On Monday (2 March), Redditor mellowminister (MM) updated a post that he made earlier regarding his difficulty in getting masks for his father who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
His first post on 22 February expressed his worries that after 3 weeks of continuous searching for masks, he was unable to find a retailer in his neighbourhood who sells it.
He explains that the family had used all 4 pieces of masks given by the government.
Without new masks, the redditor feared that his father would have no mask to protect himself from contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Although some people claim that the mask is not a 100 per cent guarantee against the virus, however, the redditor adds that it serves as an assurance that his father is somewhat safe.
In their frantic search for masks, the redditor’s sibling had sought to find masks only to be scammed with overpriced fake 2-ply face masks.
The redditor, meanwhile, had searched every thrift store and drugstore but could not find anything available.
Through the acquaintance of his father, the family obtained “medical grade masks” – which turned out to be non-3 ply translucent masks.
The redditor’s story has since gone viral and was picked up by Goodyfeed and the Singapore Kindness Movement. MM was overwhelmed by the support and kind words extended towards his family by the well-wishers. He profusely thanked Singaporeans who have reached out to offer their share of masks.
The redditor’s shared post also highlights that aside from his own unwell father, there could be many other immune compromised patients out there who are in dire need of help during this critical time.
And as a support to these unfortunate people during the coronavirus outbreak, the redditor’s explains that there is an initiative called the contribute.sg – an organisation dedicated to providing and distributing free surgical masks or N95 masks to those in need.
Though there are many volunteer efforts as such, on Wednesday (4 March), in an open thread discussion, some Singaporeans are still complaining that they are unable to find masks.
Another, Redditor by the name of MisoMesoMilo says that it has been about a month, and it is difficult to find masks. It has also become more complicated when many of those which are being sold online seem to be dubious, said the redditor.
To alleviate the stress of Singaporeans in trying to procure masks, on Saturday (7 March), LUSH Aesthetics will be distributing 40,000 free surgical masks (5 pieces per pack) to members of the public.
Shopping malls around Singapore such as The Centrepoint, Bedok Mall & Harbourfront Centre will be supporting LUSH Aesthetics by providing the company with ideal spots around the malls to distribute the masks.
The selected areas to distribute the masks are Orchard MRT station, Bedok Mall, the MRT B2 MRT Linkway, The Centrepoint, #02-K01 (In front of Gyu-Kaku), the Harbourfront Centre, L2 Mini Atrium (Next to KFC) and the Jurong East MRT station (Next to Starbucks) from 1pm to 3pm.
The event is organised to support Singaporeans overcome the anxiety of having to face masks shortage situations, over pricing of masks and, most importantly, to do whatever necessary so that people are not cheated by poor quality masks that do not offer the protection that is required.
The beauty company has organised this distribution to ensure that the public gets a chance to stay protected without being at the mercy of those looking to exploit the outbreak for their own personal monetary gains.
Being an integral part of Singaporean lifestyle, the company hopes that this small gesture will help as many as possible to get hold of this essential supply during this time of need.