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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Safest Place

When the coronavirus hit, I reasoned that Chong Pang Market was the safest place to go. Chong Pang Market looks dirty. The cleaners cannot cope with the crowds so tablesstay uncleaned for a while. Birds fly onto the tables to peck at unattended food. Nobody is trained to the etiquette of returning their trays so tables tend to look a horrible mess. I always have a packet of wet tissue with me at Chong Pang Market to clean the tables properly. I also don't mind cleaning up after the previous diners and after my ownself. 

I tend to be hypervigilant about hygiene at Chong Pang Market because in my head, it is not a very clean place. So, counterintuitively, it is also the safest place. When we come back from Chong Pang Market, we wash ourselves. For me, it is usually a shower. I also feel icky about touching my face at Chong Pang Market.

Also, people at Chong Pang Market usually do not drive. The bulk of the clientele don't travel overseas. Indeed, they rarely venture out of their immediate neighbourhood. Hence, I expected it to be the last place to get the Wuhan virus. The Chong Pang Market hawkers and workers also form a tight knit community. I think the community would get upset with people who dare to come in sick.

In contrast, the airconditioned malls recirculate air and since everything looks clean on the surface, people tend to let their guard down. This reminds me of people, really. Some of the nicest looking people actually have no problems taking advantage of others. So, all that glitters is not gold. Gilded tombs do worms enfold. Another talent that autistic people have is that we see right through into someone's heart. You see, we do not understand smiles, flattery, meaningful winks or small talk. We understand action. When The Husband travelled 8 hrs by train one way to see me twice a month, I knew he was a keeper, and I knew I was going to marry him. When my favourite hawkers give me a 50 cents discount and let me skip queue, I understand sincere regard. When a client flatters me but has no problems monopolising my time, and assumes parent coaching hours on (1) how to mature a child and (2) how to not burnout a child ... are free, I also know that person's heart. I lose only money. That person loses my respect. Such people are viruses too.

Recently, I also discovered that coronaviruses and SARS viruses thrive between 4 Deg C to 10 Deg C and they like dry air. These are wintertime pathogens which is why, when we were living in France, wintertime was flu season and people typically took their flu jabs in the fall. It makes sense that heat, humidity and sunlight would be inhospitable to the coronavirus. True enough, sunlight kills the virus in 2.5 minutes.

Then, yesterday, someone Telegrammed me the meme above and I smiled to myself at the blessings of living in the most unsavoury part of Singapore... where there is little aircon and a lot of bad smells. 

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