Forum: Now's not the time to play armchair critic

Count On Me, Singapore is not just a song we sing every August. Now is the time for each and every Singaporean to live up to it.

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed the state of the country's social cohesion.

This is not the time to play armchair critic. Hindsight is 20/20.

Once a decision has been made based on the available information, we have to face the outcome as one people. Perhaps we should be more restrained in commenting on the task force dealing with the outbreak.

We should seek to be more understanding.

If the authorities had imposed restrictive measures close to a lockdown at the outset, many would have bemoaned them as premature and harsh. Well, given the facts at that time, that might have been so.

But who knew how events would turn out? Now that a second wave of infections is upon us, some decry the tightening of measures as "too little, too late". Given that even scientists are not unanimous in their assessments of the virus, decision-makers are hard put to institute appropriate measures.

There is also the question of implementation. Sure, it is easy to think of ways to address the outbreaks at workers' dormitories. But finding alternative accommodation and providing food for the workers may require time.

All lives are precious and we have shown great compassion towards anyone who has needed medical attention, even foreigners. We should be lauded for this humanitarian side of us.

Now that tightening of control is necessary, we still find uncooperative people in our midst.

Some have defied safe distancing measures and even insulted enforcement officers.

Suddenly, physical exercise becomes urgent to some, while many have ignored the call to wear a mask. These callous acts may be life-threatening to others. We may be asymptomatic carriers of the infectious virus. This is not the time to put personal liberties above the collective good.

It is still too early to know how events will play out. The circuit breaker has been extended by another month.

No one is spared. We just have to adjust our routines and take things in our stride. Let us not take potshots at ourselves.

Lee Teck Chuan