3rd December 2019
Today, my best friends and I had a get-together at my friend’s house. I was overjoyed to see them. My face instantly brightened as if someone had turned on the switch of a lightbulb. I plopped down with them onto the cushions and begin to chat. As we talked, a warm feeling surged through me. The feeling of home, of acceptance, and of embracement is indescribable. It paints a ray of sunshine over my face. It lightens up my day. Our laughter, a tinkling of bells, coursed through my bones, reminding me how fortunate I am to have friends to be with.
23rd January 2020
When I came home from school today, the atmosphere was different. It was a subtle difference, but it made me uneasy. I felt a lingering sense of dread hovering over the house, like smoke hanging in the air. Faintly, I could hear my parents talking solemnly in the bedroom. As I padded into their bedroom, they looked up, their grave expressions clearing like the morning mist. I fidgeted. What could be going on to make them look so upset?
“The first COVID 19 case has been reported in Singapore.” The words hit me like a bullet and sank down into the pit of my stomach. The snake of anxiety slithered up and grasped hold of me. What would happen now? Will our lives ever be the same again? What would the future hold?
3rd April 2020
Today, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed Singapore about the pandemic. Anxiety pricked and prodded me as the Prime Minster began his address. My heart was pumping with adrenaline and my breath was coming out in ragged gasps.
“In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Singapore will be entering a Circuit Breaker period, which will last for at least a month.” the Prime Minister announced.
The realisation struck me as I realised the severity of the situation. My face fell. I realised that it meant no face-to-face interaction with my friends. How I would miss the warmth of my friends and I cuddling up together, carefreely talking and laughing. The freedom that I had been accustomed to was taken away from me so subtly like an owl swooping down over its prey. Freedom was no longer ours to claim.
10th April 2020
Online forms of communication are just not the same as face-to-face interaction.
21st April 2020
Today, the Prime Minister announced that the Circuit Breaker will be extended for another month. When I heard the news, I was devastated. It cast a sense of gloom over me. How I yearned for those days of gathering with my friends! Posing together for photographs, sharing tears and laughter. Reminiscing memories and making more. I pant for the warm feeling ignited in me whenever we were gathered together, our souls connecting. Every time we met up; I would feel the natural sense of belonging in this small friend circle. My friends were like bricks that supported me, encouraging me when I felt helpless and melancholy.
Looking at the vast impact COVID-19 has on our lives, I lost it. Anger boiled within me like an impending storm. At that moment, I hated COVID with a hatred so pure it enveloped me in darkness as if I was being sucked into a black hole. What if we could never meet up with our friends again? What if we could never go back to our old lives? These distressing thoughts swirled around in my mind. I knew I was being unreasonable but I was too angry to care. At the same time, the despair I felt in me was a stone dropped into the pool, sinking down to the bottom with hardly any ripples.
2nd June 2020
Finally! After two, long months of staying at home, Singapore is exiting the Circuit Breaker period. :) Activities will gradually be able to resume. I cannot wait to meet up with my friends! However, I know that freedom will not come instantly. We would still have to wear a mask and abide by the safe distancing measures. Even though I would be able to meet up with my friends again, we are limited by the number of people who can gather together. Still, there is a sense of hope in me that will always be ablaze. The journey to freedom is a long one. I wonder, will freedom ever truly return?