An update on Singapore and COVID:
In 2020, Singapore was the model country when it came to the COVID-19 pandemic. They had exceptionally low case numbers and an almost non-existant death rate. Many people in the US, a country with high case and death numbers, would ask, “Why couldn’t we do it like Singapore did it?”
In Dec’2020, I had Dr. Walid Abdullah, a professor and researcher in Singapore, on my Causes or Cures podcast to discuss Singapore’s model response. He went into detail about Singapore’s population, government and various measures used to keep COVID case and death rates down. He also offered a comparison to the US and explained why Singapore’s response wouldn’t work for a population like the US. It’s a great podcast and highlights an important truth about public health: A public health intervention might look great on paper, but it’s only as good as the population’s willingness to accept it. Every population is different, and you must take that into account and tweak accordingly for a successful outcome.
Unsurprisingly, Singapore also had a very successful vaccination campaign, having quickly vaccinated over 80% of their population. They were the first Asian country to approve the mRNA vaccines for COVID and the first Asian country to begin a population-wide vaccionation campaign. Much like the US population, the people of Singapore thought the vaccines and high vaccination rate meant things would go back to normal: COVID would be history, masks would be a thing of the past and people would be back to socializing normally. By the way, that IS how the vaccines were pitched to almost every population: Get vaccinated so you can go back to doing the things you love. As we know in the US, things did not turn out that way. ( Ahem)
Fast forward to today and cases are surging in Singapore. Their death rate, while still low, is increasing as are serious cases of COVID. That does not make sense to a lot of people. How are you having more cases and a higher death rate AFTER a very successful vaccination campaign? What went wrong? Dr. Abdullah was kind enough to come back on Causes or Cures to explain what happened in Singapore. You can listen to that episode here.
Singapore and COVID is an extremely interesting case study at the moment. It’s worth listening to this podcast carefully, and I encourage your comments and theories. I also hope you guys subscribe to Causes or Cures and share the episodes if so inclined. I always appreicate it when you guys tune in.