It’s Day 18 of the circuit breaker period, and you’re starting to lose it.

Your sister constantly chews loudly and your brother keeps saying Aiyah every five minutes.

After nearly three weeks of this, the temperature of your blood is slowly rising towards 100 degrees and your veins will pop if you don’t release your frustrations.


Sister and Brother: Looks like someone needs a bubble tea

Spending an extended period of time with someone indoors can drive anyone to their breaking point, but are we really the reclusive hermits we think we are?

Do we really enjoy solitude?

Not at all, according to a new survey.

Survey: 1 in 5 S’poreans Prefer to Isolate Alone & Men Find it Harder to Isolate Than Women

79% of Singaporeans would rather isolate with a buddy, based on a survey of 1,052 Singaporeans by YouGov which details isolation behaviours during the circuit breaker period.

Lest you didn’t know, YouGov has nothing to do with the Government; it’s an Internet-based market research and data analytics firm.

The remaining one in five (21%) would rather isolate alone.

The majority (88%) of Singaporeans are already isolating with someone else, with only one in eight (12%) isolating alone.

But who would you choose if you had a chance to isolate with?

According to the survey, more than half (53%) would choose to isolate with their spouse or partner, though they were presumably asked this question when their partner was standing right next to them.

Pretty sure that doesn’t make any difference in the results.

A third (34%) said they would want to isolate with their children, three in ten (29%) with their parents, one in five (20%) with their siblings, and a small percentage (4%) with someone else.

Who exactly is this someone else? No one knows. Maybe it’s that GrabFood rider who seems like he’d be a fun chess partner.

Image: YouGov

Women are also more likely than men to want to isolate alone (24% vs. 19%), which goes against studies that show that females find same-sex social interactions to be more rewarding than males.

Interestingly, most (83%) of those who are already isolating with their partners would choose to stay isolated with them if they had a choice, but nearly half (46%) of those isolating with their parents would choose to isolate with someone else.

Parent: This is how you treat us after all we’ve given you?

Teenager: *rolls eyes* You just don’t get it, dad.


As you can probably guess, the biggest challenge those isolating with someone else are facing is feeling like they have no personal space (33%).

If you think about it, we spend about five hours a day with the people we live with at home, taking into account the time we spend commuting and at work.

Now, that’s increased to around 12 hours, which can make even the loveliest person in the world seem more annoying than your uncle on WhatsApp.

Other challenges include general arguments and bickering (31%), feeling annoyed with their isolation companion (26%), no personal free time (24%), and feeling bored of their isolation companion (21%).

However, over a third (36%) do not feel like they are facing any challenges whatsoever.

Image: Giphy

Nearly half (44%) are also struggling to keep themselves in shape, because who has time to run when there are a thousand TV shows on Netflix waiting to be binged?


40% are struggling to maintain a positive mindset, 34% find it difficult to stick to a healthy diet, while 12% feel like they have no personal struggles at all, with women more likely to feel so than men (15% vs. 9%).

Are these people characters on Crazy Rich Asians?

The main challenge, of course, is missing social interaction with people outside their household (50%).

Mental Health Not Badly Affected

Fortunately, most Singaporeans seem to be dealing well with the confinement psychologically; seven in ten (70%) say their mental health has stayed the same since isolation.

One in ten (10%) actually believe that their mental health has improved, with those isolating with their children are the most likely to feel so (13%).


Two in ten (20%) however, feel like their mental health has gotten worse, and those isolating with their parents are the most likely to think so (24%).

Man, parents are really taking a hit, aren’t they?

Practice Kindness and Avoid Conflict

It’s easy to get annoyed with someone when you see them all day every day for weeks on end.

As one psychology professor says, when people are isolated and have cabin fever, they get moody, irritated, and frustrated.

But there are a few things you can do to avoid taking your frustrations out on your isolation companions.

For one, try working in different rooms if you can and spending more time apart. The lack of privacy can drive anyone insane.

You could also try distracting yourself when you’re upset, whether it’s by reading a book, watching a movie, or even meditating.

And while it’s good to communicate any issues you may have with your isolation buddy, try to do so in a positive, gentle manner, as negativity just breeds more negativity, which could be detrimental to your relationship.



It won’t be like this forever, guys. Just hang in there for now.

Reader Bao: But it has been like this for me since I was born

You’re just different, which is why you’re always interrupting my articles.

3 thoughts on “Survey: 1 in 5 S’poreans Prefer to Isolate Alone & Men Find it Harder to Isolate Than Women”
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