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4th May 2020: Resumption of Business and Social Distancing

Never could anyone have imagined the devastating impact of coronavirus. President Donald Trump of the United States of America described the coronavirus an ‘invisible enemy’. This can never be more candid! The Prime Minister Lee of Singapore said the virus is invisible but not formidable. This can never be more right.

This invisible enemy is named ‘Covid-19’ or ‘2019 N-cov’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 February 2020. WHO has on 12 March 2020 classified the spread of coronavirus in multiple countries as a pandemic.

When it all started in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019, most of us thought that it was a happening on a distant shore. How would it ever get near to my land? Yet the stark reality today is that it has spread like wildfire. It has infected more than 3 million lives and taken away more than 200,000 lives worldwide. Indeed, it is hard to digest this kind of fact and statistics, to be honest.

The aftermath of such ravage is that social distancing would be the order of the day, simply because covid-19 is spread through droplets. We, humans, release about 3,000 respiratory droplets in a single cough at a speed of up to 80km per hour.(source:https://www.livescience.com/3686-gross-science-cough-sneeze.html). In the same article, the Live Science further reveals the following:

"Sneezing is even worse. It starts at the back of the throat and produces even more droplets — as many as 40,000 — some of which rocket out at speeds greater than 200 miles (321km) per hour. The vast majority of the droplets are less than 100 microns across — the width of a human hair. Many of them are so tiny that they cannot be seen with the naked eye."

It is for this reason that we must practise social distancing from now on. Just in case the people that we are in contact with carry covid-19 and we would potentially get in contact with the droplets if we stay near the infected ones.

Some of the guidelines for Social Distancing are:

1. We should stay at least 1 meter apart from each other.

2. We should avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing one another’s cheeks (as this is a customary practice in some countries and for some cultures).

3. We should try not to sit directly opposite of each other.

4. We should avoid crowded places.

At our return to work on 4th May 2020 (for some workers) with the approval of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, social distancing is the order of the day. Our work desks are spaced out. Our meetings should be held virtually if possible. We see hand sanitisers here and there and so we are advised to wash our hands frequently, for as long as a Happy Birthday song lasts. We are asked to take staggered lunch breaks, and at canteen, we should queue with 1 meter of distance apart to buy/order food. The list, of course, would not end here, as revisions and enhancements are always required to improve the measures against the invisible yet not formidable virus.

Let us usher into the New Norm with greater expectation of what a better tomorrow would bring after this fight! Let us believe that we are in this together and so the strength is definitely more than a 3-fold cord. We will certainly emerge stronger and more united as a team, a company, and a nation.