Gas masks would be the best, seconded by the popular-during-SARS-period N95 by 3M. Desperados who can't get any settle for the least useful, surgical masks. As citizens rush to the clinics, pharmacies, TCMs to get masks, Singapore and Indonesian government get into their snail-like pace to come to a resolution to the haze problem.
Tonight, as I sat behind my keyboard, wearing a mask in my own enclosed room, I was "on-duty" as web master for a political party.
While I was safely behind the protection provided for by my windows, door and masks, a handful of my fellow political buddies brazed the haze to give out free surgical masks to residents of the estate.
It's a political move, yes. It is also a human move.
And yet, as I take on the safest duty tonight to post updates on the Facebook wall, I see the appreciative sides of Singaporeans.
Unfortunately, I also see the ugly side.
Comments like "Useless", "Waste of time" and "No Use" peppered the comments, all because the free masks that were given out were not N95.
I felt nothing but disappointment for my fellow countrymen.
These comments are addressed to Singaporeans walking in the haze, giving out masks for free.
Since when is it a useless act to give out free items? I see Singaporeans braving heat, braving rain, braving insanely long queues to collect the commonplace tissue packs, toothpaste, mouthwash at Raffles Place.
I see Singaporeans braving this very haze to queue for a cat plushie.
And yet to the fellow Singaporeans who walk around estates in the haze giving out free masks (that were sold out in pharmacies, clinics islandwide), it was deemed by some as a useless act.
What happened to the society that cultivated such cynicism within the citizens of this garden city. What was more appalling was that this cynicism was directed to our own people.
These cynical comments are from Singaporeans, to Singaporeans.
Was it the haze that got to them?
Was it the fact this was done by a small political party with limited resources and outreach?
Or had cynicism become a tumour of the society. Have Singapore developed a society where receiving help or giving help should be met with snide remarks.
One of those nights.