How are expats in Singapore coping with the coronavirus crisis?

Published:  25 Feb at 6 PM
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Tagged: China, India, Euro
Is the coronavirus epidemic wrecking Singapore’s record on safety?

One of the major plus-points of Singapore as an expatriate professional destination is its long record of overall safety. Due to its geographic location, the risks of natural disasters are very low, as tsunamis and tropical cyclones seem to avoid the city state and volcanic eruptions aren’t close enough to cause anything more than ash clouds. Another positivity for expat residents on the island is the openness which allows the harmonious multicultural existence of its Eurasian, Malay, Indian and Chinese populations and welcomes newcomers from all over the world.

The majority of Singaporeans remember the SARS outbreak in 2003 as the trauma it caused still lingers, making the present-day threat of the coronavirus especially challenging for residents used to the city state’s reputation for safety. At present, everything seems to be continuing as normal, with low-level anxiety the only indication things are not as they should be. Singapore’s supermarkets are still busy and show no shortages on their shelves, with panic buying not yet evident. Many locals are now shopping online, with delivery slots becoming rarer as a result, and not holding the railings of escalators is possibly more of a safety risk than the virus itself.

Most expats seem to be out and about as normal, walking as well as using public transport, although the use of antibacterial wipes has soared. To date, the city state has 90 confirmed cases of the virus, but doesn’t seems to have allowed fear to take over its almost unique pride in its safety and security both for expats and the local population. Long-stay expats are hoping the extremely capable government won’t allow the state’s balance of resilience and commitment to openness to be disturbed by the present crisis.
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