How are you guys? I know most of my readers aren't from Singapore so you probably don't know this. Singapore is in a environmental crisis. Now. In layman terms, our air is filled with shit and we are breathing it in. Every single second.
Every year during the dry season typically from June to September, Singapore gets covered by smog, a result of our neighbour, Indonesia burning her land in preparation for the next sowing season. For decades, this has been happening. The fires are not accidental but deliberate. The fires are also "illegal" but they continue to occur year after year.
Back in 1997, we had the "worst" haze situation when the PSI hit 226. The PSI measures the air quality in the air - the more shit, the higher the number.
PSI Value Air Quality Descriptor
0 - 50 Good
51 - 100 Moderate
101 - 200 Unhealthy
201 - 300 Very unhealthy
Above 300 Hazardous
This table above gives you an idea what the number means. So in 1997, when the haze was at its worst, the PSI was 226 which is only "very unhealthy".
On Wednesday night when the PSI hit 290 at 9pm, jumping 100 points from the previous reading, I could feel that everyone on social media felt like the world was ending. 290! That's just 10 points away from hazardous. I mean once it crossed 300, we were all gonna die for sure. Right? I mean, what the hell does hazardous mean in layman terms? Well, we all kind of found out at 11pm for the 10pm reading. (the server crashed) It was 321. For the first time in history, our air quality was above 300. The end of Singapore.
Oh well, we all went to bed and yes, we're all still alive. Bad air or not, we're still alive. Cough, cough.
The PSI has since hit other highs. Like 401 at noon today. (I was sleeping, trapped in a dream where I took the wrong bus)
So what next?
The strategy is to keep healthy, stay indoors and be positive. And not panic.
Which I kinda did today.
I went out in search of N95 face masks after reading a report that the government has 9 million of these babies in its armoury. Good lord. We never even know the government has a armoury. The newspaper report says the ministry of health will release new stock to the pharmacies. Guess what? It's out of stock at all the places I went to. I only have dust masks at the moment which are practically useless but I figure they're better than nothing. I'm positive new stock will come in soon (because the government doesn't lie) so I shan't panic.
You know, living here it's easy to forget how tiny Singapore is. All it takes is a number of fires to cripple us. We are at the mercy of the Indonesian government. If they do nothing about the fires, there's nothing much we can do. Just wait it out. Wish the people in charge will stop pussy footing around!
Whenever there is diplomatic tension, dumb words are bound to be said. These came from Agung Laksono, the minister who is coordinating Indonesia's response to the haze crisis.
"Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise."
"Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won't consider accepting it. If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don't need that. We would rather use our own national budget."
I hope he's referring to one million rupiah and not one million Sing dollars!
With this kind of attitude, only rain can help us.
So my dear friends. Do you have any super rain summoning powers? Pray for rain for Singapore. Not the wimpy kind. We need like 3-4 days of heavy downpour, at least!