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The Haze

The main reason why I have not been posting anything since getting back from Bangkok is because the haze covering Singapore has been a constant source of stress. It is very difficult to be creative when you can barely breathe because the air is so polluted and breathing in this situation is just so difficult for someone like me who has asthma.

Buildings two blocks away are barely visible at 300 PSI

The haze is caused by slash-and-burn farming done in Indonesia as a way to clear land and fertilize the soil before planting crops. This has been a yearly problem but this has not reached such an alarming level until last week. The air was so polluted you could see particles suspended in the air and the air turned opaque yellow. The pollution standard index skyrocketed to more than 400 PSI which caused people to panic and buy N95 masks and air purifiers. We had to import our air purifiers from the US, as local shops ran out of stock. The haze season is expected to last until September.

Source: NEA

It is so sad to think that the environment is being ravaged like this when there are ways to clear the land through mechanical means. The diplomatic ties between Singapore and Indonesia has been strained by this ordeal. Parts of Malaysia has also been affected by the smog. There are politicians who are making childish comments that further incite the offended parties. This is not just a Singapore issue, but it is an environmental problem that we should all be concerned about. Hopefully both countries can work towards a speedy resolution or at least a reduction of the haze to a tolerable level until a more permanent and lasting solution can be put in place.

Overpriced N95 Masks quickly ran out of stock

Instead of just grumbling about the haze, some good samaritans did their part to alleviate the situation. Some companies bought masks for their employees while other people campaigned through social media for each of us to do our part. It is these little acts of kindness that help us through difficult times and give us hope.