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  • Writer's pictureDennis Toh

5 acts of kindness shown during covid-19

We may not want to admit it, but the Covid-19 outbreak has awakened – or perhaps, revealed – the ugly in a lot of people. From panic buying to spreading fake news and scalping, we’ve been hit by not just a pandemic wave, but some sort of “hate” wave as well. It may feel discouraging, given that many Singaporeans have been through years of social studies and should know that there is no better time than now to stay united. But don’t be too discouraged yet – there are some good Samaritans among us who have used the coronavirus outbreak as a chance to share resources and show acts of kindness. They definitely deserve some recognition, and we want to thank them through this list!

1. Businesses giving away thousands of surgical masks

Photo Credit: U-Gate Design PL

You may have heard of the mask shortage in Singapore that was a result of panic buying when the Ministry of Health (MOH) raised Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) to Orange. To add salt to the burn, some individuals and profiteers even indulged in scalping by reselling masks at ridiculously high prices. Fortunately, some businesses such as U-Gate Design have stepped in to help the community by ordering thousands of masks to be given away. Posting on their Facebook page, the home and décor company prompted Singaporeans in need of masks to WhatsApp them, and noted that each person would be getting two masks. Since then, they have distributed over 4,500 masks.

2. Punggol Field residents providing masks, hand sanitiser, and alcohol swabs in HDB lifts

Photo Credit: TODAY

Residents in Punggol West were pleasantly surprised by an act of kindness of anonymous individuals who started leaving supplies at HDB block lifts such as masks, hand sanitiser, and alcohol swabs. While this initially started in just one block, more people started contributing supplies at multiple blocks, proving that the kampung spirit is still alive in Singapore. Residents have also left handwritten notes reminding each other to wash their hands and use what they need. This is indeed the perfect example of “a good deed goes a long way”!

3. NUS and NTU students delivering meals to students on Leave of Absence (LOA)

Photo Credit: Nanyang Technological University

When the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced in late-January that students returning from China would have to serve a 14-day LOA, a group of students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) stepped up to help their fellow schoolmates. While most people could only sympathize with the students returning from China who had to stay isolated for 2 weeks, these NUS and NTU students went the extra mile by delivering food and welfare packs to those affected. The welfare packs were thoughtfully created and included snacks, magazines, drinks, and masks. Their good deeds have been applauded by Minister of Education Mr Ong Ye Kung, as well as the National Development Board Minister Lawrence Wong.

4. Singaporeans reaching out to stranded Malaysian workers

Photo Credit: TODAY

When Malaysia implemented the Movement Control Order on March 18, many Malaysians working in Singapore were left without a place to stay. Many who were stranded had no choice but to sleep at MRT stations, unsure of what will befall them in the coming weeks. Following this, there was an outpouring of support from Singaporeans who provided stranded Malaysian workers blankets and food, with some even opening up their own homes for free. By the next day, at least six people had offered spaces in their homes which were located in areas such as Serangoon, Paya Lebar, and Bukit Batok.

Later, various government agencies in Singapore also implemented initiatives to help house Malaysian workers at temporary relief centres such as the one at Jurong East Sports Hall. It is definitely touching to see Singaporeans in solidarity with our Malaysian neighbours, proving that regardless of nationality, human beings can still put aside their differences and help one another.

5. Restaurants handing out free food to our healthcare heroes

Photo Credit: @han_Ig

While most of us have been staying safe and sound in the comfort of our own homes, healthcare workers are risking their lives daily battling the pandemic. To show their appreciation, some restaurants have come together to deliver free meals and beverages to several hospitals such as the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and National University Hospital. Despite the food and beverage industry being badly hit by Covid-19, chef-owner of restaurant Labyrinth believes that business and giving are “two separate entities”, and have donated $20 per dinner customer, $80 for every bottle of corkage charged and $40 for every bottle of wine sold to frontline workers.

Other food companies who have contributed in this effort are Jam At Siri House, Sanity Coffee, Pezzo Group, and Keng Eng Kee Seafood.

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