As Coronavirus continues to spread around the world, here’s how we can support healthcare workers, delivery and taxi drivers, and others on the frontlines of the Covid-19 fight in Singapore
You’ve probably seen the Cornavirus memes about simply staying home and social distancing — Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on your couch. You can do this.
If you’re lucky enough to be personally unaffected by the Coronavirus, in addition to doing your part by practicing good hygiene and following government guidelines, why not show your support for those on the frontlines fighting Coronavirus?
First off, there are the countless healthcare workers who’ve done an amazing job keeping everyone safe. From GPs to doctors and nurses at the NCID, to ambulance drivers and the detectives doing the extensive contact tracing that has set Singapore apart from so many other countries in the world, there are thousands of heroes out there working around the clock, away from their families and loved ones, to help keep the rest of us safe.
And while day-to-day life has certainly changed a bit for everyone in Singapore, there are many people feeling the pinch as the rest of us try to avoid crowds and spend more time at home to #FlattentheCurve. Think about the delivery drivers dropping off online groceries or Amazon orders, or bringing you your dinner. Think about the taxi drivers – who’ve felt an immense crunch due to the drop in business travel and tourism – who are still bravely taking people to the hospital. Or the grocery store cashiers who’ve had to work extended hours to handle manic panic buyers. A big smile and heartfelt “thank you” is the least we can do – consider tipping drivers generously if you have the means.
And then there are the 300,000 Malaysian workers who work in Singapore every day; many have made the difficult decision to leave their families for at least two weeks due to the Malaysian lockdown. Thousands of them have had to scramble to find a place to stay, and it’s been heart-warming to see the outpouring of support from local businesses and hotels to help house these people who are giving up so much to keep our economy going.
If you’re like us and looking for a way to say thank you and express your gratitude, read on for our running list of initiatives and special perks to say thank you to doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, Malaysian workers and others. From hashtags to free burritos and coffees there are ways big and small to say thank you to these heroes.
The Courage Fund was originally set up in 2003 to support Singaporeans affected by the SARS Outbreak. Today, in the same spirit of uniting the community to support one another through difficult times, donations to the Courage Fund go toward supporting individuals and families, affected by the COVID-19 situation, including healthcare workers, frontline workers and volunteers. The National Council of Social Services is also coordinating in-kind donations of essential supplies like masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers to support the social service agencies. As of March 31 the Courage Fund has already raised nearly $6 million to support Singaporeans affected by COVID-19.
GrabCare in an initiative providing a 20% discount off rides for Healthcare workers at 12 hospitals in Singapore, including the NCID, Tan Tock Seng, Singapore General Hospital and others. Healthcare workers can register through their place of work, or email [email protected] for more details, then get the discount when booking a ride from any of the included hospitals. Be sure to use promo code UOBGRABCARES to get 20% (up to $3) off. Be sure to let the doctors, nurses, and medical technicians in your life know about this one! GrabCare is currently valid through 31 March, though we have a feeling it might be extended.
GrabFood is also doing their part to support local restaurants with a “Local Heroes” icon on the homepage to highlight smaller, homegrown restaurants. There are nearly 500 to choose from! In addition, GrabFood has teamed up with Coca Cola to gift your delivery driver a can of Coca Cola No Sugar (at no extra cost to you)! And of course good old-fashioned tips are encouraged as well.
Druggists & Mikeller Bar – which just so happen to be two of the coolest beer bars in Singapore – have teamed up to organize a donation drive for essentials for Malaysian workers who can’t go home. They’re calling for toiletries, bedding, canned food, clean clothes and towels. Technically the drive ended on 22 March, but last we heard they were still looking for some items, so best to reach out to them directly to enquire.
ItsRainingRaincoats is a wonderful organisation we’ve spotlighted around the holidays that collects toiletries and other useful items for migrant workers. Their most recent drives collected hand sanitizer and soap for men living in a dormitory where two workers tested positive for Coronavirus, along with baby goods for the pregnant wife of a construction worker who was hospitalized with Covid-19 in critical condition. The organisation is well worth a follow.
McDonalds is providing a Free Cup of Coffee (including lattes or cappuccinos) or tea for healthcare workers who show up in their uniform or show a hospital pass. No minimum spend is required.
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#LetArtSupportSG In support of all healthcare workers during COVID-19, the Gallery is offering free entry for all healthcare workers and their plus one to enjoy the ongoing exhibitions from 28 Feb 2020. We hope art can play a part in bringing comfort and relief to people in times of need. Also, join us in contributing words and drawings of encouragement through the hashtags #SgartforHCW and #nationalgallerysingapore on Facebook and Instagram to boost the morale of our frontline healthcare professionals. Selected artworks will be displayed at hospitals’ public spaces as a form of encouragement to our healthcare workers. This in collaboration with @singapore.medicalassociation
National Gallery, Singapore has created two unique hashtags that at once encourage creativity and showing support for healthcare workers. Throughout the month of March, encourage the kiddos to draw or paint a picture showing their gratitude, then use the hashtag #SgartforHCW on Instagram and Facebook, and selected artworks will be displayed at hospitals’ public spaces as a form of encouragement to healthcare workers. In addition, the Gallery is also offering free entry for all healthcare workers and their plus one to enjoy ongoing exhibitions; see the hashtag #LetArtSupportSG for more deets!
Stand Up for Singapore is a community group that’s encouraging people to write thank you messages to frontline medical personnel using the hashtag #BraveheartsSG, on either Facebook or Instagram. The initiative started around Valentine’s Day, but has continued as Coronavirus has raged on.
Want to show off your own social distancing and let healthcare workers know your’re doing your part to flatten the curve? Use the new StayHome Sticker on Instagram, which will automatically add you to your friends’ IG Stories feed!
Stuff’d, which has locations all around the island, is offering anyone in need a free burrito daily between 5-6pm. It’s a lovely and heartfelt acknowledgement that a lot of people are going through a tough time right now. If you can afford a burrito, why not consider buying an extra one for someone in need? The promotion is running through 31 March.
WhyQ is a new local initiative that allows the public to sponsor a meal (at $4 each) for healthcare workers. The campaign has been such a hit – with over 15,000 meals gifted so far – that it had to be paused to allow for delivery! WhyQ says it will be available to gift more meals soon; in the meantime you can also leave an encouraging message for healthcare workers on the encouragement wall, which is shared with medical staffers at Singapore General Hospital.
Do you know about other important community initiatives out there to say thank you? Let us know over social media or email us at [email protected]!
Lead image by Ministry of Health