Amid the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak, medical professionals have been said to be ostracised in public for wearing their uniforms and taking the MRT.
A Singaporean father and his two daughters, however, have decided to show their appreciation for doctors and nurses during this time of heightened sensitivities with a simple act of kindness -- buying them breakfast.
Decided to do something after daughter sang a song to him
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Feb. 8, Tong Yee, co-founder of social enterprise The Thought Collective, said he initially did not "feel like doing anything" to help others as he just wrapped up an emotionally tiring week.Tong explained he spent the week "handling all sorts of problems" that resulted from the coronavirus outbreak.
For instance, he helped Singaporeans get home while they were stranded overseas, handled work cancellations, and coached people on addressing their fears.
Thinking that he had done his part already, and telling himself he should let others "step up", Tong then decided to remain quiet while keeping himself updated with the news.
However, that changed when his daughters woke him up at 6:40am, and asked if they could do something for the hospital staff.
While Tong said he "really didn't feel like doing it", he changed his mind and got out of bed after hearing his daughter, Rui'en, sing a song that she made up.
The song was a simple one that included the lyrics: "We're in crisis, now it's time to wish our doctors well".
"Singapore believes in you"
The family then got breakfast for some of Tong's friends who were "struggling in the hospitals".
Tong even ran into some friends at Ghim Moh market, who offered to queue for the food and pay for it as well.
Before passing the food to his friends at the hospitals to distribute to the rest of the staff, Tong's daughters wrote notes of encouragement for them on the food packaging, such as "Singapore believes in you".
Tough on medical workers these days
Tong also wrote that in addition to "doctors, nurses, administrators, allied health professionals" being "really tired", they have had their leave cancelled, and work hours lengthened.
He concluded his post by encouraging others to do the following during times of crisis, adding that he can cope better with "personal tiredness" when he focuses on these things:
- "Support our society and community"
- "Teach the next generation how to do the same"
Top image adapted via Tong Yee/Facebook