Covid-19

Has Government been too successful in trying to allay fears of people?

When I recently visited an air-conditioned foodcourt which has a beer stall, I saw six people occupying three tables but facing one another to chit-chat while drinking beer, with the tables less than 1m apart (they had probably pulled the tables closer to one another).

In the same foodcourt, I also saw two persons standing beside a table with two others already seated there and sharing food.

There was no one at the entrance of the foodcourt ensuring check in via SafeEntry even though a desk was set up for that, let alone anyone checking rule-breakers.

I had previously reported the unmanned desk with an uploaded photo via OneService. And the reply from the Municipal Services Office was: "Enforcement alone cannot keep Singapore safe on a sustained basis.

"We hope everyone will play their part by observing the necessary measures, and reminding others to do the same."

It is true that enforcement alone cannot keep Singapore safe, but when this becomes an oft-repeated message, there will be people who will choose to completely disregard the rules.

As part of the living-with-Covid-19 strategy, the authorities have been telling Singaporeans that Covid-19 will become endemic like influenza over time.

While this may be true over time, I wonder if the Government has said this too early and been too successful in trying to allay the fears of people over Covid-19?

Luo Siao Ping

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2021, with the headline 'Has Government been too successful in trying to allay fears of people?'. Subscribe