You know what’s funny?

Earlier this year, as my team and I planned out the editorial calendar, we had slated June to be an upbeat month where we celebrated good vibes, positivity and the warmth of summer. The thinking behind this was the announcement months ago that vaccinations would by now be open to young adults and that the country would be in a much better mood.

How wrong we were. Not only are we back in a mini lockdown, the planned vaccinations have been pushed back till mid June — and that’s only the time for us to register for them.

In between, the temperature of this country seems to have reached boiling point where we’re seeing more people caught on camera defying Covid-19 regulations (“Where is your badge?”), and verbal altercations that have turned physically violent. It’s worrying that fissures are showing up in otherwise staidly Singapore at a time where we need to come together.

If anything, it shows that the effects of the pandemic are not just limited to the symptoms of the actual illness but the underlying dread and stress that seems to follow us down every cul de sac.

All this comes just as the world marks Pride Month — and as we all know, S377a still exists here in what must surely be a grotesque preservation of Straight privilege and enabling homophobia. Who can forget the footage of that crazy man who threw a rainbow flag at a staff member of Smol, an eatery in Lau Pa Sat?

And then earlier in May, a certain Eugene Cheong, founder and director at E labelled any minority person standing up for themselves as a “noisy minority” right after videos of Beow Tan emerged harassing innocent commuters with her brand of racism. This is not to mention wedding photos being used as cardboard standees, and nasties in nasi padang.

The backlash these received on social media is telling that times have changed. You can no longer go on living with your head in the sand. The appetite to stomach and tolerate people or entities that degrades others has dried up.

It’s easy to get angry. It’s easy to feel despair. What isn’t is how we can grow through this noise. How can we, as a publication with reach, be of service to a society that’s undergoing its greatest challenge yet?

As always, we’re supporting F&B businesses by extending coverage on deliveries (burgers, pizzas and fine dining, oh my) — this is always the cornerstone of what we do here. This month, as we spend at least the first two weeks largely at home, we’re turning our focus to self-growth and nurturing new interests. In other words: Create, don’t hate.

We’ve kicked it off by spotlighting places where you can learn the Korean language online for free, read books for entrepreneurs, and even how you can get started on vinyls if it’s something you’ve always wanted to pick up. Plus, we’ve launched a new column called Snack Attack where members of the team take turns to recommend the nibblies they’ve been stocking up on, especially useful seeing as we’re all stuck at home and in need of comfort. In case you missed it, I kicked it off with a round up of high protein vegan snacks that don’t taste like chalk.

It’s a trying time for us all. As we figure out the best way forward, sometimes the best thing to do is to look inward and focus on ourselves.

Stay safe.

(Featured image: Photo by Nicholas Swatz from Pexels)

Azimin Saini
Azimin Saini is the Editor of Lifestyle Asia and manages the team in Singapore. He has been told the sound of his backspace is like thunder through the clouds. On a regular day, he has enough caffeine in him to power a small car. Follow him on Instagram: @globalgastronaut