When it’s War

Bomb. The first bomb dropped. Everyone scurried to shelter. When peace descended, everyone rushed to the grocery shops to stock up food and other essentials. Hospitals were filled, doctors and nurses working tirelessly, selflessly.

The siren went off, and everyone ran back to their own hiding place — some under solid roofs, some under flimsy cardboard boxes.

Everyone was ordered to stay indoors. Children badgered parents to go out and play. Too dangerous, they replied. Not allowed, they said. Uniformed officers patrolled the streets and made sure everyone was adhering to the rules to stay inside. The spy ready to tell on rule breakers. The spy among neighbours. The spy among friends. The spy among families.

The dangers lurking outdoors kept people indoors. Certain groups of people were vulnerable to be a target, but anyone could be targeted. No one was certain who would be snatched away to a locked up place. No one was 100% safe.

The rich and the poor, none was spared. Yet the rich has more means to protect themselves. More means to still live in more comfort than the rest of the population. More space than cram. More connected than disconnected.

Regardless, everyone lived day by day. The uncertainty and fear gripped the hearts of people. No one knew when this was going to end. Soon, they hoped. Two months, half a year, or end of year, they kept guessing.

No one knew it was going to be 3 years and 8 months for Singapore. Year after year passed, and the war seemed like it was never going to end. Suffering and death were reported daily. Banana money seemed to be the new way of life. Was this the new normal? Turned out to be not now. Everything was clear on hindsight.

Living in the Covid war this time, we yet have the benefit of hindsight.

• Decoded •

  • Virus bomb.
  • Siren of the daily report: infected cases.
  • Friendly uniformed ambassadors.
  • Dangers of covid virus.
  • Vulnerable elderly.
  • Connected to resources, to internet, to people.
  • Space of bungalow, cram of one room.
  • Isolation rooms — “locked away”.
  • Uncertain uncertainty.

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Psalm 91:3‭-‬6