a month and a half since HBL started, it’s been interesting and gratifying to see how their teachers moved from a period of mad scrambling to now more confident and able to produce instructional videos.
As for the girls it’s been great to see them adapt into a routine of learning and now focused on the sessions, till the point where now they attend each other’s sessions together, much to the amusement of their teachers.
Here is Lynn’s trying to figure out the chinese word and strokes from the phrase ‘青蛙是田地的好警察’ from Kei’s lesson.
Day 42 – 19 May 2020 (451 new cases, 1 community case)
A bit of self-indulgence does a bit of good for the soul I guess…
Day 41 – 18 May 2020 (305 new cases, 2 community cases)
Learning goes on, whether at home or not 🙂
It has been often mentioned that access to education is a social leveller and I agree with this idea, and inwardly am concerned about the kids who aren’t as able to access learning resources as some of their more well-off peers.
Day 40 – 17 May 2020 (682 new cases , 5 community cases)
The blue of the clear sky and the fluffiness of a lone cloud soothes the heart and mind.
Day 39 – 16 May 2020 (465 new cases, 4 community case)
When you realise it’s been a while until I have to take out the cameras under storage for to recharge their batteries.
Day 38 – 15 May 2020 (793 new cases, 1 community case)
The new norm where a generation will grow up seeing the face mask as an essential item.
Day 36 and 37 – 13, 14 May 2020 (675 new cases, 4 community cases)
Home-based learning with the 2 kids stuck at home since 7 Apr means that the typical lessons have been shortened or in some unfortunate cases, ceased. Parents & Caregivers now have more time to engage the kids.
We have been trying too, and sometimes I am appreciative that the two siblings can play with each other. From time to time, we add in something new to add to the kid’s learning for example here where the 2 girls were introduced to fossils and also the concept of a timeline, where prehistoric creatures were present and died out before humans appeared.
How about you? Any ideas to share? 🙂
Day 35 – 12 May 2020 (486 new cases. Total: 24671 cases)
Today was the first day of the service where 24 SST student leaders started the e-reading program for Primary 1 beneficiaries, supporting these students with reading skills.
Personally, I am glad that during this period that service-related opportunity can still happen, and it is really more of a manner of recalibrating and trying to work around the restrictions. Of course, this will never replace face to face, but instead of complaining, at least we work at it.
The evening sky from yesterday 🙂
Day 35 – 11 May 2020 (486 new cases, 3 community cases)
Today I was busy writing the 4th photography related review for this period. Actually who would have known that I would have gotten more productive this-wise during this period.
Work wise I have been trying not to touch is since it is now ‘protected time’ for teachers but heck 😅, I have to be busy starting a reading program for younger primary school beneficiaries tomorrow morning.
Anyway, on the weird news side, today Mcdonald’s Singapore re-opened after erm, a closure of close to 2 weeks (approx, I don’t really bother with such stuff), and judging from the snaking queues from the fast-food desperate peeps, I won’t be surprised if Mcdonald’s contribute again to our Covid-19 statistics.
Day 34 – 10 May 2020 (876 new cases, 3 community cases)
On Mother’s Day today during the CB period, celebrations have gone quieter but I am sure the appreciation to mothers is no less strong.
[muhth-er] – noun
1. One person who does the work of twenty. For free, with unlimited revisions to ever-changing needs.
(see also: ‘masochist’, ‘loony’, ‘saint’)
(source from the internet so it must be true)
Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day 😉
Day 33 – 9 May 2020 (753 new cases, 9 community cases)
I believe It’s still some time before we hit a consistent single digit for community cases. Today while testing a new lens, the Viltrox 33mm, I decided to take ‘choco’ for a simple natural light portrait shot. 😆
Day 32 – 8 May 2020 (768 new cases, 10 community cases)
We decided, after a month of really staying at home to wake up at 6am for a quick photowalk around the neighborhood which ensuring social distancing measures are kept to.
Day 31 – 7 May 2020 (741 new cases, 7 community cases. Total: 20,939)
The funny thing about humans is how quickly we can be desensitised to bad information.
dated 7 May 2020 ( https://co.vid19.sg/singapore/ )
Just a few weeks ago, one would have seen social media lighting up with exclamations if cases went above a hundred in a single day – and four days of consecutive >1000 cases daily came by and next thing people are saying so long as its not above a thousand cases daily its pretty all right.
I can start seeing some people now trying their best to leave the house for whatever reasons they can find, and parks starting to fill up again. Just as Ebola has taken advantage of human’s love for each other to spread, I feel Covid-19 has well taken advantage of human’s lack of discipline and selfishness to spread.
Day 30 – 6 May 2020 (788 new cases, 13 community cases. Total: 20,198)
Today I was busy writing another photography related review, the third one for this circuit breaker period, with the prior two being the Fujifilm X100V, the Leica 35mm Summilux FLE and today, the Paper Shoot camera that I feel is more suitable for kids starting photography.
Day 29 – 5 May 2020 (632 new cases, total cases now: 19,410)
Today’s the first day of the supposed ‘protected time’ for educators in Singapore due to the shifting forward of the June holidays to now May 5 to June 1 however I don’t feel there’s much respite due to the many non-stop expectations of work/projects to be done over the break.
Even after so many years at work, I have barely learned to really step in and say stop when it is timely.
A few shots were done while staring out of the window pondering and thinking… about I guess, stuff. The expanse of the sky in its blueness and possibilities always serves to give me a sense of calm.
F15E Strike Eagle (SG)
Day 28 – 4 May 2020 (573 new cases – 5 in community)
Here are the 3 ladies of the household during this stay-at-home circuit breaker period. It’s not been easy keeping the 2 girls in at home for a full month plus having do work from home but somehow we managed, especially with the immense help from my domestic helper.
The number of infections among the dormitory workers has not really improved to a point where anyone is comfortable and so it is not the end yet. It’s not been easy, but we try our best, bit by bit, day by day. 🙂
All the best.
Day 27 – 3 May 2020 (657 new cases – 13 in community)
Sometimes when you want time alone from the others in the family, you realize the soft toy doggie is a pretty good friend.
Day 26 – 2 May 2020 (447 new cases – 6 in community)
Had a cheque that was expiring soon and so, after close to a month of not leaving beyond the house’s vicinity, I decided to go to the nearby town center to deposit it and chanced on a kitchen paper and toilet paper fair, which to my amazement – really?
and yes, finally after close to a month, I finally had my tuk-tuk-cha coffee! 🥰
Day 25 – 1 May 2020 (932 new cases – 11 in community)
Desserts make us happier people, and here’s my favorite yam paste (minus the ginkgo nuts though as we didn’t have currently available)
And today is a public holiday in Singapore, Labour Day, giving us a little respite from the endless dues from working from home. If I don’t remember wrongly, this makes the second public holiday during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period.
And here’s to encourage all of us a bit, we have finally hit the halfway point for the circuit breaker period.
Day 24 – 30 April 2020 (528 new cases – 9 in community)
After 4 weeks of staying at home, the girl’s schools decided to up their game and started doing lessons on Zoom today. As expected of a 4 and 6-year-old, there was kinda quite a bit of chaos but then hey, kudos to the teachers for trying and I am sure they will definitely also level up their teaching repertoire as a result too.
Day 23 – 29 April 2020 (690 new cases – 11 in community)
Just being reflective, I guess staying at home for weeks does have this unintended effect.
Seeing them grow up, there are moments where I notice that the kids are wiser than what we believe they are, and this is pretty much a humbling thought.
And I guess this also applies to life where sometimes we assume we know so much and are in control when the fact is we may know very little and control little.
And the part where I am understanding better now the feeling of ‘bittersweet’ for as they mature, it also reminds me that age is catching up.
Day 22 – 28 April 2020 (528 new cases – 10 in community)
When life can be lacking in cheer, we find our own cheer!
Don’t worry, no boxes or kids were harmed in the process.
Day 21 – 27 April 2020 (799 new cases – 18 in community)
Good Monday morning!
On this day that we are rewarded with a beautiful burn in the morning sky, let’s continue to do our level best!
Day 20 – 26 April 2020 (931 new cases – 18 in community)
Taking a break from the daily moment recordings during the lockdown and letting her do the job instead.
And weirdly, today she decides to only shoot with the EVF instead of the LCD and yes, decides to hold it over the wrong eye too, arguing that its more stable this way. 😒
here’s to a great weekend, everyone.
Day 19 – 25 April 2020
A Saturday full of alternates between rain and sun, a good strategy by nature to keep everyone in haha.
That’s Kei drawing the most ‘scary’ monster she can imagine.
Pretty good activity anyone can do with a nice follow-up on why too 😆
Day 18 – 24 April 2020
Getting a bit of Sun.
Prior to this short 15 mins outside, the young lady had been at home for 11 days and I really wanted her to get some sun.
It’s an indescribable feeling seeing how the 4-year-old got so excited with this slice of outdoors but unfortunately on the following day of this ride, an announcement was made with an extension of stay-at-home measures until 2 Jun with even stricter rules, and of course, a disturbing uptick in vigilantism.
Let’s do our best and take care, everyone.
Day 17 – 23 April 2020
Staying at home doesn’t mean that we stop making the best of the situation. Here’s junior with her ‘City of Tents’ as she says it.
*I had thought she wanted to do some reading when she took out the books but alas, that was not meant to be.
Day 16 – 22 April 2020
Today’s the first day after the announcement of the extension, and the fact is no matter how we feel, my take is it is very important to make sense of time and find meaning during this period.
This means, at times when we feel overwhelmed, to take a deep breath, and appreciate what we have. Focus on the larger pic and remember that all of us, in our little ways – are working our best to ensure life goes normal as far as possible during this period.
Day 15 – 21 April 2020 – Part II
The circuit-breaker period was extended to 1 June today from the 4th of May with quite a few more services shut down. And with this announcement, the school terms were also mixed and mashed up.
We will clear this together.
Day 15 – 21 April 2020
About the plethora of work that seems to come non-stop for a teacher.
It’s good to see that the kids’ are able to hold focus on a task longer now too.
On this 9th day of HBL, I reminded myself that there’s little use getting dragged across or feeling lousy over the endless stream of incoming work.
Quoting a retired senior: “Keith, everyone will think his or her work is the most important and urgent. The key for us is being able to decipher which are the tasks that are truly critical and important.”
Day 14 – 20 April 2020
Home-based learning during the circuit breaker – a word that strikes fear in some and a word which some people gravitate to.
For me, after close to two weeks of doing home-based lesson with my students on a daily basis (we use Google Meet daily) as a teacher and at home handling two girls as a parent, I guess amongst all the anxiety and worry – one most important thing is to remain calm and keep a perspective of no matter what, we will have up-skilled in a way or other after this stay-at-home period.
And in this sense, what brings a smile to my face despite all the difficulties is that the senior at her age is now a mentor to the junior, taking pride in doing so.
Day 13 – 19 April 2020
Hitting the mid-point of the circuit-breaker period soon and according to official media, we are getting better coming to containment efforts but still not very far from the woods. Link here.
I thought of summing my thoughts so far in a more positive light by sharing the 5 things I appreciate.
One: Having more time with family & being more in charge of the kids’ learning. I am sure after this period, parents will be more appreciative of what teachers do on a daily basis.
Two: Being able to grab more sleep, I am still up by 630am daily but with a one-direction to work journey taking 1 1/4 hours, I am literally saving at least 2 hours of travel time daily, and that’s a lot of time to do stuff.
Three: Home-based Learning has been a mixed bag but mostly positive, even for a school that prides itself on technology usage. I appreciate that most of my colleagues and the students try their best and genuinely wish to learn, the one thing that doesn’t really help though is sometimes the too-much too-fast additions/instructions from the higher-ups.
Four: I appreciate that my closed ones have been socially responsible and kept themselves in good health, I am proud that most of my social circle understand the responsibilities and that sometimes it is not just about one’s wants/feelings and more of, every single person’s act adds to a larger whole.
Five: I am not an extrovert, but not a full introvert, but more of an ambivert, and while I miss the days where I rush from point to point to meet like-minded people, I do appreciate the time at home now for me to catch up on the other aspects of life.
Day 12 – 18 April 2020
I think it is only right to share here that humans no matter what character type we are, can need a bit of comforting at times too.
If you can afford to, and know someone in need of comfort, a simple chat may do more than what you can ever expect.
Day 11 – 17 April 2020
16 more days to go in this Singaporean version of lockdown. Let’s all do our part.
I do miss getting together with friends, especially all the weekday afternoon sessions with like-minded pple.
I appreciate the time with the family Now I really see them 24/7 (omg)
Work has easily and happily morphed itself across the waking hours, that’s something I have to prob work on carving the day into different segments.
Day 10 – 16 April 2020
Try as we may, there are some basic services we have to manage, and this is one of them. (my maid is really multi-talented)
Day 09 – 15 Apr 2020
The kids are for sure adapting to the stay-at-home period better than adults. 😆
However, for junior, today is her 9th day staying at home.
And with internet connectivity down for a few hours today, I think I gotta go prep some more resources for my students if even the Google meet sessions for home based learning cannot work as planned.
Day 08 – 14 Apr 2020
Fun is always just around the corner, if we bother to look for it.
It can be stifling having to work, and yet at the same time manage the household – and for someone like me who loves the outdoors, I totally understand the emotional pain.
However, the number of deaths and infected of Covid-19 in Singapore has not abated, with each day progressively setting records over the last and it is now really really important not just for others but for one’s own family to minimise out-going unless it is for the essentials.
And if one has to leave the house, please do wear a mask too. Protecting ourselves in a way is one way to be kind to our family too.
Day 07 – 13 April 2020
Monday heralds the beginning of a new week – let us learn to be appreciative of what we may have taken for granted before Covid-19 came.
For example in the past, a fallen street sign would have been fixed within the day itself but now we have to be more understanding it’s just not the same anymore.
Here’s to a sane and meaningful week ahead!
Day 06 – 12 April 2020
It’s feeling a bit stuffy stuck at home.
The wife saw me with this set-up today and asked am I going out to do birding and I said no, I am just gonna shoot from my house window and hope no neighbors living opposite think I am trying to photograph them. 😆
Stay healthy and safe everyone. Don’t be the one to short-circuit the circuit breaker as one caught attempt is now $300.
Being the first Sunday of Singapore’s circuit breaker period, the wife decided to attempt the kitchen too. I guess there’s never all bad and always a silver lining in all things 😉
Day 05 – 11 April 2020
Inspired from a friend’s photo, we decided to have junior understand the hard work behind earning a living. 😆
And meanwhile, this week Singapore has seen record numbers of infections, with each following day easily outpacing the previous however outside today, there are still many socially irresponsible people moving in whole families in the malls or even cyclist groups on the roads even though many are trying their best to stay at home.
If these ‘covidiots‘ don’t understand the meaning of having to stay at home and only leaving in needed numbers for essential reasons, I fear we will have a real lock-down very soon.
Day 04 – 10 Apr 2020
For the parents with young kids battling high blood pressure lol.
To the many frustrated parents out there, it is not easy taking over the teacher’s job but as important as it is to not lose your temper, it is also important for your lovely kid to learn because of the pride to want to achieve and the fun in the process, not because of the fear of failing.
Jia u. 😉
Day 03 – 09 Apr 2020
Covid-19 (Temp Measures) (Control order) Act has been passed and in force immediately.
And yes, all community services and facilities are out of bounds. Plus human movement will be much more restricted to essentials.
Day 03 – 09 Apr 2020 Part II
With the maid’s guidance today, the 2 girls made a volcano.
Yeap, it was messy but I rather have a mess and laughing kids over the alternative.
Day 02 – 8 Apr 2020
The setup for lessons (my profession is a Secondary school teacher) for my students learning from home today onwards. The iPad is useful as it allows me to write and explain in real time the solving of equations)
Yes, i did pray for #WifiPlsDonDie
Simple day, simple joys. Without the social interaction in pre-school they are so used to I am glad they have each other for social and emotional support.
Day 01 – 7 Apr 2020
The COVID-19 Circuit-breaker period starts today – with all non-essential services stopped and everyone on non-official business reminded to stay at home.
Enjoying the serenity – who says being alone is necessarily bad?