Due to the latest pandemic to hit us, COVID-19, we might have the onset of the greatest economic crisis on our hands. The novel coronavirus is the second pandemic in the 21st century to cause a death toll of over 100,000.
Key Points About Novel Coronavirus So Far
- It’s asymptomatic. This means carriers might not display symptoms necessary to be diagnosed as an infected person.
- The symptoms are gradual. The incubation period of the virus can take anywhere from 1 to 14 days to show.
- The virus is capable of spreading to another person if you’re a carrier, even if you show no symptoms of having it.
- There are records showing that the source of infection can’t be traced, with no relation to overseas travelling, clusters and/or contact with COVID-19 patients.
- COVID-19 can linger on surfaces for up to 3 days. The coronavirus can be airborne as fine droplets in a 4m radius around the infected person.
What does this all mean? Well, in layman’s terms, it means just one thing:
Stay. At. Home.
With the latest circuit breaker measures implemented, in which only Internet communication and video calls are the only acceptable forms of socialising – a husk of the intimate connections we took for granted – how do we survive in isolation?
Here’s 10 creative ways to stay at home and make sense of our time before we become rusty skeletons.
10 Ways to Survive COVID-19 and Circuit Breaker at Home
Get Your Food Delivered
Home, of course! You can only order takeout or ‘tabao’ your food back home. All eateries and outlets are no longer permitted to provide services to customers dining in. This prohibition spans coffee shops, food courts, hawker centres, and even beverage and dessert stores.
Fret not! The F&B industry isn’t out of business yet. As more restaurants and F&B outlets take their services to the digital stage, we recommend food delivery apps like GrabFood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda to get your food brought to your very doorstep.
These are mobile-responsive apps that let you take control of your life right from the comfort of your phone. And it’s not just for food! We list some more down below, because they’re more important than ever now to use and safeguard ourselves from unnecessary exposure.
Follow Home-Based Learning Instructions from School
Let’s start with the bad news. End-of-year national examinations such as PSLE, ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels will proceed as usual. There is no room to lag behind. The economy is struggling and it’s precisely a shortage of manpower Singapore can’t afford.
The good news is – online lessons will substitute some lessons held in the classroom. The schools your kids are in should have notified you of a home-based learning system. This may last until early May. What this means is your kids will attend classes through an online web portal, similar to the format online courses provide.
While schools aren’t fully closed at this moment, the chances of the COVID-19 situation deteriorating exists; students, parents and teachers will need to learn how to transition into a new digital realm of education. Maybe we can all learn something from this when we come out with our heads held high in survival mode.
We call digital systems like this Learning Management Systems, or LMS for short. Schools, educational institutions, tutors and supplementary class teachers will need to integrate best LMS software and bandwidth capacities to pilot this change and support the sheer thousands of students who will be attending the online classes.
Go On Virtual Tours
Why can’t you just confine your kids in their rooms? We jest, we know how tough it is to take care of your kids 24/7 and sometimes, just sometimes, school lightens up the load for a little bit so you can take a breather.
For obvious reasons, you wouldn’t want to risk exposing your family and the young ones to the deadly novel coronavirus rampaging outside. All recreational attractions and exhibits are closed anyway, such as Night Safari, the Singapore Zoo and the Science Centre.
There are many digital and online avenues for you and your family to explore. For starters, you can follow their social media and catch amazing scenery and sights as if you were there.
Science Centre Singapore
- Official Website and another independent Website by their writers
Wildlife Reserves Singapore
There are also many global attractions hosting virtual tours online that you can immerse yourself in at home. Take a walk without lifting a foot at some of these extraordinary places!
- Live footage of otters, penguins among other awesome marine creatures: Vancouver Aquarium, National Aquarium
- Explore passages, ancient relics, artefacts, and the grand beauty of Roman Catholic architecture in full 360-degree mode: Vatican Museum
A lot about the virus is still shrouded in too much mystery for comfort. A pattern in the news is people who have weaker immune systems are often likelier victims of the virus, especially the elderly. So we definitely encourage you to also do this for your parents or grandparents if they’re feeling too cooped up at home!
Meet Colleagues And Clients Online
To a reasonable extent, your company is required by law to allow you and your colleagues to work from home (WFH). A ‘reasonable extent’ just refers to giving you the leeway to do anything at home that you can easily do in the workplace. The following examples are based on what Dream Fox is doing currently.
For businesses transiting to eCommerce, let us help you right away here. If you’re more interested in digital branding online, we specialise in web design, including SEO, live chats, copywriting and more.
Now, if you need to communicate with your colleagues, bosses and clients regularly, emailing someone about every single thing takes too much time. So for us, we lean towards collaboration software, free to use!
Zoom, for instance, gives us the liberty to talk to multiple parties as well as have video conferences, while practising social distancing and telecommuting. Most computers now have in-built webcams and microphones, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
On Zoom, we can share screens so everyone sees the same monitor, limit roles and even do annotations on the video in real time! Thank us later because lower in the list, we’ll show you how to use it for group games and activities. If you’re worried about the latest security threats surrounding Zoom, you can find other alternatives.
If you need to meet clients and close certain sales deals, an added advantage is using our Digital Name Cards. A Digital Name Card is simply an online card dedicated to your professional profile and portfolio on one webpage, succinctly designed to get leads.
Our Digital Name Cards are designed to contain your name, your contact details, your services, and even milestones and testimonies! This sells your brand and business for you at a glance without you needing to introduce yourself too much! The name cards can easily be sent to multiple people on social chatting platforms.
Asana and G Suite are project management software. Asana, in particular, lets you view your tasks by boards, lists, timelines and other methods of visualisation. It lets you create sub-tasks, assign people to them, make comments on specific tasks, and archive projects when they’re done. It’s basically your virtual project supervisor!
Buy Your Groceries From Online Stores
Without groceries and supplies, you can’t run a household right? That’s why there are tons of trusted online supermarkets you can shop from in Singapore. Let’s take a look at some of them.
eCommerce has come a such long way that established and global retail outlets such as IKEA, Takashimaya and Uniqlo all continue to do business online for their customers. All you have to do is go to their stores, browse their products as you would in a physical shop, add to cart and order it.
This is also great because on online stores, the features of an eCommerce website allows web administrators to control their stocks and what goes out. So instead of queuing up in a long line and risking exposure or worrying about people hoarding food, everyone gets a controlled portion which is more than sufficient to get by.
Not sure how to order online? Stay tuned to our simple tutorial of how to place online orders on an eCommerce store! We use the most common supermarkets as examples so you can share them with your parents and the elderly for easy usage.
If you own a business and you feel that you can benefit from having an eCommerce website, see our solutions for you here.
Hold Virtual Worship And Prayer Services
We respect all religions and faiths, but we can’t stress enough how easily clusters form around large gatherings, especially in regular masses of crowds which can trigger a chain of infections. There have been many clusters already linked to churches. As a results, places of worship will not be available.
Instead, what many churches and religious institutions are doing is conducting live streams of performances and worship online. Recording is done without an audience. Many groups of worshippers who usually gather together every week have also taken to Zoom and other online conferencing technology to conduct virtual services.
Who says you can’t watch TV and be religious at the same time? These live videos can easily be found and conducted on social media and on YouTube if you have the Internet and the proper technology. It’s truly admirable that churches have also been responsive to the COVID-19 situation in light of the clusters.
Adopt Home Workouts You Can Access Online
Unfortunately, even if you were to go to the gym, you wouldn’t be able to. They will mostly be off-limits and will not entertain visitors. Considering that COVID-19 spreads through droplets, all sports centres, gyms and pools would be highly contagious places with concentrated droplets of sweat and body fluids being flung around.
In my personal experience and research, I have found home workouts to be great (and in some cases better) substitutes for going to the gym or to the park for a run. They target the same muscle groups and are probably even more exhausting than using weights, because of how much they focus on whole body workouts.
All you need is your own bodyweight, 3 by 3 metres of space, a few curated YouTube videos or exercise programmes you can download online, and you’ll be raring to go. No weights needed, mostly!
Here’s a little preview of my own curated videos and home workout regimen over the course of a week to replace my gym visits. You can alternate between different videos if you get bored of one. Try it if you can keep up! Because I can’t… yet.
Day 1: Arms & Chest
Day 2: Legs and Back
Day 3: Shoulders and Triceps
Day 4: Cardio
Get e-Books and Audio Books
Not having enough to read is a fair concern. And since even bookstores and public libraries will be closed, it’s natural to be bored out of your mind without a world to escape into or a little self-help manual to enrich your soul.
Speaking as an avid bookworm myself, there’s one thing we can be assured of. Singapore will keep its national library app and website completely functional so us nerds can continue to absorb ourselves in e-books and audio books! You can find these reads at NLB OverDrive or NLB’s eReads.
If you’re keen on exploring e-books from overseas, many libraries and publishers worldwide have opened up their digital archives where mountains of e-books, multimedia content and literature reside. The New York Public Library, Penguin Random House, and Oxford Owl for kids are just a few you can find online.
There are other sources online that offer free books in the form of PDFs too.
You can also check out a personal favourite platform of mine – Wattpad, which is a place for writers by writers. While the content is mostly created by amateur writers, many of them have brilliant works in all genres and sizes. There are even awards hosted which can bring your works great popularity and repute.
Alternatively, if you want to give your eyes a break, you can tune in to audio books. Apps such as Audible house a great collection of timeless classics and novel masterpieces. Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry is on there too!
Don’t forget to check the bottom of the list if you’re looking for a digital way to share your literary insights and takeaways with your friends.
Have Fun At Home With Games, TV and Online Performances
Telecommunications companies will still be in full operation. Internet and mobile functions will not cease, so you can watch television, play Candy Crush, Animal Crossing, and surf the endless sea of internet multimedia anytime.
There are countless games you can download on your mobile and computer. How about revisiting classic MMORPGs like MapleStory? Not to mention, Netflix always has the best drama series and movies to catch! You could spend months on YouTube and there will always be entertaining content by creators who are just as bored as you are.
If you feel like you’re getting short-changed by the coronavirus because world culture and arts are your thing, here are some webcasts by renowned musicians and orchestras for you to watch from the front seats of your home: Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera.
More of a pop culture and party kind of person? Celebrities like Chris Martin from Coldplay, John Legend and Diddy have been going live on social media or recording themselves to unite the world under the banner of music and love. There’s no excuse not to have fun while staying at home.
Catch Up With Friends Via Social Games And Apps!
Of course you can! Socialising is not just limited to physical contact. There are plenty of ways that you and your friends can enjoy your group activities together. Did I mention Zoom previously? I did! Let me add Houseparty to the list. You can now easily extend video conference applications to social gaming. Yes, it’s a thing.
As for games, allow me to recommend Jackbox. With this, you get to play with your friends and family remotely in a private platform, without any need to meet up! Jackbox houses many games that pit you against people you know in the most hilarious and interactive ways.
Typically, the game room is only viewable on one screen, the room administrator. So players would usually gather around the same screen. With Zoom or Skype’s share screen features however this can easily turn into a super fun multiplayer platform no matter where you’re playing from.
Too good to be true? You can check this video out by Jackbox on how to use Google Hangouts to enjoy their games as well!
For more passive and chill activities, why not watch a show or drama together? It just takes one person to have a Netflix or Crunchyroll account for everyone to be able to watch the same broadcast on a shared screen.
Again, conferencing software like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts do magnificent wonders in bringing people closer together amid COVID-19. You’ll be able to hear and see your friends like they were right beside you in real time.
Last but far from least, for those with an intellect they can’t keep to themselves, how about starting an online book/movie review club? On top of pushing yourselves to think provocatively and set a timeline to finish your dusty stack of books, you get to bask in different perspectives and share an excitement for similar topics and subtexts.
Beating COVID-19 by Staying Safe and Staying Home
Without a doubt, the novel coronavirus has taken its toll on the world and on life as we know it, followed by what will clearly be long-lasting implications.
With society having come this far, there’s so many ways we can progress through life and better ourselves rather than wallowing in pity or doing silly things outside and getting fined because of selfish reasons.
All we need is a little creativity to get by on our own. We have built so many advanced technologies and software that it’d be a waste if this wasn’t the perfect time to harness valuable digital life skills. We’ll get through this and come out stronger, united. Until then, stay strong, stay safe and stay at home, everyone!