PM Lee Explains How Fighting Coronavirus Is Both A Medical & Psychological Battle

Sadly, Singaporeans’ reactions to DORSCON Orange and the growing number of cases hasn’t been ideal.

With Singaporeans rushing to stockpile necessities so they can go on self-imposed lockdowns, the situation brought out the society’s ugly, selfish side that comes out in desperate times.

It’s gotten so bad that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (PM Lee) took to a Facebook post to quell people’s anxieties about the coronavirus situation.

Take a look at what he shared below.

Here’s how you can be a responsible citizen, as highlighted by PM Lee using a Straits Times’ article.

1. Stop ostracising medical workers

Medical workers are indispensable in tackling the coronavirus. Unfortunately, their job requires them to be in close proximity to those who are at risk, and for extended amounts of time, too.

They are being incredibly selfless by potentially exposing themselves to carriers of the coronavirus, and helping to care for them to lessen the spread and impact, yet many have taken to ostracising them in public.

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People have sneered at them, moved away, and even made hateful remarks to their faces, forcing them out of MRT cabins and buses.

We shouldn’t be treating those who are literally giving themselves to fight the battle with such cruelty.

They’ve taken the necessary precautions, just as we should, and are doing their best to help those in need, so let’s give them more respect.

2. No need for lockdown

Many stores in Singapore have closed and begun to implement lockdowns to reduce contact between people.

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Although it’s highly recommended that we stay away from congregating in large groups for now, there’s really no need for lockdowns and closure.

The spread of the coronavirus is still moderate, and there’s no need to stop business operations. They only heighten people’s anxiety, which is exactly what we don’t need now.

3. Do not practise xenophobic or racist behaviour

It’s easy to slip into prejudiced behaviour if you’re not careful.

Something as simple as referring to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan Virus” – which even we are guilty of – is xenophobic behaviour. The name just encourages us to discriminate against Chinese nationals, which goes against our duty as Singaporeans to be accepting of all.

As this article by The Straits Times says, it’s easy to point fingers at the Chinese for “creating” and “spreading” this virus worldwide. Even though the virus did first emerge in Wuhan, the Chinese aren’t to blame for it.

Let’s not forget that foreigners make up a good portion of our workforce, and a third of our medical field. They’re working hard to control the situation and keep us safe, and we should be appreciative of that.

PM Lee says fighting the coronavirus is a psychological battle

Combatting the coronavirus via treating patients, finding a vaccine or an effective cure is definitely the medical field’s fight.

However, that doesn’t mean that we civilians don’t have a part to play in the coronavirus battle as well.

Medical workers are like the commandos, going headfirst into the enemy’s field to lay the groundwork for the rest of the soldiers. We civilians are the infantry, providing them with strength in numbers and an unyielding spirit.

Our society is at war with the novel coronavirus, and we have to be the impregnable battalion that conquers it.

This isn’t our first viral outbreak — there was SARS in the early 2000s. We should be more experienced in handling the situation and remaining calm.

Be a resilient, vigilant Singaporean

We urge you to be more aware of how you’re reacting to the situation, from now on. Think logically about your actions and consider whether they’re actually doing any good. If they aren’t and are only causing more discord and paranoia, it’d be good to put them to rest.

As PM Lee said in his post, we’re prone to herd mentality, given our tightly-knit communities and small population.

Instead of letting that be our downfall, we can use it to our advantage and propagate a resilient, vigilant mindset among all Singaporeans.

We haven’t been responding well to the situation, but it’s not too late to turn it around.

Featured image adapted from the Prime Minister’s Office.