After living with Covid-19 for more than two years, many of us would want our lives to return to normal — but at what cost?
While many might feel relieved at the simplified Covid-19 rules, a webtoon posted on Feb 19 by Instagram user Cryingin7eleven has shed light on healthcare workers' struggles.
The various panels show how people in Singapore are going about their lives, from gathering with family and friends to getting frustrated with long queues at hospitals and clinics — and contrasting these moments with the sacrifices healthcare workers have to make during a surge in coronavirus cases.
“As you make plans for your happy hour on Friday night, will you remember us? I haven’t had a day off in more than three weeks,” the text in one of the pages read.
More poignantly, the last two pages of the webtoon show a healthcare worker standing in the dark, saying: "Honestly, I have never thought of myself as a hero. I feel like I am just plain, old, tired, me; a person standing at the end of the road."
The webtoon struck a chord with many netizens. Some shared their personal experiences in the comments while others thanked Cryingin7eleven for speaking up on behalf of healthcare workers.
On Feb 20, a woman wrote an open letter to her husband who's working as a nurse.
In the Instagram post on SGHealthcareHeroes, she shared how he was juggling his front-liner work and caring for his wife and baby during the pandemic. She noted that he became "frustrated" and "beaten", and she got worried about his mental health.
While she acknowledged her husband's contribution to the nation, the woman wrote: "I can never thank you enough. For all your sacrifices and hard work fighting a long battle.
"But it's time to come back home to your family because we can't afford to lose you."
In recent weeks, Singapore saw a surge in new coronavirus cases due to Omicron and some healthcare workers said they were overwhelmed by long queues at hospitals.
Health minister Ong Ye Kung said on Feb 16 that the majority of Covid-19 patients who went to clinics, polyclinics and hospitals' emergency departments had no symptoms or mild symptoms, and urged them to recover at home.
In light of the situation, the Ministry of Health also made a call for nurses and volunteers to support healthcare institutions in efforts against Covid-19.