Mothers Day in a pandemic


Family time: Rafidah with her husband, Rubenas Abidin, and their two daughters. — The Straits Times/ANN

As a police officer, Sergeant Anna Anthony is no stranger to danger.

Yet the young mother came face to face with a new type of threat as the Covid-19 pandemic reached the shores of Singapore early last year.

Anthony, 33, is a Community Policing Unit officer. She performs interactive patrols and conducts some of the NPC’s engagement with stakeholders through online platforms.

She said she was worried about contracting the virus in the course of her work and endangering her loved ones, especially her 15-month-old son.

This is the second Mother’s Day for Anthony – and one she will also spend amid the pandemic.

She said: “The satisfaction of helping people in need, especially when some of them remember me and express their gratitude, is what keeps me going in this job despite the risks that I face every day. By helping others in need, I hope to be a good role model for my son.”

Meanwhile, community nurse Rafidah Rosman became worried that her vulnerable and elderly patients wouldn’t able to care for themselves amid the pandemic.Even though she was in the last trimester of her pregnancy, the National University Health System CareHub nurse donned personal protective equipment and visited patients at home to check on them.

She continued to do so until the day before she delivered last April.

Juggling being a mother and fighting in the war against this pandemic has taught Rafidah to better cherish the time she has with her family. They planned to cook together on Mother’s Day.

She said: “It can be mentally and physically tiring to work on the front line, but when I see my kids smile and laugh when I get home, it’s like my exhaustion from the day is gone.”

Single mother Lee Yee Ching, 41, has been away from her two children for a year and four months, since the pandemic began.

The Malaysian has been working as an SBS Transit bus captain here since 2014. Her children – a boy, 12, and a girl, 11 – live with her mother-in-law in Penang.

Her husband had also been working in Singapore, but went back to Malaysia in 2018 with stage 4 lung cancer to seek treatment there. He died in a road accident the following year.

Lee decided to continue working in Singapore to keep supporting her family.

For her, the hardest part of the pandemic has been not being able to see her children.

“At the start, they didn’t understand why they couldn’t come and see me.

“But now, they’ve begun to understand the situation, and will check on me and make sure I’m staying healthy, ” she said. — The Straits Times/ANN

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