Life as (new) normal

BY THE STRAITS TIMES, 29 MAR 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has compelled Singaporeans to make changes to daily life and be more resilient. Here are some tips on how life as the “new normal” can look like

For weeks, Singaporeans have been carrying out their daily routines differently. And with the stricter safe distancing measures being put in place, working from home, limiting social gatherings and staying in more have become our default.

You can still make the most out of staying at home and even support the community and the needy while you’re at it. Here’s how.

Create a daily routine – even if you are home-bound
It could be taking a shower in the morning and having breakfast just like if you were still heading to your office in the CBD. If you miss your morning coffee, order Bettr Barista’s Work-From-Home Drip Coffee Package for a fuss-free cuppa. This will put you in the right frame of mind as you complete your job tasks remotely.

Take regular breaks away from your computer
Set reminders to have a good stretch, fill up your water bottle or water your plants.

Cook healthy meals at home
Use this time to experiment in the kitchen or even teach your children how to cook their favourite dishes. You get to have a healthy, balanced diet and bond with your family too! You can even do good at the same time by ordering fresh greens from social enterprise Edible Garden City. If you’re looking for a fuss-free yet healthy alternative, try WhatIF Foods’ protein-rich instant noodles made with Bambara groundnut.

Just remember, let’s not waste food, so don’t cook more than you can finish!

Stay connected with family and friends through video calls
Use platforms such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom and Google Hangout to connect with your loved ones. Seeing your favourite people is one of the best ways to lift your mood.

Learn new skills online
If you run out of shows to binge-watch on Netflix or are looking for more productive ways to spend your time at home, how about picking up a new skill or language? There are a range of online courses supported by SkillsFuture that could help you gain new knowledge. And if you are a small business owner, the DBS SME Academy has a number of BusinessClass lectures to help you attain new skills to manage and grow your business.

Support local
In particular, some local businesses have a social mission to give back. So when you support them, you're helping them help others. Take for example social enterprise Boxgreen — the healthy snack subscription service gives a portion of its proceeds from every snack sold towards providing meals for the needy. Know someone who has been affected by the outbreak? Cheer them up by gifting a box of snacks from Boxgreen or flowers from BloomBack, another social enterprise that hires people with special needs and offers eco-friendly floral arrangements.

Give back to the community
One way to act positively in these times is to help the needy. Project Dignity (projectdignity.sg), which employs people with special needs and provides lunch treats for the elderly in nursing homes, has seen a stark drop in donations since the outbreak. You can help by purchasing bento boxes from them, or sponsoring a meal for senior citizens. The Food Bank Singapore has seen a decrease in food donations since the start of Phase 2 Heightened Alert. Show your support for the less privileged by contributing to their emergency food bundle programme. Visit www.giving.sg/fbsg/foodbundle to find out how you can help.

Time well-spent

From using a lull in business operations to upskill, to spending more time with family and helping the less fortunate — times may be challenging but here are some people who are living resilient and making the best of the Covid-19 situation.

“With social distancing measures and a lull time that could stretch over six or nine months, this is the best time to invest in training and look at ways to reshape the business for the future. This is why we subscribe to a few pet specialty resources and business management portals, such as the DBS SME Academy, to grow our domain knowledge and business management skills.”

Mr Terry Peh, founder and managing director, Good Dog People. The business is tapping on the DBS SME Academy’s online training courses to upskill its employees.

“I was concerned with my Secondary Two son going to the enrichment centre during this period so I signed him up for online supplementary lessons provided by 88tuition. This way, he can continue his studies while at home, and we’ve found he concentrates better too”

Ms Jestina Tan, who signed her son up for free online supplementary lessons offered by 88tuition in partnership with DBS

“I have a young kid and elderly parents at home, so to me, it’s about keeping them and others safe. I keep to only a small group of people I meet these days (if they are well), so it’s easy to contact trace. It is a great time for family bonding — cooking together, bonding over books and craft… in fact, my four-year-old kid has learnt how to make scrambled eggs! It’s a great start to be inventive at home.”

Ms Vanessa Lin, Corporate Real Estate Strategy & Administration at DBS

“My team and I are keeping safe by practising rightful social distancing, discouraging co-mingling and increasing our personal hygiene regime through the use of disinfectants and regular cleaning of our workspaces.”

Mr Ethan Yan, Institutional Banking Group Technology/ Future Ready Technology at DBS

“I recently volunteered with DBS’ People of Purpose to ‘rescue’ fresh food that would have been discarded and delivered them to The Food Bank's community partners. Even though we asked for ‘ugly’ food that was still edible, the items they gave us were very fresh and beautiful. It was really meaningful to see the people receiving and donating food items during this stressful time.”

Ms Huijie Xu, Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS

“Working from home means I get to bond more with my seven-month-old baby. Just a simple 20-minute playtime sweetens my day.”

Mr Kenneth Tan, Technology & Operations – Group Procurement & Services at DBS

Standing by the community

To help the community tide over this period, DBS has introduced various support and relief measures*

FOR INDIVIDUALS

  • Complimentary insurance coverage for Covid-19 and unexpected effects from vaccinations taken by 31 December 2021
    Till June 30, DBS/POSB customers are eligible to apply for complimentary insurance coverage. The Covid-19 Vaccine Protect policy offers:

     
    • 14 days coverage for any unexpected effects from the Covid-19 vaccination following each vaccination taken on or before 31 December 2021, limited to two.
       
    • 30 days coverage for Covid-19 from the date that you submit your application.
     

    It also comes with a 2-year DBS Parkway Programme, including 2 teleconsultation sessions on us*.

     

    *This programme is jointly organised by DBS and Parkway Shenton.

  • Home loan payment relief
    Eligible homeowners may opt for a reduced instalment plan, pegged at 60% of your monthly instalment amount, for up to 9 months, or till 31 December 2021, whichever earlier. To qualify, the homeowner’s account must not be in arrears for more than 90 days.

  • Free online supplementary lessons
    DBS partnered with web-based learning platform 88tuition to offer free online supplementary lessons to Primary and Secondary school children. Parents interested in supplementing their child’s education with an online learning platform can sign their child up for 12 free lessons to be used over a 14-day period at www.88tuition.com/posb.

FOR BUSINESSES

  • Collateral-free loans
    New relief assistance from Budget 2020 for SMEs and businesses impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Access collateral-free funding with repayment period of up to 5 years.

  • Faster payouts for Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)
    Eligible SMEs will be able to receive their payouts faster compared to cheques when using PayNow Corporate.

     

    Subsequent enhanced JSS payouts as outlined in the Resilience and Solidarity Budget as well as other relief measures can be disbursed through PayNow Corporate moving forward as well.

     

    Apply through DBS IDEAL - more details on how here.

  • Contact-free trade financing services
    DBS is the first Singapore bank to digitise 11 common trade financing processes allowing corporate customers to upload all trade financing applications and supporting documents on DBS’ Corporate Banking platform IDEAL.

  • Bootcamp Webinars
    Organised by DBS BusinessClass, the Bootcamp series introduces solutions from our digital relief packages and covers topics such as digital marketing, online accounting, cloud based HR, and accessing new B2B sales opportunities – all featuring actual solutions you can leverage on. Check out the latest Bootcamp webinar here.

  • Online SME Academy to upskill business capabilities
    DBS SME Academy training courses have been moved online to allow businesses to continue to upskill their staff in the safety of their homes and offices.

*Updated 4 June 2021

For more information on Covid-19 relief measures from DBS, click here.

 

This content is produced in partnership with ST Life.

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