Right before the weekend rolled through, the powers that be raised Singapore’s risk assessment of the coronavirus infection from DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) Yellow to DORSCON Orange.
The raised status (just below Red, the most severe) simply means that the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact. Sure, there’ll be mild disruptions on daily life like increased temperature screenings outside venues and stronger quarantine measures, but it’s not exactly calamitous enough for a strict lockdown.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the population saw the code orange activation as something else — a time to prepare for a nonexistent apocalypse.
Over the weekend, various household items flew off shelves at supermarkets across the island as fear and good old kiasu-ism drove residents to hoard essential supplies like rice, instant noodles, and toilet paper (condoms too, for some reason?). Social media was replete with photos and videos of vacant shelves and long snaking queues at supermarket aisles.
It got to the point that politicians (including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong) had to publicly urge Singaporeans not to hoard groceries and just stop the whole panic buying nonsense.
It really was an ugly display of paranoia, especially when you realise that some folks simply ditched their shopping baskets filled with items after getting tired of being in line for some time.
The kiasu shenanigans over the weekend proved worthy enough to be the butt of some Internet jokes, which we’ve kindly compiled below. Enjoy.