Some women won’t let you know that they are pissed off until you see a knife or flying saucer coming at you. When great men say things that appear not to make sense, we who are lesser beings have to first assume that there is some hidden meaning or even profound wisdom lurking behind the nonsense. Cotton from sheep? Don’t laugh. It could be a code for some confidential leadership decision. This blog posting is all about decoding things. I hope you’ll find it useful.
The bright sunny day is a glaring contrast with the thunderstorm yesterday. This is the last day of Phase 1 and someone at Chinatown was predicting that we might one day look back fondly on this piece of history. I saw him walking around People’s Park Food Centre, holding a bulky camera, taking pictures of heavily cling-wrapped tables and chairs. You see, seats in this food centre need to be rendered completely inaccessible as the rate of non-compliance from the community here is exceptionally high.
At this time of writing, there were 247 cases of Covid-19 with 5 cases in the community on the previous day. Are we out of the woods yet? Certainly not. Trump had said that if they stop testing, they would have fewer cases.
There’s nothing much to decode here, but without burying our heads in sand, how do we tell if we are doing enough tests to give an accurate indication of the situation?
Take a look at the following chart. Many people can’t read it (or refuse to take it seriously) so let me discuss it with those who are interested. What it means is that Singapore needs to do only 7.6 tests to arrive at one positive case. That’s just slightly better than Sweden’s 7.4 tests and Sweden is going for herd immunity with no lockdown or movement restrictions. New Zealand needs to do 2504 tests before encountering one positive case. What does this show?
These numbers indicate that there are probably a lot of undetected cases out there in Singapore. Cases in the dorms are not really outside the community. Folks who work in the dorms return to the community and as the reports indicate, some of them have been infected. Nevertheless, we are entering Phase 2 ahead of schedule. How do we decode that?
The best explanation for this early reopening is that businesses and the economy cannot take it anymore. Our health minister Mr Gan Kim Yong said: “you can fool the rules, but you cannot fool the virus”. I wonder if Mr Gan was aware that the same can apply to reopening early.
Of course, I understand that we can’t hold our breath waiting for the virus to disappear completely, but it would be foolish to think that risks and conditions are any different between Phase 1 and Phase 2. It’s absurd that there’s even a countdown to Phase 2 discussed on radio.
For all intents and purposes, they are the same. If you can decode that, there is actually no difference in risk factors between Phase 1 and Phase 2, you would not change your behaviour very much. In fact, if anything, it’s even easier to catch the virus in Phase 2 as people move about a lot more.
Thus, I will still not dine in at restaurants and food courts yet. As usual, I will still mostly cook at home or order food with apps. I will still avoid shopping malls and order clothing and other household items online as public transport is likely to get even more crowded. The only difference is perhaps I’ll just visit the fitness corner at the playground to do some circuit training or jog along the beach. Already, many business people are looking forward to compensate for their “losses”. Their plans often involve doing lots of overtime and bending of rules. For me, I’ll still maintain work/life balance. I’ll still read, write, shoot videos, train for upcoming trips, perhaps next year. I don’t need a lot. Everything should work out well if everyone at home thinks the same way. Sadly, that’s not the case for me (some can’t wait to hit the shopping malls).
Meanwhile, the US$700 million market for imported salmon in China is at risk after the fish was implicated in a new outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus cases in Beijing, potentially dealing a blow to major exporters like Denmark, Norway and Australia.
Salmon has been taken off the shelves in supermarkets and grocery delivery platforms across major Chinese cities, while top experts are warning people not to consume the fish lest they get infected with the Wuhan virus.
The boycott came after the chairman of a major fruit and vegetable market called Xinfadi, the site of nearly 100 newly-detected infections, said that the virus was traced to the chopping board used by a seller of imported salmon.
Zeng Guang, a senior expert with the National Health Commission, said in an interview with state media on Sunday that “we have yet to find out whether human beings transmitted the virus to salmon, or salmon contracted the virus first.”
He warned Beijing residents not to eat raw salmon or purchase imported seafood for the time being.
Below is piece of salmon I bought from Sheng Siong and grilled in my kitchen just last night. The way I decode the above statements is, somebody sneezed on the cutting board and salmon became a convenient scapegoat. You see, even salmon can be made a scapegoat. Why can’t cotton grow on sheep? Judging from the response of some kiasi Singaporeans and trusting migrant workers, salmon is going to get cheaper! Yay! By the way, the salmon I bought at Sheng Siong and cooked in my kitchen was delicious. If you’ve got any that you dare not eat, do send them to me.
It’s really a pity to let all that suspicious salmon go to waste, but over here in Singapore, there has been another great wastage. We imported too many eggs and according to news reports, 250,000 excess eggs had to be thrown away! Now how do we decode that? 20 eggs could have been given to 12,500 households. Or 10 eggs given to 25,000 households. Why do the eggs have to be thrown away?
I guess we have to get used to such “spending”. What’s 250k eggs compared to the $110 million we’re going to spend on tags for every Singaporean? What’s the code here? Maybe it’s the stimulate the economy. Gosh, why didn’t I set up a company that makes these gadgets?
Well, we may never know. Perhaps the eggs were somehow found to be unfit for consumption and our government had our welfare in mind. We can’t say the same for some fruit sellers who sell langsat at $3/kg and $5/5kg. Why are they so anxious to clear their stocks? Decoded: must be because the fruit is sour.
Anxiety is always an indication that something is wrong. When great men get anxious about getting something done way ahead of schedule, it could only mean that the later we do it, the more unfavourable it is for them. The way I decode this anxiety? The floodgates are still locked and we are still well-protected from the storm outside. But even as I write, the skies are darkening. Decoded, be prepared to survive on less – much less. The real crisis will begin when the “paperwork” is done and the next CB will be short for Claw Back.