Solo in Singapore: Awesome things to do alone in the city
All by myself
Now that the COVID-19 outbreak is officially called a pandemic by the World Health Organization, government bodies worldwide are imposing measures to slow the spread of the virus. "Social distancing", as such, has become the new buzzword.
But what does "social distancing" look like in Singapore? ICYMI, the Government has recommended the cancellation or postponement of ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events that have 250 people or more attending. If an event must carry on, organisers need to make sure precautionary steps are taken, such as attendees need to be temperature-checked and seated at least one metre apart. Dining, entertainment and cultural spaces are also advised to limit the amount of people within at any one time.
Sure, social distancing can help flatten the curve, but the truth is, cabin fever is no fun. What can we do when we're told to hang out on our own? Here are some cool ideas, below – but only for those who are symptom-free, not issued with a self-quarantine notice, and not part of an at-risk group. That is to say, if you're unwell and vulnerable to the virus, #staythefhome.
Doctors and health experts have said that it's unlikely the coronavirus can be spread in swimming pools and the open waters, so go get inside a kayak or on a surfboard, and paddle away, all by yourself. Kayak rentals are available at the Water Sports Centre, though they take into account the total number of people on the water at any one point in time. For stand-up paddling, Aloha Sea Sports Centre offers boards at $30 an hour. Bring disinfecting wipes to be safe.
Update your Instagram feed
Architectural wonders are peppered across the city if you're willing to take the road less travelled; see our guide to Singapore's most Instagrammable architecture and cultural landmarks before you head out and start snapping. While you're at it, keep an eye out for street art by local graffiti artists and show them some love on the 'gram.
Join a class
Check out the workshops at your local community centres (CC) on the People's Association website. Siglap Community Centre, for example, is offering cooking and how-to-grow-your-own-vegetables classes in April. Want to get busy with your hands? Pop over to our list of cool arts and crafts workshops where you can learn screen-printing, floristry, and more.
If you'd rather stay in, there are plenty of classes online to choose from, and some are free. A simple Google search will pull out great places like Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning and Data Camp to upskill yourselves. YouTube is also full of free exercise and yoga videos. Some fitness centres, personal trainers and yoga apps (like Down Dog) are offering free classes or free subscription for a period of time to get you moving while you coop up at home.
Talk a walk or a hike outside
We live on an island with lots of green, open spaces – use them! Sunshine and fresh air are recommended to keep yourself healthy and prevent the coronavirus from infecting you. Go on scenic coastal walks from East Coast Park to Changi Beach Park and Sembawang Park, while keeping a distance with passersby. Plug into your favourite playlists or podcasts. It'll do your mind good.
Read a book or three
Did you know the National Library has an app (NLB Mobile) that you can borrow and read e-books and e-magazines on, some for free? You don't have to buy books. Just borrow them, settle into a quiet cafe, and escape a little with a good cuppa. Make sure you wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face too much, and have some seating distance from the bookworm next to you.
Shopping, shopping, shopping
Of course, you can still shop online, but we hear delivery times are a little mental these days. Why not head out to an actual mall? With people staying away, you'll have peace and quiet browsing through the aisles. There may not even be lines for the fitting room. Can't decide what to buy? Insta-storying your picks and ask your friends and followers to vote. And all that walking between shops can count towards your daily steps. Wins all round!
Catch up on the latest blockbusters
Let's get this straight: You're not a loser going to the movies by yourself. Think about it: watching a movie is, in fact, a solitary activity. You can now indulge in that horror/chick/romantic flick nobody in your circle is interested in watching. In the cinema, no one will try to speak over the movie to you. You can be in your sweats, with no makeup, and even bring a plushie because you're seeing no one you know. How lovely is that? Now go and book a ticket for yourself (one seat apart from the other watchers).
Some say Singapore is too bright to see stars, but the Science Centre says otherwise. You can stargaze for free, but you need to book a ticket for either a guided tour and/or a time slot to actually see the stars. It happens every Friday from 7.45pm to 10pm. It's a great way to be outdoors, feeling at one with all around you and realising how truly small you are in the universe.
Don't be afraid to do things alone nowadays. If nothing else, it'll make you appreciate your own company, help you become more self-aware and, in the end, make self-love a priority through all that we are currently facing globally.