Keeping the Spirit of Humanity Alive in Times of Social Distancing

“Social distancing” has officially become the buzzword of 2020. While keeping a physical distance from others has become the best way that we know how to keep the virus spread at bay, many people have been quick to point out the importance of maintaining our relationships despite these measures. Earlier, we had shared our thoughts...

13 April Blog Image copy

“Social distancing” has officially become the buzzword of 2020. While keeping a physical distance from others has become the best way that we know how to keep the virus spread at bay, many people have been quick to point out the importance of maintaining our relationships despite these measures.

Earlier, we had shared our thoughts on how to support our local hospitality community in a time of crisis, at a time where the month-long “circuit breaker” measures were not yet put in place. People could still live their daily lives largely as per normal as long as physical distances were kept appropriately. Now post-circuit-breaker announcement, people are having to craft even more creative ways to support each other and bring some humanity back into all this isolating madness. We’ve already heard some amazing stories in the past few weeks even before the big announcement was made – proof that in times of crises, the human touch is one of the strongest sources of hope and inspiration.

Perhaps one of the most successful initiatives was the coordinated clapping ‘flash mob’, Clap For #SGUnited, that happened at 8pm on 30 March. With only an afternoon to get the word out, many publications (that we work with regularly!) quickly jumped on the bandwagon to spread the message as far and wide as possible. The prompt was simple: let’s all show our support for the healthcare workers in Singapore by clapping from our windows at the same time. As noted by the Straits Times article that came out the next week, British expat Martin Verga explains he was inspired by #ClapforNHS and wanted to bring the movement to Singapore.

On that day, right before 8pm, something else also happened. A violinist serving her stay home notice at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa became the talk of the town when a video of her playing the much-loved local song  “Home” circulated social media. The next day, a cross-balcony collaboration took place between the same violinist and a fellow stay-home notice resident, a dizi player.

Other expressions of solidarity, though on a smaller scale, continue to gain attention as ongoing stories of hope – even making it as round-ups on print and online articles in The Straits Times. In no other time would a small group of Singaporean students dancing a traditional Maori song on an SIA flight make the news.

Perhaps the reason why these stories are so newsworthy is simply because we feel that something that displays of humanity coming together in unity is something worth hoping for in a time of uncertainty and fear. In the midst of a flood of grim articles and negative reports, stories of selflessness, art in chaos, charity and support shine through like diamonds in the rough. We are seeing similar trends with our clients’ initiatives too – those that display compassion and tenacity in some way or another are becoming the stories that journalists are excited to tell.

Perhaps in times like these, we fan the flame that helps us to keep on going: the spirit of selflessness and unity in every form.