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Singaporean youths react to extension of circuit breaker measures

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NewsOpinions

How will these extended circuit breaker measures affect our youths?

On Apr 21, PM Lee addressed the nation to announce an extension to the circuit breaker period, which will now end on Jun 1. While some have anticipated this extension, the news came as a complete shock to others.

We asked Singaporean youths about their first thoughts on the extended circuit breaker (CB) measures:

"Honestly, I'm not surprised. Everyone was telling me that they had a feeling the circuit breaker period will be extended for at least two more weeks. With the number of cases increasing substantially over the past week, I expected it to happen as well.

"As a Muslim, I can't help but feel disappointed because it will affect my Ramadan and Hari Raya plans. I have always looked forward to breaking my fast with my extended family — my aunties, uncles, and grandparents, some of which do not live with me. With the CB extension, I won't be able to do this or spend time with them.

"Celebrating the Hari Raya during the CB will just be... underwhelming to say the least. Hari Raya is all about spending time with your family and visiting your relatives, and sharing good food with everyone! So missing out on all of that this year is huge, and of course I'm a bit sad about it." - Aliyah Khan, 20, Student

celebrating-hari-raya-at-home
Singaporean Muslims will be celebrating Ramadan and Hari Raya differently this year.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/WAN MUNIRAH

"This is very painful but necessary. There's really no other way than to grit our teeth and get through it.

"As difficult as it will be, I'll try my best to adhere to the measures. I'll most probably have to handle and welcome the birth of my second child on my own. I won't have the privilege of having help from my extended family." - Rachel Ko, 29, Homemaker

social-distancing-circuit-breaker
Social distancing measures are still in place during the extended circuit breaker period.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/ADAWIYAH ADAM

"I don't think it was unexpected, and I am supportive of it. The 'second wave' we're currently facing is proof that there's no place for complacency in pandemic response. 

"I'm thankful that unlike other countries which have seen public protests against lockdowns and Stay-Home-Notices, the government is able to enforce similar measures here and convince the public of its necessity. Distancing remains the most potent, and perhaps only measure we have to reduce spreading.

"PM Lee's comment about considering the 'spirit of the law' is a timely and necessary reminder. Even as we take guidance from the government on 'best practices', it is important to exercise good judgment and civic mindedness. 

"I'm somewhat fortunate that I'm on holiday (waiting for school to start) for this whole period. I was hoping to get a holiday job, but it looks like I'll have to wait quite a bit more for that to happen!" - Johan Ding, 21, Unemployed

youth-react-to-news
Stay calm while you review your plans for the next few months.
PHOTO CREDIT: KEVIN KOH

"I feel troubled and restless as not being able to go out with my friends and family stresses me out. However, the tightened circuit breaker measures are essential and should be reinforced every day.

"But it might be very troublesome to go out to buy groceries as one person may not be able to buy all the groceries needed for the week. For example, the elderly may need more help in dealing with errands such as groceries. 

"As a student, it is pretty hard to study because being at home 24/7 is not a very productive environment to be in. It will affect my sociability with others as I am isolated at home." - Zelig Chua, 20, Student

students-studying-together
It might be a while before you will get to socialise with your friends, so hang in there!
PHOTO CREDIT: KEVIN KOH

"I thought it was expected, but I wish they imposed tighter measures. In my opinion, Singaporeans are treating the circuit breaker pretty lightly with many reports of some demonstrating physical violence against enforcement officers. This isn't linked to CB, but I realised that there's also an increase in crimes such as scam and unreasonable face mask prices. 

"On the other hand, I'm also starting to feel restless since I'm on a long break from school, so I'm not sure how to fill up my time productively now." - Dayana Salim, 22, Undergraduate

long-queues-supermarkets-singapore
Singaporeans are now encouraged to run errands alone, including grocery shopping.
PHOTO CREDIT: NATHANIEL TAN

"It's a good direction that the Singapore government is heading towards, though there's a downtrend in recent days. It's only right to be careful when treading into uncharted waters with regards to this pandemic. 

"Additionally, I think it's something that Singapore needs because with no laws inplemented, people might become lost and have questions about what they can and cannot do. Some people are still flouting these laws by going to one another's places for a social gathering though in small numbers.

"However, the extension wouldn't change much of my current lifestyle. I just need to press on with how I'm coping with this circuit breaker on my own part." - Joel Toh, 20, Fresh graduate

students-studying-at-home
Students will need to get used to studying from home for the next few weeks.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/ESTHER LAM

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY: WINNY WINT HTAE, ESTHER LAM, ANIS NABILAH
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/NIGEL CHIN

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