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Singaporean youths react to new relaxed Phase 2 measures

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Five youths share their thoughts about more people being allowed at offices, cinemas, weddings and places of worship.

On Wednesday (Sep 23), the Singapore Government announced that more employees can return to their workplaces, while more people can attend weddings and worship services. 

 We spoke to some youths to find out how the new measures might affect their day-to-day lives. 

Looking forward to being more productive at the office 

"I'm looking forward to more time at the office during internship because it means that I can communicate with my supervisor and colleagues better. I won't have to wait for replies on WhatsApp anymore because I can ask questions directly. 

"My office will have safe distancing in place, with desks spaced out. There is also an online booking system so that we don't overcrowd the office. 

 "To be honest, I have grown comfortable with working from home because of the Home-Based Learning we did in school just last semester. However, I would say that I'm still more productive at the office or in school because they are places that we go to with a focused intention to do work. If not, I may find myself playing with my dogs or making coffee." - Julian Tay, 19, Intern 

office-image
Most youths we spoke to are excited to start working in offices again. 
PHOTO CREDIT: DAMIR KOPEZHANOV VIA UNSPLASH 

A proper division between work and home 

"Working from home has been chill because you're working from the comfort of your home, but there is generally a lack of division between work and personal time. Maybe I'm just in an industry with unpredictable working hours. 

 "So I would prefer going to work. I feel more efficient in the office and it's nice to catch up with colleagues. 

 "I am looking forward to going to the office. I think going to the office presents the opportunity for a few hours of uninterrupted deep work every day, which may not always be possible when everyone in your family is working from the same home. 

"I foresee most workers continuing to take advantage of the safety measures to work from home, so I think it's going to be alright." - Gary, 26, lawyer 

Content with a smaller wedding 

"I started planning my wedding two months ago. Previously we decided to have it in 2021, but with the uncertainty in how things might turn out next year, we made a last minute decision to just have the wedding sooner at the end of 2020. 

 "Initially I was rather sad that we had to change the initial plan of having live worship, inviting our friends from overseas and even the original seating plan with long tables. But a wedding should still be a joyous occasion, so we tried to find ways to improvise and make do. 

 "The increase in the number of people allowed at weddings brought about mixed emotions. We were happy because more people can come, but at the same time it means we had to rethink some of our arrangements. 

 "With safe distancing still in place, I think we still have to be cautious about having large groups gather during the wedding. Our family and relatives are more senior, so even with relaxed measures we should still be mindful and considerate. 

"Both my fiancé and I wanted to start a new chapter of life together when we made the decision to get married, so we saw this as an opportunity to have it sooner rather than later." - Brenda Tan, 24, HR Manager 

wedding-image
The number of guests allowed at weddings has doubled to 100. 
PHOTO CREDIT: ALASDAIR ELMS VIA UNSPLASH 

Still avoiding places with more people such as cinemas 

"I watched My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising the moment we were allowed to go to cinemas. It was supposed to air during the period cinemas were closed, but they released it again in cinemas. I thought they would take it down quickly, so the moment I saw the advertisement I went to book the ticket. 

"I wasn't really scared because it was the first day of cinemas opening and there were less than ten people in the theatre. I went with a friend and could sit beside her, but we were the only ones in our row. 

"I think it's okay, because cinemas have been open for quite some time already. Recently there aren't a lot of good movies, so I don't know if it'll be profit-maximising. But I guess it's a way to boost morale, with things going back to normal. 

"I think it's quite safe but I wouldn't choose to go to the 150-capacity theatres. I think that's still quite a lot of people. But I won't actively avoid cinemas or anything. If there's a movie I'm looking forward to, I'll still go and watch it." - Jolene Chua, 19, Undergraduate 

Happy for more opportunities to attend worship 

"To some extent I am rather indifferent about the expansion and that scares me. Many, including me, have slowly gotten used to the idea of online worship and with each passing day, the concept of physical live worship becomes more foreign, which is concerning for the faith. So the expansion serves as a good motivator to push consistency of such live worship once again. 

"I haven't been looking forward to the increase in numbers of attendees per se but more towards the opportunities to have live worship again. For my church, actual physical services have yet to begin even after allowing 50 pax per service, so this expansion serves as a good start of having actual physical services. 

"I think the standard safe management measures should be kept in place - proper distancing, masks on, the restrictions on sharing of food. On a personal note I would ensure that I'm healthy when I attend and will prevent grouping beyond the stipulated numbers especially when it comes to after church lunches." - Raymond Racho, 24, Undergraduate 

WRITTEN BY: CELESTE LIM & RUTH CHAN 

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH SIBAYAN VIA UNSPLASH

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