Bright Sides of the Haze


By Jethro Wegener

The heavy thunderstorm may have dampen the haze for now, but the end of it is not in sight till the end of November at least. As we prepare for yet another blanket of smog that may descends upon sunny Singapore soon, it is time to look on the lighter side of things and consider the benefits of the haze.

Yes, you read it right: the benefits of the haze.

School Closures
As the haze gets past the 300 mark, primary and secondary schools are closing their doors in order to safeguard their pupils’ health. This is good news for students, obviously. Not only do they get to save time and for their parents, money on commuting, but they also get to study at home in a more comfortable environment. For the teachers too, it’s a day of not having to see their students.

Better Exam Results
Since students are now learning from home, chances are, their exam results will be better. After all, being stuck staring at four walls because of the terrible air quality will drive students to study hard to just get over their boredom and, thus, their marks will rise. We just hope the WiFi is down for the day. 

No Better Time for a Holiday
Need an excuse to go on a holiday? Now’s the perfect time then to use whatever leave you have and go overseas. The extra costs will be well worth it when one takes the health hazards of staying in Singapore into consideration. No price is too much where our health is concerned .

Shanghai Can’t Complain
With Singapore’s quest to best other countries in everything (we will stop at nothing), now, we even have an air quality that is just as bad as Shanghai’s. No longer can those in Shanghai moan about how good the air here is compared to there. This will probably mean less tourists from China as well, an added bonus.

Discounts Brought on by Haze
The bad air quality has certainly gotten the brands of Singapore eager to help their Singaporean consumers. Brands like Uber are offering free face masks on demand for their users, while Scoot offered 10% discounts on several of their services to anyone who used the promo code ‘FRESHAIR’. And as the haze problem continues, more companies and brands are likely do the same in the days leading till the end of it.

And probably after too, in celebration of it leaving. 

Creative Marketing
The haze brought opportunities for brands to market themselves in new and interesting ways and a lot of companies jumped at the chance. Starhub has a free preview of all their channels to encourage people to stay inside. The essence of chicken makers, Brands, came up with a special drink that will help Singaporeans fight the haze, incorporating ingredients that will combat the ill effects of the bad air. And even Spotify got in on the action with Hazed and Confused, a playlist made specifically for the hazy conditions including hits such as Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by The Platters and Burn by Usher.

Along with the big companies, even Singapore citizens are getting creative. From witty tweets to Photoshopped pictures from popular culture, the haze is bringing out the funny side in everyone. The sheer number of amusing memes coming out of the thick blanket of smog surrounding everything is proof that Singaporeans can find humour in even the cloudiest moments.

Good Time to Shop
Now is the best time to grab a mask and get to the shops. The bad conditions mean most people will be at home to escape the haze so there won’t be as many people at shopping destinations like Orchard Road. No crowds, no pressure – all this means stress free shopping!

A Different Atmosphere
With the thick blanket of haze, Singaporeans can now pretend to be in 18th century London or in spooky Silent Hill. Cosplayers should take advantage of the situation. It would be fun and scary to see Pyramid Head wandering around Singapore’s streets. Or maybe Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, complete with deerstalker and cane?

An end to this bad air doesn’t seem to be close at hand, but there are bright sides. Just focus on them and the haze will pass by in no time at all.