As of 21st June 2013, Singapore has officially logged its highest PSI reading of 401. But off the record, some of you may have received a National Environmental Agency (NEA) message from ‘a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend’ from the day before, and you would probably be in full-fledged panic mode right now. If you have not received it, the message basically said, “Seems last night PSI was actually 462 and not 300+ as reported”. Besides the fact that levels above 400 is considered “dangerous”, can anybody actually tell the difference between 371 and 401?
Can You Spot the Difference?
Honestly, every haze-related photo I see just looks like my vision when my contact lenses becomes dry.
I log onto Facebook, and all I see from my friends and family in Singapore are updates about the PSI, photos of the hazy sky (looking incredibly like the set from Silent Hill), chatter about where to find a N95 mask, or which Best Denki still has the turbo-charged ionizer on sale. There are fingers pointing blame, governments calling other nations ‘childish’, talk about subsidizing hospital fees for the young and old (and nobody in between)… I wonder how long it is before hospitals start getting overcrowded.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, satisfying the physiological requirements of a person is the fundamental need. These needs include Food, Water, Sex, Sleep, Homeostasis, Excretion and Breathing. Singaporeans have been blessed with plenty of (super shiok!) food, clean drinking water, our sex lives are low but we are working on that, and we even have excellent sewage systems that we turn back into NEWater. The only thing lacking now is clean air to breath.
As Singaporeans, what can we do?
Well, I see three options.
1. Invest in the most powerful masks, ionizers, air-conditioning, airtight seals for windows and doors.
2. Pack up and go somewhere else that the haze has not crept over to, and holiday there till the air clears up. I’m not sure how the insurance companies are dealing with this current health-crisis, so read the fine print to see whether your travel policy covers pre-existing medical conditions that might’ve been induced by the haze.
3. Bo bian, so we just tahan and lim kopi indoors.
For those who are stuck with option 3, I look forward to reading more about haze updates over Facebook. Thankfully,the PSI has returned to “normal” levels (comparatively), so if you do decide to take off before the haze returns, at least you know there won’t be any visibility-related flight delays. Happy travels!
Read more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs