This Is What It Means To Be Singaporean, This Is Who We Are
Over the past week, you might have read accounts from uniformed nurses and other healthcare professionals who were shunned for riding the MRT, taking the lift, or even attempting to buy food. This is due to a misconception that their profession makes them virus-ridden and dirty.
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My battle scars . Life as a front line during this period ain’t easy, to be honest it sucks. You kiss your love ones good bye before heading to the “war zone”. U wear every level of protection needed to ensure u are contacted with any of this virus and to not bring the virus back to the loved ones at home. You wear face shield/ goggles / N95 some even wear PAPR at work, trust me it ain’t easy to breath wearing any of those (N95 & PAPR) and with all that protection on, u work quick and fast, catching your breath with every step u make because LIVE MATTERS. . . After finishing your shift sweaty with tiredness, aching back, sore calf, painful ankles. you found out that not only your Annual Leaves are frozen, you are not even allowed to leave the country as a front line staff and worst of all is when you have to cancel your wedding reception because both you and your significant other are front liners and you both are needed to fight the “war” because LIVE MATTERS. . . Now after work U shower and wear back your uniform with pride, u take public transportation just to go home and rest because tomorrow is another day of “war” but when u board the train or bus. People raise their voice at u saying u bring germs/ virus with u, that u are infecting other people and that u are INCONSIDERATE but u just be quite and leave the train or bus because u are tired after work to tired to explain ur situation. . . Now u tell us how are we suppose to feel or react? Are we not human like everyone else? Don’t we have love ones too? Don’t we wish to go on a holiday too? . . All got to say is, I am a front line staff and this is my story.
Singaporeans, we are better than this.
While many of us are huddling at home, healthcare professionals risk exposure every day just to treat the afflicted and to keep the virus from spreading further.
They've had to forgo their reunion dinners, their annual leave, and their wedding receptions to stay on the frontlines. Nurses disinfect themselves thoroughly before leaving the hospital, only to encounter paranoia from the very people they are protecting.
It's time to stop seeing uniforms as dirty and to start seeing them as a badge of honour. Here's why:
Over the last few weeks, we have been ramping up efforts to manage the novel coronavirus and screening at the NCID....Posted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) on Saturday, February 8, 2020
“We worked through the Chinese New Year public holidays to ensure that we are well prepared with resources, manpower and...Posted by Singapore General Hospital on Thursday, January 30, 2020
Alexandra Hospital, a public integrated general hospital had turned around wards to respond to suspect cases or acute...Posted by Alexandra Hospital on Monday, February 10, 2020
Doctors and nurses aren't the only ones who have been working extra hard to contain the virus. Staff in support roles have also been amping up their efforts to disinfect their surroundings, keep employees well-fed, and administrate the new precautionary measures
“We are cleaning the escalator hand rails, lift buttons and other public areas even more times than usual. It’s tiring...Posted by Singapore General Hospital on Thursday, February 6, 2020
Our pillars of support - when we think of healthcare workers, we think of doctors and nurses, we don't think about the...Posted by Yishun Community Hospital on Monday, February 10, 2020
Amidst all the accounts of ingratitude, there are some Singaporeans who have made it a point to honour our medical workers.
Like this family who woke up early to buy breakfast for doctors and nurses:
This whole week has been emotionally tiring for many of us. We spent the week handling all sorts of problems emerging...Posted by Tong Yee on Friday, February 7, 2020
Or like these teachers whose students wrote encouraging letters to the doctors and nurses at Singapore General Hospital.
We have received the appreciation cards from the students of Maha Bodhi Primary School. Principal Mrs Elaine Quek and a...Posted by Singapore General Hospital on Tuesday, February 4, 2020
These teachers and students from Anglo-Chinese School also wrote thank-you notes to those working in hospitals.
I've learned a few important truths the last few days: 1. A little kindness never hurt anyone. Whether it is to the...Posted by Yuwen Cass on Monday, February 10, 2020
How about this coronavirus victim who thanked the medical team who looked after her?
"I was not afraid because of the wonderful medical team you have here. The medical team really have hearts of gold. I am...Posted by Care To Go Beyond - Nursing on Friday, February 7, 2020
Even Old Chang Kee stepped up to the plate by offering free curry puffs to healthcare staff.
Then there is this nurse's husband, who proudly holds his wife's hand when she is wearing her uniform in public.
So proud of my lovely wife @jesuslovescy as she goes off to work each day. Thing is, she’s noticed that ppl on the train...Posted by Yeo Yeu Ann on Sunday, February 9, 2020
And these Singaporeans, who sponsored hundreds of meals for healthcare workers after OK Chicken Rice started a "cheer-up" campaign for them.
Over 400 meals contributed in the 1st day alone, we have contacted NCID/TTSH and awaiting more contacts. Let’s do our part to show this is the real Singapore!Posted by OK Chicken Rice on Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Whatever being Singaporean means to you, there is nothing less Singaporean than shunning the very people who work day and night to keep the coronavirus at bay.
The next time you spot someone in a uniform, maybe instead of giving them the stink-eye, say thank you.
It might not seem like much, but it's one step closer to giving our healthcare heroes a hero's welcome.
Stay healthy, and stay grateful, everyone.