Circuit Breaker Angst
I am indignant. We feel wronged. I contemplated whether to share this because I know the officer is just doing his job, although I don’t know if he’s doing it rightly or just to hit his quota. I need to get this off my chest.
Enforcement officer took down hubby’s particulars for record purposes because we apparently flouted laws for social gathering. Let’s turn back the clock.
EX and I coerced hubby to bring us all out to botanic gardens. EX needs her outdoor time. I need a breather from being cooped up at home with a screaming newborn and an active clingy toddler.
Sleep deprived from having to wake up every 2-3 hours (having 7 hours of broken sleep is not sleep for me). Nipples aching from breastfeeding every 1-2 hours in the day. Arms getting tired from carrying and patting. Mouth tired from disciplining EX, teaching HBL, singing and storytelling to EX.
Yes, I’m trying to reason why I need fresh air for my mental well being. Thank God that SG government knows the importance of mental health (invisible crisis) while battling the obvious physical health crisis.
EX and I were so looking forward to this “outing” not far from our place. But everything went downhill not long after we stepped foot into the gardens.
We went to the usual grass patch and noticed an officer with a vest standing there with a clipboard right in front of us. And also in the officer’s and our view, was a mother and a child sitting on a mat, and then they got up to play ball. They were far away, but the officer and us could obviously see them. Seeing that this was allowed by the officer, we laid our mat open and I sat on it, while hubby and EX would play/kick ball in the empty grass patch. The officer took a few glances at us while setting up.
Just as hubby was about to leave, he approached us. Said we can’t sit here, because it’s social gathering. “Not even if we are in the same household?”, I asked. Nope. “We can’t sit?” Nope, you need to keep moving around. “Then can we play ball here?” Nope, it is recreational activity. Just then, I noticed this lady wearing security uniform walking towards us and taking our photos. And another two ladies in same uniform came towards us, until the officer told them to spread out. What the! We’re not criminals to be pinned down okay?!
Before I could rationalise with him, my newborn screamed from her peaceful sleep and for the whole time in the gardens, she couldn’t be pacified and we were in the center of attention all the time. My ears hurt from her loud cries, making me further frustrated. That one incident spoiled the whole outing for the whole family. I feel sorry for EX too because she was so looking forward to botanic gardens.
I’m angry because…
Firstly, we thought it’s okay to sit in the relatively empty field, since the officer saw but didn’t “catch” someone doing the same thing.
Secondly, it’s in the law that we can “(4) to engage in any recreational activity in … public park alone or with any other individual who lives with you.” So why can’t we play ball together? Technically we are not gathering because I’m the one sitting while EX and hubby play ball. And why do we have to keep moving? Can’t sit when we are tired? Instead of a shared pavilion with others, I am sitting on my own mat, with only my germs on it.
We kept walking after that incident and EX was super tired with her balance bike. We did rest a while at some secluded bench though. If not, EX would have crashed unto the ground. Perhaps it’s their way of dissuading family to come out with their kids.
And thirdly, there was no one around us! And more importantly, we are always conscious of keeping our distance from other people when so many ppl in the park just didn’t care! Why weren’t they warned instead of us? Also, there’s no logic why we were warned instead of all the people packed in the wet market. Wouldn’t the spread be worse over there than us in a relatively empty grass patch?
Lastly, my hubby is a super law abiding and by the book person. He wore the mask immediately when PM suggested it. So it’s so unfair to take down his details for such innocent mistake. I was trying to pacify the newborn at that time, otherwise I would have the officer take my details down instead. Wait a minute, I would more likely refuse to have my records taken down so easily without a “fight”. See, my hubby is more law abiding than me.
Just praying for this whole Covid-19 situation to blow over. Soon. Sooner than expected. 🙏🏻
My friend’s sister works for NParks and clarified that there is no quota. Also, it’s going to be stricter and enforceable now. No more than 2 person is allowed, even from same household.
Another mother also had a similar situation at West Coast Park 2 days ago, but the officer told them nicely without taking down particulars nor photos. Hmms.