This is the story of two young men, one named Bill and the other named Bob. Any resemblance to actual persons is purely coincidental.
One day, Bill felt unwell. A week ago, his friend had WhatsApp him saying, “Bro, I got COVID sia.” Bill is worried — “What if I have COVID too?”
Bill goes to the GP near his home to get himself tested. Shortly after, Bill receives a notification from MOH — “You have tested positive for COVID-19”.
Bill sees his life flash before his eyes. Bill imagines what he would look like in a casket. Bill also wonders what his family would say at his funeral. Bill realises he can no longer eat his fill of seaweed shaker fries until McDonald phases them out again.
Bill breaks out into a sweat. It might be COVID-19 or panic. (It was panic.) Bill gets himself to the nearest hospital in record time, with a speed that can only be rivalled by the Road Runner. As he entered the A&E, Bill could not believe his eyes. Rows and rows of people just like him. They seemed well enough, Bill thought.
Bill tries to get the attention of every doctor and nurse that passes him by. Bill gets increasingly annoyed — they keep running off to tend to the elderly patients and asking for his patience.
Bill feels the dread sinking in — that he was going to die in this very waiting room.
Though, it does feel like he just has the flu….
Folks, don’t be like Bill.
In a parallel universe, lived Bob. Bob was notified by MOH that he tested positive for COVID. He decided to stay at home.
Bob took this as a sign that he should really figure out what the Squid Game hype was about. Oh, and also to recover from the COVID-19 thing.
In the middle of his Netflix marathon, Bob receives a call from his telemedicine provider. The person on the line tells Bob the steps he can take to ensure his speedy recovery and arranges for medicine to be delivered to Bob’s home. Bob faithfully abides by the instructions given.
Bob orders seaweed shaker fries via contactless delivery — insofar as it does not worsen his symptoms — takes his medication and rests. Bob feels better with every passing day.
Bob is vaccinated, so he gets discharged 10 days later. The alert on Bob’s TraceTogether app is removed. Bob returns to normal life.
Be like Bob.
The emergence of the Delta variant changed the game and changed our situation. Its highly infectious nature means that most of us will likely come face-to-face with COVID. The Zero COVID strategy worked for us in the past but not with Delta. The only way we can move forward is to live with it.
We cannot be in lockdown indefinitely, living in limbo. Seeing businesses suffering, friends and family losing their jobs, children deprived of a proper childhood and education — enough
Addressing the nation on 9 October 2021 giving an update of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and the path forward to endemicity, PM Lee said that we need to update our mindset. We have to respect COVID-19 but at the same time, we need not be paralysed by fear of the disease. With vaccination, COVID-19 has become a treatable, mild disease for most of us.
So let us be brave in the face of adversity. We will go about our day-to-day activities. We will protect ourselves and our loved ones by taking the necessary precautions like washing our
hands regularly and complying with the SMMs.
If and when we get COVID, we will rest assured knowing that we are vaccinated. 98% of people who catch COVID-19 can recover by ourselves at home, just as we would if we had the flu.
Stay home, and get all the rest we need to recover. If things turn for the worse, we will not worry. Telemedicine providers are just a call away.
Don’t turn up at the A&E if your symptoms are mild. The threat of COVID-19 is now mainly to seniors: 60 and above if you are not vaccinated, or 80 and above even if you are vaccinated.
Let’s not take away precious time, attention, and resources away from those who are more vulnerable to the effects of COVID and who need more care than us.
The government will do all it can to boost our healthcare capacity and support our healthcare heroes in their fight. But in the meantime, let us do our part to not burden them, ride this wave together, keeping a watch for each other, our seniors in particular, and come out on the other side safely together, minimising the casualties.