It is Day 61 of Phase 2 since Singapore went into a safe transition. How have you been?

Phase 2 is where we are able to dine in at restaurants, cafes and hawker centres.

ikea dining

Check out the long-awaited meatballs from IKEA that I managed to feast with my friends.

Retail shops were also allowed to resume operations with capacity limit at larger venues. You can visit beauty salon to groom your nails, massage your ache away and soak yourself in spas to relax after the Circuit Breaker period.

crowds at shopping mall

Crowd forming to enter into the shopping mall.

Sports facilities and swimming pools can be opened. Users have to abide to the safety and hygiene requirements in place. Likewise, facilities in condominiums and Country Clubs are allowed to resume their operations.

Can you hear the trainer screaming “ONE MORE REP” at you? Yes, gyms are opened too!

Hotel staycation is finally here for those who are deprived of travelling to boost the local tourism sector. #singapolidays

Source: My friend’s staycation at PARKROYAL on Beach Road

Have you done any of it? If you did, that is great for you! Finally, it is a breather after enduring the Circuit Breaker and Phase 1. As for me, I did 3 different things which I never thought I would do in 2020. I mean, who will expect COVID-19 to be sticking around for the longest time and raging wars with the human race at its best attack! Below are the 3 different things that I did in Phase 2:

 

#1: Night time, me-time

You must be wondering that Circuit Breaker and Phase 1 had us having a lot of me-time and why I am still doing “me-time”?

At that moment, all I ever wanted is a time on my own. Being stuck at home does not give me more personal space. Sadly, it started drizzling just before I reached the park with my dinner.  It was my first time doing me-time at night. Years ago, I was always prompted to have night time me-time but that did not happen because night time was meant to be a couch potato for me.

Thankfully, it was a passing drizzle and I managed to find a clean bench before seeing an empty pavilion.

kfc dinner time night time me time

With my favourite set of KFC meal

There were still many couples running in the rain and the only bistro in the park had a long queue. I brought a book to complete my me-time and a laptop to note my learning points. I was devastated to discover that I had a few patches of sandflies bites the next day.

bedok reservior

The 2 hours brought me peace and understanding of myself – that I should not let negative circumstances overwhelm me but outgrow it.

 

#2: Volunteer

Volunteer work has always been on my heart just that my other commitments do not allow the extra time. Since COVID-19 hit and changed the norms, I managed to volunteer with SGAssist and Kampung Kakis in an ad-hoc way.

SG Assist is a digital platform that connects volunteers and people who are looking for help in real-time through mobile app. Using this app as a volunteer, I have assisted others such as helping an elderly who needed a wheelchair to the polling station during the General Election, helping to buy dinner for a lady with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 and helping a charity organisation with their inventory of dry groceries so that the food can be distributed to their beneficiaries.

sg assist volunteer work

Without the wheelchair, the elderly will not be able to cast her vote due to her mobility issue. I am a strong believer that no one should be deprived of anything that could be assisted for. Moreover, this is for election. Hence, I went on a hunt for a wheelchair and managed to get one from Kampungkakis’ volunteer (Ms Azlina, the lady on the left on the below photo) who borrowed a wheelchair from her neighbour to lend it to me. This is, to me, the kampung spirit! We co-operate together to benefit the residents in the community regardless of race and religion. Though we may live in different constituencies due to the allocation boundaries, the inconvenience does not deter me from helping those who are in need. These volunteering experiences with SGAssist reminded me that during this period, there are many people in need around me, not just selected groups of people under the selected organisations.

Kampungkakis is a platform that matches kakis-in-need and kakis within the same community to help each other, especially to support the elderly, low-income families and vulnerable residents during this COVID-19 pandemic. With similar features as SGAssist, the only difference is that as a volunteer with Kampungkakis, you will be matched with one kaki-in-need to see them through. Whereas, SGAssist is rather ad-hoc where you assist one case and move onto another case. Of course, you are welcome to continue to help the same case on your own accord too.

Though I have yet to meet my matched kaki-in-need due to clashing schedule, I was able to help to distribute kampungkakis’ flyers with Ms Azlina and her daughter in a block to reach out to the residents about this initiative so that they can help others or receive help by others.

kampung kakis volunteer work

I enjoyed giving out Kampungkakis flyers with this amazing pair of mother and daughter who also founded a ground-up initiative called SmilesSalamSg. SmilesSalamSg aims to bring smiles to faces with whatever they do, be it volunteer work, acts of kindness or even just giving strangers a smile, locally and globally.

 

#3: Meet-up

Yes, meeting up with others are typical activities during Phase 2 but what makes it so different for me is that I decided to meet up with people whom I have not met for years.

It wasn’t too difficult for me to choose to visit one of my relatives that had brought joy to my mum during the Circuit Breaker. I remember my mum was not someone who likes to chat over the phone but this persistent sibling of her called her daily to interact with her. Why? Her children felt that she should be engaged and my mum is their best choice since both are able to communicate well. It was through their daily conversations which triggered my thought of visiting this relative whom I have never met for probably more than a decade.

visiting relativesVisiting the elder with my mum (PDPA, hence I censored their faces)

We will never be able to go back to the past where we can travel freely in any capacity, be it locally or globally. We shall not dwell in the past and yearn for the current situation to go back to the past. What we are going through right now will result in perseverance, character and hope. Hope gives us strength to carry on even in this unprecedented time. Let’s continue to not stop trying to do new things, pushing your boundaries and at the same time, stand in solidarity as one nation to overcome this pandemic together.  YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE!

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