Living the CB Life

It’s day 10 of Singapore’s circuit breaker (CB). We are all shut in.

It sucks. It really sucks.

Cases are still rising to new records here while Europe and USA are reopening. Singapore has quadruple the cases of Hong Kong, which is right across the border from China.

I feel bad for my kid, who was requesting to “go taxi, go swimming pool, then eat hamburger”. It’s not easy to say cannot, and see the disappointment in his face. It’s also painful to not see my mother for so long. We have to keep away for her own protection. Personally, I feel a bit stir-crazy too. I though it would get easier, but it’s not.

There is no Amazon or RedMart online delivery. Near impossible to catch a delivery slot. There are queues to go into markets.

Every day you can see prices increasing. Especially pork and vegetables. Can tell that supply has decreased too. It will probably get worse.

We are headed into stagflation, meaning high inflation and high unemployment. This is terribly difficult to solve, as traditional economic tools don’t work. When you print money to solve unemployment, you drive up inflation too. You can’t lower interest rates, as that causes more unemployment.

I’m pretty confident that the lock-downs won’t last more than 1-2 months. Pretty much everything relies on that.

If it gets longer than that, businesses will fail because they are getting zero revenue. People who had the privilege to work at home would no longer be working, and the unemployed who had to live on stimulus money would be clamouring for more.

There are probably a lot of businesses collapsing behind the scenes. It runs the danger of morphing into a financial crisis due to bad loans and banks being afraid to lend. That is a lot more difficult to solve than a pandemic.

So it’s not possible to have a lock-down of 3 months or more. It is economic suicide, and will take-down the healthcare sector with it too.

Just 20 days more to go.

2 comments

  1. Hmm, personally I’ve been enjoying the lockdown. Much more quiet & peaceful surroundings.

    I’m not too worried about very long shutdowns. All around the world, 80% chance lockdowns won’t last more than 2-3 months. It will be more of extreme social-distancing & semi-open (entertainment, sit-down restaurants, shopfront retail, tourism, hospitality etc will continue to suffer). And likely on-and-off lockdowns whenever localised infection flare-ups happen again. At least until a proven vaccine is mass produced.

    Near term (1 to 1.5 year) we’ll see deflation. Mid-term (2 years later till maybe 5+ yrs later) we’ll see inflation. I doubt if stagflation will really take hold.

    As for investment income & earnings, good time to start diversifying internationally. Income producing skills are always important to hone, and S’poreans may need to become much more comfortable to go whichever foreign countries where there are jobs with sufficient pay.

    PS: Most people are interpreting our accelerating infection numbers wrongly. It’s actually normal & to be expected. And the stats is actually improving for local community spread which shows that the lockdown is working.

    1. Well thought through, thanks for sharing. I actually hope you are right, as my roots are in Singapore and I want it to do well. None of us profit if it sinks haha

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