Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- fairly / ˈfɛər li / (adv.) – to a moderate degree or extent
You just need to take the boxes upstairs. It’s a fairly easy task.
- obey / oʊˈbeɪ / (v.) – to follow what a rule, law, or person says to do
My dad always obeys traffic laws, but my mom likes to speed.
- regardless / rɪˈgɑrd lɪs / (adv.) – not affected or influenced by something
Brad hires hardworking people regardless of their educational background.
- let alone / lɛt əˈloʊn / (conj.) – used after a negative statement to say that something isn’t possible because the situation mentioned before it isn’t possible
I feel so tired. I can’t even get up from bed, let alone walk to the bathroom!
- in tandem with (something) / ɪn ˈtændəm wɪð / (idiom) – together with or at the same time as something
These new toys are going to be released in tandem with the newest comic book.
Read the text below.
Continued from Part 1…
Can a family of four — for example, two parents and their children — sit together? After all, it would seem fairly obvious that they are from the same household. Apparently not. For one, restaurants and eateries have reconfigured their tables and chairs to seat only solo diners and/or pairs. The rules also state that even if we are from the same household, we have to obey the limit of two per table.
In fact, we are not even allowed to interact across multiple tables, regardless of whether the other party is a stranger or someone from your own household.
This has resulted in some awkward situations. A friend who was out with her husband and their two toddlers had to sit at two separate tables — and they were reminded by restaurant staff that the pairs could not talk to each other, let alone share food. So each table had one adult and one child, and they had to order separately.
Thankfully, the government is already talking about raising the group limit for dining. By the time you read this, Singaporeans may be allowed to eat out in groups of not more than five. This is in tandem with the ramping up of the vaccination programme and regular testing of workers in higher-risk settings. Something that used to be taken for granted has become a luxury, and we can only hope we get to “indulge” soon. (Tan Ying Zhen)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
- Interacting across multiple tables isn’t allowed, regardless of whether the other party is a stranger or someone from your own household. Do you agree with this policy? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Do you think restaurants should be able to break the two-per-table limit in some situations (ex. a single parent with two children)? Why or why not? Discuss.
- The author says that the government is already talking about raising the group limit for dining. In your country, is the government talking about loosening any restrictions? Should restrictions be loosened all at once or in stages? Why? Discuss.
- The author said that eating out in large groups has become a luxury. What other normal things have become luxuries in the pandemic? Why? Discuss.