Circuit Breaker: How are Singaporeans affected?

It's been just over two weeks of the month-long 'lockdown' – are people coping well with the 'new normal'?

Circuit Breaker: How are Singaporeans affected?

Fear remained a dominant (42%) emotion among Singaporeans reacting to the escalating COVID-19 outbreak.

A recent analysis of peoples’ sentiment online at the start of April found that most negative conversations rooted in concerns over the potential consequences of social gatherings in public or private – especially after its prohibition by the authorities.

Despite all this, overall sentiment turned slightly more positive soon after, driven by appreciation for additional government help like the Solidarity Budget. There was also a spike (25%) in ‘love’ as people expressed relief following stricter control and support measures.

Overall, growing cases of infection and concerns around an anticipated recession has been attributed to a negative sentiment online (18%).

However, a deeper look reveals that among the ‘negative’ chatter includes a sense of relief among Singaporeans that timely government measures have been introduced to support those impacted. The positive share (8%) of conversations also reflected praise for the government’s support.

READ MORE: Circuit Breaker: How can HR support employees?

Unsurprisingly, themes around ‘home’, ‘circuit breaker’ and ‘non-essential services’ dominated conversations and searches online, according to Meltwater’s analysis, which was conducted just before the lockdown measure took effect.

A broader analysis done since the end of January suggested that conversations have been in a similar vein: ‘home’, ‘health’ and ‘safe distancing’ were most talked about in the early days of the outbreak, but soon became more in-depth with trending themes like ‘gatherings outside work’ and ‘social clustering’ picking up.

“Conversations around COVID-19 and its impact on Singaporeans’ lives and livelihoods have been wide-ranging over the past few months as the outbreak and government’s response to it evolves,” said Mimrah Mahmood, senior director & partner at Meltwater.

“Every day is a ‘new normal’ and businesses, particularly those in vulnerable industries such as travel, F&B and retail, are struggling to adapt to the circumstances.

“With most of Singapore coming to a standstill in the last couple of days, now is the time for enterprises to evaluate what these new developments mean for their business, and build strong resilience plans to not only survive but to thrive in these difficult times.”

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