Harper's Bazaar Singapore

PERFECT STRANGERS

aged six to 72, there we were, a household of five gathered around the light of our television set. That we were even watching a free-to-air broadcast in one room seemed primitive—we hadn’t done that in at least a decade. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong rolled out “circuit breaker” measures, dread filled my gut: This thing called the Covid-19 global pandemic was upending Singapore’s usual tidiness, wiping out any Lego Movie illusion that “everything is awesome”.

I added it to the slideshow in mind of history’s worst disasters: That flaming asteroid that hit earth and wiped out dinosaurs. Chernobyl. The mushroom cloud blooming over Hiroshima. Replays of the Twin Towers imploding on September 11, 2001. Except this time, it was happening in my living room.

It seemed absurd that the big wide world could be at the mercy of something so miniscule—every news update pinned to an enlarged microscopic image of this urchin-like thing, responsible for a chain reaction so profound we might not comprehend for years the depth and scale of its damage.

THE DAY AFTER

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