Forum: Large crowds make exercising caution difficult

Keeping our guard up against Covid-19 to prevent a second wave of infections is sound advice (Best defence against second wave is caution, Aug 13).

Although I completely agree, it seems like social distancing is becoming increasingly difficult as the MRT trains and malls begin to see the old familiar crowds.

I have been finding myself in situations where, despite my best efforts, the space is too little to maintain a 1m distance from the people who flank me.

The many sales and promotions over the long National Day weekend attracted huge crowds in front of shops. Similar scenes could be seen in front of popular eateries. Even with restrictions on the number of people allowed inside the outlets, the crowds outside were much too large.

The scene at the MRT station was not any better. It was like any other crowded day from pre-Covid-19 times.

Seeing the large crowd, I intentionally decided to skip one train and wait for the next, but that did not help because a large crowd had gathered again by the time the next train arrived. I had no choice but to get on, hoping my mask would be sufficient protection.

To make matters worse, many people were wearing their masks incorrectly; some had them pulled below the nose and some even pulled them down to cough.

It's well and good to say we must be cautious, but when all the non-essential shops and restaurants are open and schools are open, and no seats on public transportation are crossed out, how does one exercise caution other than wearing a mask?

Taking a lesson from the countries that opened too soon or that relaxed the rules too early, only to face a resurgence of the virus, we must not rush to open the economy.

If we do so, the potential harm in the long run could outweigh any short-term benefit.

Snigdha Sharma (Dr)

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