The COVID-19 outbreak, without a doubt, has brought a wave of negative implications to many people around the world. But for some people, there are valuable lessons to learn from the global pandemic.
For Daniel Teo Weilong, who is a member of Progress Singapore Party (PSP), said that the outbreak has given a sense of realisation that the low-wage workers are also contributing to the nation, adding “the jobs that people were taught not to become, are now key to everyone’s livelihood”.
On 16 April, Mr Teo posted a video on his Facebook account to share the one lesson that all Singaporeans can gain from the COVID-19 outbreak, and that is, recognising the low-wage workers and medical staff’s contributions to the nation.
“There is one thing that we all can commend ourselves on. Far beyond the measures that our Government has enacted,” he said.
According to Mr Teo, Singaporeans have come into realisation that not only the white-collar workers are contributing to the nation, but the healthcare staff and low-wage workers also contributed to the nation as they are now being seen as the frontliners in this current climate.
“All these people who we were taught not to become, they are now key to our livelihood,” he noted.
He then asked the audience to reflect on those times when the low-wage workers were being undervalued by the society, including the narrative of “if we don’t study hard, we will have ‘lousy’ jobs”.
“How many times have we heard the narrative that if we don’t study hard, we will have “lousy” jobs? How many times has a social worker been questioned on why they do, what they do because the pay is just too low. Think about it,” Mr Teo noted.
Mr Teo further questioned his viewers, “Does it take a pandemic to help us understand that every single citizen plays a part in society?”
Commenting on the many random acts of kindness and compassion that he noticed from the Singaporeans, Mr Teo said that these acts of kindness will turn into a “unifying factor” to bring the country to the next level in global.
“We are the people of Singapore, we have spirit. At this time I’ve noticed many random acts of kindness and compassion from Singaporeans to everyone. This is a unifying factor that will bring us forward to the next stage in the world. We have progressed so far, now it’s time to show the world what Singapore really is,” Mr Teo remarked.
He concluded the video by reminding Singaporeans to be more compassionate, adding “no more saying that we are a first-world nation with a third-world mentality, but a first-world nation with a first-world mentality.”