A letter to a friend in the UK about #COVID19

Catherine and I are stuck, so to speak, in Singapore. Here everything is fine.
The government learned much from the SARS epidemic so it was early and proactive in its response the COVID19. Communications have been frank and information about the outbreak widely and transparently disseminated. There were a couple of days of toilet paper and tissue panic, along with a run on staples, several weeks ago. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and the supermarket chains, were quick to reassure the public that there were no shortages. The drama quickly subsided.
Last week, when Malaysia closed borders there was a day of uncertainty about fresh vegetable deliveries, but we soon learned that deliveries wouldn’t be affected.
All in all, this must be one of the safest places in the world right now. Total COVID19 cases in Singapore as of 22 March is 455, four were discharged on Sunday a total of 144 have now been discharged with 309 remaining in hospital. Most in hospital are stable or improving with 14 in ICU.
Borders are closed for all but  returning citizens and residents
Anyone entering the country must comply with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) to limit spread of virus.
There was a case in the complex where I live. But there are five building comprising 800 apartments. The person concerned was on a 14 days home quarantine when they converted to positive. People in that situation carry an app on their phone that enables authorities to track their movements, lest they attempt to breach the 14 day SHN.
I’m more concerned about my friends in Australia and the UK where governments were a little slow to heed the clear warnings from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The UK Prime Minister’s suggestion that one approach might be to allow the disease to pass through the community so that a herd immunity was developed, was –  ill informed/incautious/idiotic – select the appropriate adjective.
The WHO were saying strike against the virus hard and early along with the mantra “Test, Test,Test”.
So here we are.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak from the WHO is an important read at this point.



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