8 More Headlines You Missed Because of Covid-19

Top image: Zachary Tang / RICE File Photo

1) 377A Challenges Dismissed, Society Still Not Ready for Equality and Inclusivity

Although Singaporeans watch more Pornhub than Netflix, we remain too delicate for gay sex. Having missed the memo that it is now 2020, the High Court dismissed three challenges against Section 377A, holding that the law “safeguard[s] public morality by showing societal moral disapproval of homosexual acts”. 

The plaintiffs are all expected to appeal. In the meantime, public morality remains under threat from the ‘silent majority’, apologists for homophobia, and pearl-clutchers who can’t mind their own business.

Image credit: Instagram/Heng Yirui

2) Peeping Tom Gets Probation

As the weeks drag on, more cases continue to make the headlines. No, not Covid-19, voyeurism. But unlike Covid-19, we seem to have grown desensitised to the numbers. 

Thankfully, there was no mention of a ‘bright future’ or ‘stellar grades’ this time.

3) Zoom’s Privacy Issues Come Under Close Scrutiny

Zoom, the videoconferencing platform most of us had never heard of till three weeks ago, is coming under fire for dubious data protection practices

Misleading encryption policies? Check. Gate-crashable meetings? Check. User information leaks? Check. 

Still, because social distancing > data privacy, it’s hard to see this putting people off the app, which is now being used for everything from yoga classes to UK Cabinet meetings. Just look at Facebook: with half the world under lockdown, user traffic has soared so much its servers are creaking under the strain. Who even remembers Cambridge Analytica?

4) Malaysia Encourages Its Women To Speak in ‘Doraemon Voice’

Ladies! Want to keep your husband happy and avoid arguments during lockdown? Malaysia’s Ministry for Women and Family has some tips: wear make-up, ditch the PJs, giggle coquettishly, and speak with the throaty purr of Doraemon, the male robot cat who sounds like Yoda on crack.

Doraemon promptly distanced himself from the snafu, affirming his commitment to gender equality and pointing out his other, more quarantine-friendly abilities, like being able to 3D-print face masks and transcend the space-time continuum.

5) We Made 0.5% More Babies Last Year

If it felt like everyone you knew was suddenly having kids last year, you might not have been imagining things. After four consecutive years of decline, the birth rate inched up in 2019, with 214 more babies born last year than in 2018.

This figure, however, was still dwarfed by the number of people who died in 2019 (21, 385).

The bump is also not projected to last, with couples expected to put off starting families due to the tanking economy.

6) Harry and Meghan Join The L.A. Proletariat

After this week, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will officially cease to be ‘working royals’, rounding off their conscious uncoupling from the British royal family. As part of the settlement, the couple will cease posting on their @sussexroyal Instagram account, swap Waitrose for Whole Foods, and give up tea with the Queen for kombucha with Gwyneth Paltrow.

The couple plan to be “financially independent”. It remains to be seen if this will be by playing themselves in Season 7 of The Crown.

7) Goats Reject Social Distancing, Run Riot in Welsh Town

A herd of restless Kashmiri mountain goats, bored after weeks in lockdown, ventured out from their home in the highlands of Great Orme for a day trip to the seaside town of Llandudno. Determined to make the most of breaking quarantine, the goats then indulged in flagrant hooliganism, eating hedges, climbing garden walls, and stopping at the pub for a pint.

If I get Corona, I get Corona.

Residents of the town were too polite to call them out for being socially irresponsible. On their part, the goats were unapologetic, claiming they had developed herd immunity.

8) Social Distancing Causes Even Uninfected People To Lose Their Sense Of Taste

Everyone on your IG feed is now a professional banana bread baker or whisking themselves into a case of carpal tunnel. Don’t pretend. We know you did, too.

2020. Image credit: Pan Jie

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