Surprising medical staff fighting COVID-19 this Valentine’s Day
Youth Corps Singapore hands out care packs to frontline staff in show of support.
Published: 14 February 2020, 2:48 PM
Most Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) staff that were heading to work on Friday (14 Feb) morning, or leaving for home after the night shift, had one thing in common: they all had the look of tiredness.
This is understandable, considering that they’ve had to work doubly hard as Singapore continues the fight against the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). Some were even denied their brief respite away from work, as they had to battle against discrimination from the public.
But the look of tiredness was soon replaced with a smile, thanks to volunteers and staff from Youth Corps Singapore (YCS). Through the National Youth Council, YCS came up with an initiative to give out thank you cards and care packs to healthcare workers from TTSH on Valentine’s Day.
YCS staff and volunteers like 20-year-old Chin Jun Wuen managed to brighten up the mood of 300 frontline staff, including nurses and doctors, from 7am and 8am.
“Good morning, we have a care pack for you. Have a good day at work! Happy Valentine’s Day!” were how the YCS members greeted the staff from TTSH.
One of the nurses who received the care pack was 46-year-old Dianne, who works in the emergency department. She told Youth.SG that it has been a trying and difficult period, but receiving the care pack was a “nice surprise”.
“Honestly, I feel there is no need for the public to hand us gifts because we are just doing our job and we signed a contract for that,” said the nurse, who has worked at TTSH since 2009.
“It is really a blessing to receive this gift.” She added that it helped to brighten her mood, especially since she had just ended her 10-hour shift that started 9pm on Thursday night.
The care packs, which contain snacks and can drinks, were packed by YCS members on Thursday.
When asked about her thoughts of nurses being discriminated in public, she replied: “For us nurses, we are really working hard together. We don’t think so much (about the risk involved), we just want to do our job as hard as we can because it’s what we are there for.”
Jun Wuen, who has been volunteering with YCS since June last year, said that seeing the smiles on the faces of the frontline staff as they received the care pack made making the trip down worth it, even though he had to wake up at 5:30am in the morning.
“I volunteered for this initiative because I felt it is meaningful, especially at this point of time. It really is the time when youths can rally together and show we are not afraid of the virus, and more importantly, we are not stigmatising the healthcare workers,” said the youngster.
“We can show our support for them, come together with them, and overcome this.
“What we are doing is really a form of saying thank you to them, and to let them know we appreciate what they are doing. It is not easy for them to be at the forefront of this fight against the virus.”
YCS was also at Outram MRT Station on Friday afternoon to hand out the care packs to medical staff from the Singapore General Hospital. Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan joined YCS to show support and appreciate the healthcare workers for their effort.