Is it Really Over? How to Stay Prepared for Future Circuit Breakers (CBs)

After observing 8 weeks of government-imposed restrictions, 1 June 2020 marked the final day of Singapore’s Circuit Breaker (CB). Restrictions are still in place with gradual easing in three phases. Careful measures are in place to ensure that Covid-19 cases are under control. After all, no one can be too sure if there would be any more future CBs hitting our shores again.

While optimism is high, Singaporeans are steadily adjusting their lifestyle. Working from home, wearing a mask and social distancing are the new norm. Until the vaccine is found, we should never let our guard down.

Below are some ways to stay prepared for future CBs.

Financial Planning and Building an Emergency Fund

Financial planning and budgeting for emergency

When an outbreak of this massive scale happens, many businesses will be impacted. The vicious economic cycle has affected the livelihood of both employers and employees. While many have the privilege of working from home, we are also bombarded by news about pay cuts and retrenchment.

It is important to keep your financial health in check. Keep your expenses low by having a budget and sticking to it. It would also be helpful to start practising some savvy tips to reduce your utility bills.

Saving for a rainy day helps to tide you out of such sticky situations. When you are prepared financially for any unfortunate event, you can focus on the health of your family instead of having sleepless nights over your bills.

Boost Your Immune System

Besides financial health, keeping your body fit and healthy is paramount. You would want to avoid any unnecessary visits to the clinics and hospitals.

Many countries have reported a scarcity of hospital beds and medical professionals. As our front-liners battle around the clock saving lives, you wouldn’t want to add on to their burden because of a common cold.

Of course, falling ill is not a choice. But we can do our best to boost our immune system with a balanced diet, regular supplements and exercise.

If you have family members who have weaker immunity such as young children and the elderly, it is important to keep your home germ-free. This means cleaning your home regularly to eliminate potential infectious pathogens and pests.

Store Enough Essentials

Dried food in glass jars on kitchen countertop

Remember storing essential goods does not mean hoarding them. Keep the right levels of stock and regularly replenish them. These include medical supplies for your first aid cabinet, toiletries, cleaning agents and food.

Canned food, dried food, frozen food and pasteurised milk can be kept for years. These should be part of your kitchen stockpile. However, don’t forget that most items have a shelf life. Label your items by their expiry dates. Practice first in first out (FIFO) to keep your inventory fresh.

Remember our neighbours and friends who are also in need. Be a kind and considerate community member when you are purchasing essential items. After all, over-storing and underutilising these items would result in a huge waste.

Stay Ahead of Your Home Maintenance

Plumber repairing a leaking sink

When you think you can leave home maintenance for another day, this circuit breaker is a wake-up call. During this circuit-breaker, everything comes to a halt, including non-essential professional services.

Imagine staying home all day with a faulty air-conditioner, just because you did not service it the other day. The same goes for your car, your leaking sink, plumbing, etc. Get it fixed right away.

Don’t procrastinate on home maintenance. There will be no warning of the next CB. When it does happen, there will be no one available to render services. It is during times like these that you appreciate all the comforts of your home, which includes a working Internet, cool air-conditioning and running water.

Lesson on Current CB and Staying Prepared for Future CBs

This circuit breaker has taught us many lessons. Among them is to be always prepared physically, mentally and financially. We can all take a leaf out of the prepper community’s notebook.

Another lesson that we can learn is that we can do so much with so little. When scarcity arises, humans are naturally pushed to become creative in optimising existing resources. More people are starting to realise the benefits of leading a zero-waste lifestyle with some self-discipline.

Will there be future CBs? No one is sure.

But when you are well-prepared, you will be able to calmly overcome the next CB with lesser worries.