S'pore Covid-19 survivor: "I hope people won't treat us like aliens"

In an interview, she talked about her experience caring for her infected baby, and her post-discharge concerns.

Joshua Lee| February 23, 12:26 AM

The 28-year-old mother and six-month-old boy who are linked to the Yong Thai Hang cluster have been discharged and cleared of Covid-19.

They are Cases 19 and 28.

In an wide-ranging interview that the mother did with Shin Min Daily News when she was discharged, she talked about her experience caring for her baby, her feelings about infecting him, and her concerns now that she is out of the hospital.

Mother persevered for her baby

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the mother said that she had failed as a mother as she was the one who infected her baby with the virus:

"I felt that I did not provide him a good environment, so he had to suffer with me at such a young age. I felt that I had failed him. But many people encouraged me. I thought of my father, my husband, and my son. They are waiting for me. If I collapse, my family and friends will be sad. So I decided to take this as a trial in life."

The days in the hospital were difficult but she persevered for his son.

"I am his mother. No matter what, I should be fighting with him against this virus," she told the Chinese paper.

Transferred to KKH

The mother was initially hospitalised at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

However, after her son was diagnosed and isolated at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, she asked to be transferred to KKH so that she could personally take care of her son.

"I didn't expect them to accede to my request because I always thought we had to be individually isolated. I never thought that I could be isolated with my son. I was very thankful."

She was transferred to KK Women's and Children's Hospital on her third day of isolation. She was particularly touched when the SGH healthcare team gave her a warm send off.

Baby was well-behaved in isolation

Her six-month-old baby was pretty well-behaved in isolation, said his mother to SMDN.

"Sometimes in the morning, he would be awakened by the nurses to do tests and take a nasal swab. But never once did he cry."

The mother told SMDN that her heart broke whenever the nurses drew blood from her baby, but she took comfort in the hope that he will come out stronger from this episode:

"I read that Covid-19 survivors will have the virus antibodies. No matter whether that is true or not, I want to look at the bright side of things. It's a consolation for me."

Grateful for healthcare workers

The mother was particularly grateful for the healthcare workers, commending their professionalism and care. Aside from giving her daily encouragement, they were attentive to her emotional well-being.

She was very touched when she heard that a healthcare worker put herself in danger to care for the infected patients even though she has an eight-month-old toddler. It is such professionalism and selflessness that the mother is very grateful for:

"They too have families but they're not afraid. They really put in their utmost for us."

"Please don't treat us like aliens"

Now that she is discharged, the mother told SMDN that she fears being ostracised in public. However, she says that she understands if people shun her. After all, if it is someone close to her who gets infected, she too will be afraid and worried.

"However, I hope people won't treat us like aliens. We too have two eyes and a nose. The only difference is that we used to be sick."

She also explained that the virus is not that frightening.

"It's slightly more severe than the flu and the scariest part of it is how easily it's transmitted. But even if you are infected, there's nothing to worry about. You need to trust your body to fight the virus," she said to SMDN.

Top image via KKH/Facebook