Coronavirus: effects of everyday life in Singapore

Photos documenting the effects on everyday life from the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore.

Last updated: 26/04/2020, 1:37 p.m.

Covid-19, is a coronavirus that caused a global epidemic and has greatly altered the lives for many of us.

As a street photographer, I would often roam about to make pictures and stories out from the unmediated chance encounters of people on the street. Over the span of weeks and months, I noticed a number of gradual and sudden changes to society and people’s lifestyles.

These are a collection of my observations  from the peaceful times before the outbreak, to the uncontrolled spread of the virus in Singapore.

First cases of the coronavirus appearing in Singapore

23rd January 2020 – 6th February 2020

It was during the eve of Lunar New Year when I first heard of the first cases in Singapore. Despite the news, everyone was still going to their social gatherings — chatting by the steps, with their friends on a bridge, getting together during Chinese New Year, and so on.

As the amount of cases increased, more and more people started to don face masks. Due to the limited knowledge and amount of masks available, an advisory was given by the government to only wear one if you feel unwell. But Singaporeans were quick to be kiasi (meaning afraid to die) and hoard the face masks.

But other than the face masks, life was the same.

Lunar New Year visiting, with masks

A picture of some passengers wearing masks while waiting for the train during the Lunar New Year house visiting period.

An empty gift shop in Bugis Street

Tourism is an important source of revenue for Singapore. Sadly, the coronavirus has greatly reduced the amount of travellers and tourists and had great effect on many businesses and shops in Singapore

Exploring during the coronavirus

3rd March 2020 – 23rd March 2020

With the exponential increase of global coronavirus cases, more and more restrictions and bans have been put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus: work from home arrangements, closures of entertainment venues, oversea travel restrictions, and so on.

Some people suddenly found themselves with a lot of time — alternate working days, laid off from work, unpaid leaves — and took advantage of the smaller crowds to explore the touristy parts of Singapore.

Social distancing implementations

24th March 2020 – 6th April 2020

To limit the spread of the virus, many countries had implemented social distancing measures. Like the name suggests, the idea is to keep social interactions and people in close proximity to a minimum.

Overnight, malls are emptied and stickers are placed everywhere to inform where one can or cannot sit. The malls. Empty. We Singaporeans often joke about it being a past-time, but it is really unusual to see most of them being eerily quiet.

But even these measures were not enough.

Lone carton of eggs

Essential food items were quickly cleared off the shelves with the announcement of the ‘circuit breaker’ phase.


Will be continuing to add pictures when I can, but we should do our part to stay at home whenever possible.

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