by The Observer
What makes me any different from them?
Since the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster started, I started asking myself this question.
The “them” in my question is dormitory workers.
They are swabbed every two weeks; they are not counted in community cases; people see them as “dirty”.
Even I, at the height of dormitory infections, found myself avoiding foreign workers coming to my house for construction work or repairs.
I’m ashamed of myself now, because my family gets similar treatment because we are healthcare workers.
“Oh you work at TTSH? Sorry cannot deliver food there.”
“You live near TTSH? Sorry cannot take you in my taxi.”
“You understand right?”
Some staff request letters from the hospital, to excuse their children from school because these children of healthcare workers are not welcome anymore.
Hundreds of doctors are taken away to stay in isolation even though they gave tested negative. Doctors and nurses are being told they need to be tested for this blasted disease every two weeks.
I need to live with the anticipation of having that stick twirled up my nose every two weeks. And I know how horrible it is – I’ve inflicted those swabs on patients regularly.
I need to live in fear, knowing that every two weeks there’s a chance they could appear at my doorstep and take me to lock me away in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
I can tell you, no matter how much of a high I get from helping someone, saving someone’s life, making some random rare diagnosis, nothing is worth the chance of being taken away from my beautiful babies.
Meanwhile, life goes on for everyone – carrying a drink around so you don’t need to wear a mask, ripping your mask off the minute you enter a restaurant or house, and so forth.
Being a doctor? Risking my life and my family? Maybe it’s time to give it up.