“Si vales bene ego est valeo”
(Latin: if you are well, that is good, I am well also)
In 2020 CE (Coronavirus Era) Singapore, some leisure and entertainment facilities have started to re-open. However, there are some high-risk ones that will probably stay closed for the foreseeable future. Some activities will probably be off-limits until a vaccine is found. Unfortunately, this means that over the next few months, such businesses are in danger of closing permanently.
1. Group karaoke
Singing in groups has been linked to superspreading events, perhaps due to the larger amount of droplets/particles emitted and deeper breaths taken when singing.
So singing in groups in a small indoor space for an extended period would obviously be a big no-no. Solo karaoke booths might be a solution, but it would require full cleaning of all surfaces before and after, plus strong ventilation systems to purge any contaminated air. I doubt that this would be economically viable.
2. Indoor pop concerts
A distinction needs to be made between pop concerts where fans are expected to crowd together and scream loudly, and classical concerts where fans are expected to stay in their seats and keep quiet.
In 2020 CE (Coronavirus Era), the following risk factors mean a ban on indoor pop concerts for the foreseeable future:
- Large numbers of people crowded together tightly
- Lots of shouting that generates airborne droplets and aerosols
- Confined indoor spaces
- Relatively long duration of 2-3 hours
Reducing the size of the audience and spacing them out would probably result in a loss due to lower ticket sales, so don’t expect any live performances any time soon.
For classical concerts, the risk might be lower due to fixed seating and no shouting, but organisers would face the same problem of lower ticket sales due to having to space out the seats. If such events are not economically viable, they will not happen.
3. Big conventions, sales and events
Indoor events where large crowds of people gather for extended periods are out of the question. There won’t be sales like COMEX and events like Anime Festival Asia, which attract thousands of people per day and huge crowds that jam up walkways.
Booth spaces are expensive, and exhibitors can only make money if visitor and sales figures are high. Also, travel restrictions make it difficult for overseas guests to attend such events.
4. Event spaces
Due to problems listed in sections 2 and 3 above, convention centres and theatres are probably going to stay empty for a while. The lack of revenue could be a problem for such property owners.
Some properties will be able to earn revenue from alternative activities. Some places like the Singapore Expo have been converted to isolation areas for mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. Other places like sports halls are housing healthy migrant workers in essential industries.
5. Self-service buffets
We all love occasionally stuffing our face at a buffet. Don’t indulge too often though, binge-eating too frequently is bad for health.
It seems that my previous post about free-flow drinks was really behind the times. Self-service buffets, self-service drinks or condiments are still not allowed due to the higher risk of spreading the virus.
Some buffet restaurants have transitioned to a la carte buffets instead, which means higher manpower costs to serve customers at their tables. In Bedok Point, Saizeriya has entirely closed its self-service drink bar, while Just Acia has barricaded it and has a staff member to refill customers’ cups.
6. Slightly more probable chance of restarting
Limited audience at outdoor sports stadiums: Since the sports teams are already using the stadium to play, and the seating area is outdoors and very large, a small audience could be allowed to view the matches.