Established 1874.
Courtesy+Jingpu+Xu

Courtesy Jingpu Xu

Singapore: Quarantines and The Fight Against COVID-19

My home is China, but due to the limited flights between home and the U.S., I am staying in Singapore this summer. I would be willing to share the culture and tradition of Singapore, along with the authentic Asian food — not the  fake kind that you Americans crave — but as of writing this, I’m under lockdown. I have already been under quarantine for about two weeks, and there’s one more to go. Singapore is likely one of the most rigorous countries with regards to its pandemic control, to the extent that every person needs to be quarantined for 21 days upon entry — even if they’ve been vaccinated. Things weren’t initially this intense, but lately a number of asymptomatic cases have been popping up in the country. Many allege that the new wave came from abroad. 

On the flight to Singapore, I was anxious; I was honestly afraid that quarantine would cancel me before it canceled COVID-19. My dad told me that people are randomly put into dozens of different hotels, some better and some worse. Fortunately, I was satisfied with the first one I was sent to. It was a four-star Sheraton with a king-sized bed and oolong tea bags; breezy aircon and a fluffy carpet marked this as a fairyland. 

Sadly, the fairyland kicked me out on the fourth day when I received a call from the Singapore Ministry of Health. MOH said that someone on the same flight with me had tested positive, so they need to move me to a more strictly controlled hotel. When I arrived at the second hotel, I could immediately feel that I was being treated as a high-risk object. I was required to download an app on my phone that routinely reports my location to MOH to make sure I am not breaking the quarantine order. I also had to fill out a survey that reported my body temperature and other conditions three times a day. In addition, I was required to put on a wristband that reported my live location throughout the entire quarantine. 

Maybe because the room was old and dusty, my asthma was triggered a lot. I had to use my inhaler frequently. Luckily, I was transferred to another hotel on the third day after my application to change hotels was approved. The third hotel is the one I am in now. Its bed and room size are the smallest and it has the worst amenities among the three, but weirdly, it seems the newest. 

Here it is: my life in the first month after school, which is probably less fun than you might expect. But knowing that I will be staying in a relatively regulated and well-controlled country, I feel comfortable giving away my month in hotels.

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