02589: Civilized Panic

Tonight's checkout queue
So the Singapore government has raised the DORSCON threat level to orange, and this has increased the level of tension in the community. To be fair, it's not like rioting in the streets or anything. But for Singapore, this is already tense.

After work we had to do a grocery run since we were low on greens, always a keto essential, but were pretty floored by the number of people at the nearby Cold Storage. To be fair, it wasn't like a panic but there were certainly an above-average number of people shopping with a particular focus on less perishable food like canned goods and instant noodles. We braved the queues despite the crowds and stocked up on more than the essentials, but better safe than sorry, I suppose.

But it's not like the store had significantly bare shelves. SM Supermarket at Aura typically has worse stock levels at night than this Cold Storage did during such a tense period, so that says a lot. And while people were clearly stressed about the whole orange alert level, everything was still fairly organized with people just wanting to get through the queues and out of the store.

I really shouldn't compare Singapore to my speculation of how the likes of Metro Manila would respond to a similar situation, but one can't help imagine the differences. Our supermarkets seem to maintain the bare minimum stocks to avoid food waste or spoilage in theory but I don't know how well they can handle spikes in consumer purchases. The lack of 70% rubbing alcohol when I left Manila speaks to our inability to maintain supply lines at times. Not reassuring at all.

I'm here for at least another week and I remain hopeful things will resolve well enough. I still have a lot of work to get through while I'm here so let's see how that goes.