Personal Finance

Post-Circuit Breaker Life: 3 Dangerous Mistakes To Avoid

After nearly two months, the Circuit Breaker imposed on 7 Apr 2020 has ended. For many Singaporeans, life remains largely the same during Phase One (of a three-phased approach) of reopening the country–meaning it’s not time to let our guard down yet. Here are 3 dangerous mistakes you need to avoid in the first few steps toward a "new normal."

Shopping malls have been shuttered. Fitness studios closed. 2 June 2020 marked the official end of a nearly 8-week long Circuit Breaker, and many Singaporeans are eager to come out of isolation and take those first steps back into the world as we knew it. It’s still too early for celebrations, though. June 2 only marks the start of a three-phase gradual resumption of activities–a reminder that the coronavirus is no less contagious or deadly than when Singaporeans started self-isolating. To prevent a resurgence–and protect your own wellbeing–here are 3 dangerous mistakes you need to avoid.

Not Wearing & Removing Your Mask Correctly

Just because you’re masked up doesn’t mean that you’re fully protected against the virus. Masks can foster a false sense of security. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re invulnerable because you’ve got a mask on–and cutting corners on the other precautions that could be even more effective at slowing the virus’ spread. To increase the effectiveness of wearing a mask, avoid pulling your mask under your nose–or worse, completely off your face to rest under your chin. The former may still protect others if you are coughing or sneezing but it will not protect you if someone nearby is infected. As for the latter, not only are you exposing yourself, but you’re also endangering others around you.

It's important to wear your mask correctly to maximise its effectiveness

Also, make sure you wear a well-fitted mask–gaps on the side significantly cut down on a mask’s effectiveness. Most importantly, avoid fidgeting with your mask. Touching your mask with contaminated hands can move the bacteria or virus directly into the breathable area, thus increasing chances of infection. This tip also applies to when you’re taking off the mask; wash your hands before you remove it.

Not Eating Right & Staying Physically Active

After such prolonged periods of isolation, what with our normal social activities thrown off the radar, it can get difficult to stay rational–and that means you might have let yourself go when it comes to eating right and staying physically active. Nonetheless, your first line of defence against the coronavirus is to choose a healthy lifestyle that boosts your immune system.

Table on costs of food delivery services in Singapore

Scientists have long recognized that those who are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. As a result, you want to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you're unable to cook for yourself, order-in; there are plenty of healthy meal delivery options available. Also, because recent research suggests that regular exercise bolsters our immune systems, you should strive to stay active. If you lack the motivation to work out by yourself, make use of the live workout classes (both free and paid) made available by local gyms and studios.

Table of virtual gym classes in Singapore

Not Self-Quarantining If You Suspect You’ve Been Exposed

Even if you’re doing everything right, you may still find yourself in a situation where you’re concerned you’ve been exposed to the virus. Based on what’s currently known, it can take anywhere from 2 to 14 days for COVID-19 symptoms to appear, and you may be able to spread the virus in this pre-symptomatic period. As a result, make sure you impose a self-quarantine to prevent potential transmission. Don’t report to work (even if you’re an essential worker). Separate yourself from people and pets you share your home with, and most importantly, monitor your symptoms.

Remember, This Isn’t Forever

This is going to be a tough period, and with the end date of Phase One still unclear, it can definitely feel depressing. Nonetheless, remind yourself that this is only temporary. If we all play our parts and avoid mentioned mistakes, we’ll soon be able to move on to Phase Two, where more activities will resume and social gatherings of up to 5 individuals are allowed.