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Orange is not only a Fruit, but also DORSCON



These are some extraordinary times: the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak. Every day, the world is gripped by headlines of the increasing infected count, the spread across different countries, the travel bans and containment measures. It is a non-stop news cycle. There is something new to worry about with every sunset. Some Singaporeans have taken to sweeping supermarket shelves of rice, instant noodles, and toilet paper, as if they are going to hunker down in a bunker for 6 months and not see daylight again. There are snaking lines outside stores, like Supreme’s limited edition launches, except that people are queuing for masks, hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial wipes. Shopping centres are eerily quiet (save for Don Don Donki’s food court at Jem, but hey, people gotta eat I guess).


On 7 February 2020, the Singapore government raised DORSCON (“Disease Outbreak Response System Condition”) to orange, which is a colour-coded framework showing the severity of the disease situation. At orange, the nCoV disease is considered severe and spreads easily from person to person, but has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained. The government has advised institutions/employers/businesses to take precautions, such as temperature screenings, looking out for respiratory symptoms taking travel declarations if possible, and ensuring places are well-ventilated and clean. Although things do appear under control, with proactive contact tracing and transparent reporting by the Ministry of Health (MOH), it is still worrying to see the number of cases creep up day by day. Then, there are also exclamations of mask shortages and unverified rumours or misinformation about the nCoV swirling around, which adds to the miasma of confusion.


So what does it mean for Onyx MMA? What is life like at the gym, at our little slice of home, on the West Coast? Well… pretty much, the same actually. Life goes on as usual, albeit with an eager Estonian brandishing the infrared thermometer at the entrance, taking the temperatures of everyone who enters. People who are sick or with temperatures above 37.6 degrees will be immediately sent home; so far, there are none even though there are many members in Iron Lab who beg to go home 20 minutes into the class. There is a long queue at the sink after the end of classes, as people wait to scrub their hands with soap (everyone should have been doing this long before the outbreak!!). Other members who have traveled to China, or contact with people with China travel history, have called the hotline, asking to put their memberships on hold as they are taking a 14-day Leave of Absence. And you will see us, spritzing the bags, counter surfaces, the pads, the mirrors, with disinfectant at regular intervals.


Other than taking the necessary daily precautions, life carries on. The outbreak is what it is; nothing we can do to control it. What we can do is our best to prevent its potential spread, by observing good personal hygiene at all times as well as social consideration. The virus is already out there, somewhere, and the government and healthcare workers are battling it the best that they can. What we can do is to be responsible for ourselves, our neighbours, our community.


But life doesn’t come to a complete standstill. The world still spins on. We should be wary, but not stationary. Exercise doesn’t wait, fitness and stamina don’t wait for the virus to be vanquished. It is definitely better than being cooped up at home indefinitely, blasting the air-conditioner, ordering Grabfood and watching Netflix on the couch. In fact, exercise may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Moving our limbs about and getting fresh air keeps our bodies working in tip-top condition and can boost our immune systems. Variety is the spice of life! As well as ventilation.


Still, some people might prefer to err on the side of caution; that’s fine and understandable. In the meantime, if you’re feeling restless, the lights are switched on at Onyx MMA. It’s open-air with many fans over here, and plenty of space for you to move around and sweat buckets. But make sure you cover your nose and mouth with a piece of tissue when coughing/wheezing and dispose of it promptly ah!


There’s plenty of stuff and kicking to be done here. Life doesn’t wait. Keep calm and carry on; we will get through the tide together.

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