Singaporeans in Melbourne trying to cope with lockdown
Singaporean Dilpreet Singh, who runs a technology start-up in Melbourne, has been exercising regularly and checking in more often with his business team as he tries to keep his spirits up while living under lockdown in the Australian city.
The 40-year-old, who has been in the capital of Victoria state since 2012, said there is a lot of disappointment and anger at the lockdown being tightened and extended for six weeks until Sept 13.
It is the toughest so far in Australia and comes after some people infected with Covid-19 were found not at home isolating.
"It is a pretty bad mood here on average. Most Australians have listened to the government, so the mood is one of huge disappointment at the situation. There is a lot of anger and resentment at the few people who have spoilt it for the rest of us," said Mr Singh.
Under the tightened restrictions in Melbourne, people have to observe an 8pm to 5am curfew and stay within 5km of their homes during the day.
Mr Singh said it has been difficult to get hold of essential items such as toilet paper, bread and fruit in recent days.
There is also worry about the economic impact and jobs.
"I have not had to lay off anyone so far, and I am hoping to keep it that way."
Mr Singh said having communication limited to teleconferencing through platforms such as Zoom has made it more difficult to convince investors to come on board. In June, his application for an exemption to return to Singapore to seek investors and raise funds for his business was rejected.
Singaporean Regine Lau, 26, a first-year PhD student at Monash University, has been away from home since February. She decided to remain in Melbourne as there was uncertainty over when international students would be allowed back into Australia.
"Feeling homesick is something I have learnt to cope with, and FaceTime definitely helps," said Ms Lau, who is reading clinical neuropsychology.
Singapore permanent resident Paul Falzon, 46, has been in Melbourne since mid-June to help take care of his father, who suffered a heart attack.
"I am doing long runs around the area, personal high-intensity interval training classes in the backyard and yoga just to keep fit and sane," he said.
He has also been calling his wife and nine-year-old daughter, who are in Singapore, two to three times a day.
Mr Falzon said: "I just hope the situation doesn't get worse than it is. I want to get back to my family. I miss them a great deal."