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  1. We all missed being able to travel during the dark and uncertain days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when Vaccinated Travel Lanes were introduced, few of us were interested. After all, undergoing numerous PCR tests is uncomfortable and being subject to quarantines, especially if you catch COVID, is hardly how anyone wants to spend their holiday. So, a lot of folks became 'tourists in their own country'. And staycations, or staycays for short, became popular. Being cooped up in one's home for too long does that to people. But now that we can freely travel without needing PCR tests and quarantines (and face masks for that matter), some have opined that staycays are no longer relevant. I, however, think otherwise. Here are five reasons why. Photo: Paolo Nicolello, Unsplash 1. It's less of a hassle compared to going overseas. Planning an overseas holiday is complicated. You need to book flights, consider where you'll be staying and figure out an itinerary. That means you'll have to do research (Google and YouTube) to come up with a list of places and activities to do at your destination. This also results in having to figure out the logistics and transportation that go along with said activities. How difficult this will be is subjective. But some form of planning is required. In comparison, a staycay only requires me to plan when to take leave and check out the room rates for the hotel my wife and I wish to stay in. Then, we just pack light. There is no need to wake up early or stay up late to catch a flight. Flying off to another country is fun, but it requires planning, time and effort 2. Forgot something? No worries. One of the advantages of staycationing is convenience - you don't have to go or look far to find say, toiletries or swimwear. There's also no need to exchange currency (or worry about exchange rates and which money changer to go to). I don't have to subscribe to a roaming service either. One thing that worries me before my wife and I fly overseas is whether we've left anything charging. If we're on a staycation, we wouldn't be concerned because hey, if needed, we can return home to check. Not having to worry about such things is why staycations can be more stress-free compared to a holiday overseas. You can still eat well in Singapore - just go to your usual haunts while on a staycation 3. There might be food issues. Trying new food is one of the biggest reasons for exploring other countries. You can really get to know another country's culture by keeping an open mind and sampling their local fare. However, not all of us are fortunate enough to have travel companions with the same mindset. If your family members are the type who 'can only eat local food' or worse, only want to patronise restaurants from global F&B chains, holidaying overseas is probably inconvenient for you. But if you're on a staycation, then your less adventurous family members should have less to complain about, which might result in less stress for you as well. Hotels like Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore can make you feel like you're in an overseas resort, even if you haven't left the country 4. Consider medical concerns. Not everyone is blessed with good health, even for those who work out regularly and watch their diet. Sometimes, genetics just gets the better of you. If you have family members that can't travel due to underlying medical concerns, a staycation is a good alternative. Frankly, being able to find a hotel that gives you the feeling that you're not in Singapore is not easy. But perhaps a getaway to Sentosa (which is not on the 'mainland') might suffice. Although you'd still be in Singapore, staying at a hotel means not having to clean your room or worry about running the air-con 24/7. Not having to think about chores is a stress-reliever, which is what holidays are about. 5. Staycations generally cost less. A three-night stay at a local hotel (provided you haven't booked the Presidential Suite and aren't eating all your meals there) can be cheaper than a six-day holiday overseas, so when I feel like I need a quick break from work, a staycation really does the trick. Well-meaning colleagues always mention that part of the hotel budget could have been used for air tickets. Or that we should have redeemed our miles instead. But these suggestions overlook the fact that going overseas entails other costs as well. These include currency exchange, your hotel, food, and pocket money for shopping. When we're overseas, there's a tendency to want to eat more food and buy more stuff because you might not find the same things back home.
  2. Would you avoid visiting the Dentist during this COVID-19 pandemic? After all there is the possible risk of aerosol transmission between consecutive patients at the dental clinics, unless we are talking negative pressure dental rooms with strict infection control protocols. Wondering how is the general public viewing the importance of non-essential dental treatment during this pandemic. https://mothership.sg/2020/04/covid-dental-care/
  3. While we have heard and read about the chaos covid 19 situation in India, this reporter provides an insight view of the real situation in Delhi. The situation is in disaster, from hospital running out of beds, lack of oxygen supply, turning away patients who are in critical condition because they have no more beds and oxygen supply. People are dying outside of the hospital gates, people on the street convert open space car park for crematory purpose and they even run out of woods etc, they are in a very sad situation.
  4. Short-term business travellers from all countries will now be able to stay and have in-person meetings at a dedicated facility at the Singapore Expo without the need for prior quarantine. The first phase of Connect @ Changi was launched on Thursday (Feb 18) with 150 guest rooms, in a move to resume international business meetings in Singapore amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The facility, which has been billed as the first of its kind in the world, has 40 meeting rooms of different sizes - the smallest can take four people and the largest, 22. When fully operational later this year, it will be able to host up to 1,300 business travellers at any one time. The facility's opening marks the start of the Connect @ Singapore scheme that will open Singapore's borders to business, official and high economic value travellers. Under the scheme, travellers can meet in Singapore at designated facilities, but have to remain within the facilities throughout their stay. They also have to regularly take Covid-19 tests in lieu of quarantine. Room rates for the four-star Connect @ Changi facility start at $384, which is inclusive of three meals, mini-bar, toiletries, Wi-Fi, two-way airport transfer as well as the Covid-19 tests required during the course of the stay. Those who opt to stay there will be transported from the airport to the Singapore Expo directly after they take a Covid-19 test at the airport. They will have to stay in the room while waiting for their initial test result, which will take about six hours to process. Those who test negative can then have meetings through floor-to-ceiling air-tight glass panels with local businessmen and businessmen from other countries, with safe distancing measures in place. The areas that local residents and business travellers can access are physically separated, and have different ventilation systems. During the travellers' stay, meals and requested amenities will be placed on shelves outside their rooms to reduce physical interaction between them and the staff. As a safety precaution, cleaners will not enter rooms that travellers are staying in. When the traveller checks out, the cleaner will clean the room while donning full personal protective equipment. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who launched Connect @ Changi on Thursday, noted that while many businesses have shifted to virtual meetings amid the pandemic, these cannot fully replace face-to-face interactions. "For some, physical meetings are still important for securing and closing business deals, and making important decisions," he said. "Face-to-face interactions are important for growing relationships, strengthening partnerships, and exploring new business opportunities." Singapore was a popular destination for business meetings prior to Covid-19, and companies are turning to the Republic to safely resume such meetings, he added. Connect @ Singapore scheme was started to meet these business needs, he said. "As the pandemic evolves, we must make the best use of technology and innovate. We must take this chance to reinvent ourselves and reimagine the future, for there is no going back to before," said Mr Heng, pointing to the Expo facility as a good example of how to do so. The project is developed by a Singapore consortium led by Temasek, and includes The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, SingEx-Sphere Holdings and Surbana Jurong. Temasek International joint head of strategic development Alan Thompson said the consortium is confident that there will be demand for Connect @ Changi, based on the number of inquiries it has received so far and its analysis of pre-Covid-19 business travel data. The consortium is in discussions with several parties, he added. It expects to receive its first guests in March. One confirmed client is Advanced MedTech Holdings, a global medical technology firm focusing on urology devices and service. The Singapore-headquartered firm plans to hold its first in-person global senior leadership meeting at the facility - its first since the pandemic began early last year. Advanced MedTech senior director of business development Lee Weikang said in-person meetings allow the staff to better connect with one another. "The smiles on each other's faces, the passion in our demeanours, the steely determination etched in our eyes, even the energy emanating from our physical presence - all these are hard to experience over virtual meetings," he said. "We are looking forward to our physical meetings at Connect @ Changi." Rooms are now open for bookings at this website, or through the Connect @ Changi mobile app.
  5. - https://vaccine.gov.sg/ WHEEE! Register your vaccination here!!!! Who wanna be the first comer!
  6. If you have been wondering why there have been a drop in Malaysian motorbikes on our roads, here's why... According to a report from Chinese newspaper Zaobao, more than 5,000 bikes have since been transported back to Malaysia while their owners choose to stay in Singapore as the reopening of borders between Singapore and Malaysia remains unknown. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysian employees that travel back and forth daily into Singapore have been affected. This number stands at an estimated 300,000 and many of these people enter our country by motorbikes while some drive in. In order to save entry permit fees and other expenses, the authorities have assisted Malaysian workers who are stuck or choose to stay in Singapore ever since the closing of borders by returning more than 5,000 motorcycles and cars to Malaysia in the past five months. A manager of one of these transport companies that provides this service has revealed that about 3,000 motorcycles have been transported across the border by them since June. At its peak, his company handled 120 bikes a day. He was quoted saying that many of these workers consider the $4 daily entry permit fee and other expenses too much to handle, choosing instead to take public transport in Singapore. Another company added on that some of the bike owners even decided to sell the motorcycles immediately after returning them to Johor. Once the transport company obtains the approval of the relevant authorities in Malaysia, it will conduct a physical screening for their driver before sending them over into Johor. To prevent the entire shipment of vehicles from being detained, the motorcycles that are being transported over must be fulled up and are checked to ensure that their license plates match the respective vehicle. It is understood that the cost of transporting a motorcycle back to Johor Bahru is between $80 to $150.
  7. WAITING FOR EXPERT TO REVIEW THIS REPORT https://zenodo.org/record/4028830#.X2AhlS2p3jA If cannot access, likely kenna DDOS.
  8. I have read many many times that human life trumps everything in many Covid19 discussion. Personally, I don't think so. To me, there is always a limit to how much economic pain, in terms of dollars before it does not make sense to save that one more life. I just want to put some numbers out there. We have almost used close to 100billion for Covid related expenses. What does 100 billion equal to???? Let me put some numbers. Our average annual income is slightly less than 70k. Assuming we work from 25 to 65, that is 40 years. So that is 2.8million per person. Assuming he works as a slave and does not consume ANYTHING for his master, he will average 2.8million in his lifetime. so many slaves do we need to make 100 billion? 35000 slaves... I am not saying a human life is work 2.8million dollars because it isn't. I am just trying to get a feel of how much is 100 billion.
  9. Today's post is slightly different from the usual posts as there is nothing lawfully wrong (as far as we know!) about today's subject. Published first on ROADS.sg's facebook page, road user Shah Ismail took a photo of this guy on his electric bike as he was at the junction of Mountbatten Road and Stadium Blvd. We don't know what to make of this; maybe Monkey God, a legendary character in a popular Chinese novel, hasn't realised that the hairdressing salons are already back in operation? Check out the what others have to say about this peculiar scene.
  10. Hi guys! whenever we are outside, or out of our vehicles, continue to mask up for our own benefits, our love ones benefits and also for others! Stay safe, drive safe and be blessed!!!
  11. If you drive a Volvo, you're paying top dollar for safety. The XC60 is the Volvo with the most safety features packed into it, making it the "safest car in the world." Then you have this XC60 Uncle who confronts another driver without wearing a mask. All that safety becomes moot. Here's the video that the dashcam driver uploaded on SG Road Vigilante (XC60 uncle comes out from the car at about 0.30) Salty dashcam driver It honestly looks like dashcam driver wasn't too pleased with XC60 Uncle making a U-turn even though XC60 had ample time and space to do so. Dashcam driver (clearly salty af) chases after the XC60 and cuts into its path dangerously at a traffic junction. He even removed the audio from the video so you can't hear him sound his horn or curse at the start of the video. Read the comments later. It backfires against him. What Covid-19 safety measures? Moving on to the angry XC60 Uncle. It’s understandable that when you’re angry, you do things out of impulse. However, the new Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act clearly states that The Straits Times Most Singaporeans are doing their part to bring the country back on its feet again. So please don’t be a CB during the CB, no matter how angry you are. Comments from netizens (even the Volvo Driver!) THE VOLVO DRIVER RESPONDED TO THE VIDEO! Eh, but seriously, should have worn a mask lah. It would be quite sway to get charged for a different offence from the original accusation. Good luck XC60 Uncle!
  12. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/exhausted-dutch-minister-leading-coronavirus-fight-quits-12558254 Not meant to be a political thread. but just want to give thanks to the man in charge of overseeing the situation in sg. The face of COVID-19 in Sg is that of National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. Maybe nt noticed by many before the task force was setup, surely well noticed by all now. Not an easy task to be the one delivering all the bad news every day. From dorscon orange, to the panic buying situation, to announcing all the new travel advisories, pleading with sgreans not to go overseas this period, taking questions from the press, being asked tough questions like will sg be seeing triple figures soon since 47 cases recorded, still kept a calm face throughout. speaks well, good english, measured response. stil cannot escape from all the negative responses from public saying wayang etc but majority of sgreans dont thinklike that... lawrence wong has been seen as the main person overseeing all the press conferences instead of our health minister. sai gang warrior. i give credit where credit is due. it is a stressful job this period. wish him best of health. http://theindependent.sg/lawrence-wong-gets-high-marks-from-netizens-for-coronavirus-crisis-response/ Singapore— National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs a multi-ministry task force specially formed to combat the coronavirus outbreak, has quietly been winning over many Singaporeans for how he has handled the crisis, with even normally critical netizens calling him “nuanced,” “measured,” and “better than the rest of the team.” People have even noted how the tech-savvy minister uses his smartphone as a tool during press conferences. Some have even called for him to be the next Deputy Prime Minister, and there are those who have compared other ministers to Mr Wong quite unfavourably.
  13. Coronavirus is giving online higher education a second chance to prove its worth source: https://qz.com/1817162/coursera-is-making-its-courses-free-to-students-around-the-world/ With an increasing number of universities shutting down campuses and shifting their learning online to try and contain the spread of coronavirus, Coursera, a US online education company, announced today (March 12) that it will provide any impacted university in the world with free access to its 3,800 courses. Universities that sign up can give their enrolled students access to 95% of its catalog which come from190 partner universities, including Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, and Yale, among others. Institutions facing coronavirus disruptions will have free access until July 31, at which time Coursera will offer month-to-month extensions “depending on prevailing risk assessments”. “The spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) is the most serious global health security threat in decades,” Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have university and industry partners, who have been at the forefront of responding to the challenges humanity has faced from time to time. “ MOOCs, or massive open online courses, were originally born a decades ago to democratize access to higher education. Students and teachers around the globe rushed head first into the world’s largest ed tech experiment but institutions later grew disappointed as it became clear students did not finish courses. Universities now face a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the world to experiment with MOOCs and the question will be, again, whether they can deliver. Coursera was set up in 2012 by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, computer science professor at Stanford University, to open access to the world’s best teachers and courses. That year, MOOCs exploded: Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology each ponied up $30 million to create edX. Coursera backers include major players in ed tech venture capital: Kleiner Perkins, New Enterprise Associates GSV Capital, Learn Capital, and SEEK Group. A low completion rate But MOOCs ran into a wall when research showed very few learners finished the courses they started (one study by academics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that online courses had an astronomical dropout rate of about 96% on average over five years). Today, many have changed their business models. Coursera no longer tracks (or discloses) completion rates but rather looks at skills acquisition, says Leah Belsky, chief enterprise officer at Coursera. Many MOOC providers now charge fees and they’re offering bundles of courses called ‘specializations’ or ‘nanodegrees’ to encourage completion, and partnering with colleges and universities to offer MOOC-based degrees online. For example, Coursera offers a bachelor of science in computer science degree from the University of London and various masters degrees in data science from the University of Michigan, Imperial College London, and the University of Colorado. Coursera also has signed up 2,300 companies who use it to train employees and a portal used by governments to train its workers. Six months ago Coursera launched Coursera for Campus which allows universities to buy licenses for a certain number of students rather than students buying their own courses. It was a timely decision. When Duke Kunshan University, Duke’s Chinese campus, faced a shut down, it asked if it could access the whole catalog of Coursera classes and not just Duke classes (Duke is a partner university so Duke students can take Duke courses on Coursera). After it offered its 587 students access, 162 of them enrolled in courses. Between January and February, Coursera saw a 47% spike in enrollments in China and Hong Kong and a 30% jump in Vietnam, all countries impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Additionally, there was a 30% increase in total enrollments for public health content on Coursera and a 185% jump in enrollments for public health content in China and Hong Kong. Since going live on February 18, Imperial College London’s course Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19 has 13,500 enrollments, making it the second most popular course launched on Coursera in 2020 so far.
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