Can Nepali work in Singapore

A roller coaster ride of emotions

by André Groenewoud, Singapore
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At first Corona seemed far away, then there were thousands of sick people within a very short time. But Singapore showed what it is capable of: The current cases are almost zero.

I was sitting with friends in a bar, we laughed in a deck chair and looked at the sea. The beer is cold, the view is a dream, the atmosphere is great. And Corona was far away. When Germany went into shutdown in March, life in Singapore continued (almost) normally.

Because the state had taken tough action at an early stage: vacationers were no longer allowed into the country, returnees had to be quarantined. [Like our author the quarantine has experienced, read here.] And the health authorities pursued the positive cases with enormous effort and the help of the police. Schools, shops and restaurants remained open. And also my favorite beach bar.

From Nepal to Australia: dream vacation dreams come true

The last business trip for the time being led shortly before to New Delhi for a visit by US President Trump to India's Prime Minister Modi. We already suspected that carefree travel could be a thing of the past. But we had no idea that we shouldn't be on a plane after our return to this day.

Rather, we made plans: reports on mass tourism on Mount Everest, a look back at the bushfires near Melbourne. But then Nepal shut down, then Australia shut down. And then Singapore shut down too.

When Singaporeans blacken each other

That was on April 7th, followed by a week-long lockdown with strict regulations. The Singaporeans euphemistically called him "Circuit Breaker". You were only allowed to meet people from your own household. Bad luck for singles who lived alone. With the Corona outbreak in the mass accommodation of foreign workers, the situation changed - and the mood in the country.

They control, monitor, disinfect - Singapore is using more and more robots in the Corona crisis.

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2 min
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Many had nothing better to do than to use social media to share who was violating the regulations, when and where. Alleged lawbreakers were denounced to the government, expats who were caught drinking beer in public were brought to justice and thrown out of the country.

Shutdown in Singapore when others are on vacation

When the situation at home apparently relaxed in early summer and half of Germany flew south on vacation, I looked enviously at the photos with turquoise water that my own family sent from their vacation in Croatia.

Although Thailand and Bali are practically around the corner, the two places of longing are currently damned far away. My pictures from Singapore resembled those from Germany in the spring: empty streets, folded tables and closed pubs.

Corona numbers low in Singapore

We have been stuck in Singapore for ten months - a country the size of Hamburg, a golden cage. And only have the chance to escape it if we undertake a strictly controlled two-week hotel quarantine on return, with daily control calls and draconian penalties for disregarding the rules. But who likes to be in prison voluntarily? And pay more than 1,300 euros for it?

And now, just before the turn of the year? While Germany spends the holidays in shutdown mode and the numbers go through the roof, they are almost zero here. Singapore is thriving in its fight against the virus.

All vacation considerations back to zero

But there are always setbacks. The world's first travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong - postponed indefinitely. Cruises to nowhere - a meltdown after a ship returned straight to the port after a supposed Corona case.

What remains is the first Christmas without parents in 48 years, but also the first time at 30 degrees by the pool. And that in a city where Corona rarely occurs. Where schools, restaurants and shops are open. In which you don't know any curfews. There are worse things.

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