It’s been a tough couple of weeks with the haze plaguing all of us for more than a month now and Jah and Bella getting HFMD right in the thick of it all. I think people who know us, would understand how terribly torturing and difficult it is for us to keep the kids at home/ indoors on weekends. Yes, we are that crazy family/ parents who head out at 9am every weekend so that our kids can burn off some of their energy.
So we were absolutely looking forward to the haze leaving us by end November as earlier estimated. However with the new forecast coming in at Dec/ Jan or even as late as March next year, I can’t help but feel really frustrated. After all, there is really only so much ‘sneaking around’ the haze that we can do.
We used to pre-plan activities that the whole family can look forward to for the weekend. But now we wake up every Sat and Sun hoping to see PM2.5 levels below 100 and then we would rush out for some quick outdoors before ushering everyone indoors as the numbers start to climb (usually within 1-2 hours). Yes PM2.5 below 100 is our family’s internal threshold and while this usually means that the psi is well below 100, we prefer to be kiasu/ kiasi at least over this issue.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not so much a post to rant about the haze and to talk about how we have adapted our lifestyle to having the haze around. Rather with the haze looking to stay for a while, I am worried that we are becoming too adaptable. By we, I really mean all of us.
I know we teach our children to be adaptable and to react and change according to the situation. And in this situation, I think adaptability means perhaps getting a purifier and making a habit out of switching it on or carrying your n95 mask in your bags and wearing it without the fear of looking like a fool because no one else is wearing it. That to me is the extent of adaptability we should undertake. However being adaptable should not equate to being complacent.
Do you recall how only a month ago, we would ‘panic’ at the sign of the psi/ pm2.5 going above 150. Now some of us don’t even bat any eyelid. Yes some would say what a bunch of complainers and whiners. That is another argument for another time.
We should be adaptable but we should not accept walking around in the haze, unprotected as a normal way of life. We should not allow our kids to run around in a park when the levels are clearly unhealthy.
The reason I bring this up is not because I’m some perfect human being/ parent who can keep my kids indoors with no problem at all. I understand the pains and frustrations. The reason I need to say this now is because I too struggle and I too find myself slowly allowing myself to be complacent.
I need to to remind myself that this should not be a new norm for us and especially our children. We should learn to be adaptable during these months and hope that the end comes sooner rather than later but we should NEVER be complacent.