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How We Can Play Our Parts In Helping Others During COVID-19

How We Can Play Our Parts In Helping Others During COVID-19

Image Credit: The Creation Club

With the current situation of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic, many of us are doing our best to minimize the spread of the virus by staying at home as much as possible. However, we should not forget about the various communities in Singapore that have been walloped.

From 17th April to 29th May 2020, Spice Wines will be contributing 25% of our profits from our bundle pricing of one for $24, two for $42 to raise funds for the following campaigns:

1. Migrants We Care

2. COVID-19 Relief: Feed The City

3. Support The Courage Fund And Help Those Affected By COVID-19

We wish that you will take this opportunity to offer your support through any means possible, be it donating via the purchase of our non-alcoholic wines or spreading the word across your friends and family on how the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the livelihoods of the following communities:

 

Migrant Workers

Migrant Worker DormitoryImage Credit: South China Morning Post

On 18 April 2020, Singapore reported a new record high of 942 new cases, bringing the total number to 5,992 cases. 893 of these cases were migrant workers who are residing in dormitories. Recently, Singapore has seen a sharp increase in the number of these workers being affected and the cause of this has been linked to an oversight by the government.

Singapore has implemented various measures to protect its citizens from the virus but has failed to take into account the living conditions of migrant workers. Thousands of workers live in close quarters and between 12 and 20 men might share a single room. Some have told national newspaper The Straits Times of cockroach-infested rooms, overflowing toilets and the lack of social distancing measures, sparking public outrage over their living conditions. Nine dormitories all across Singapore, housing more than 50,000 men, have been declared “isolation areas.” On 14 April 2020, the government also put all dormitories effectively on lockdown, meaning that about 300,000 workers now have restrictions on their movements within their complexes. This will, in due time, increase the number of cases among migrant workers. 

Besides the living conditions, foreign workers here suffer debt issues. They earn an average of $25 a day, and they still have to provide for themselves and their families back home. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these workers have been displaced, resulting in a loss of their income. Those who have bought tickets back to their home countries are facing flight cancellations due to the suspension of flights from Singapore and other countries in the previous month. However, Singapore is still trying its best to provide for them by moving healthy foreign workers to vacant blocks and several Singapore Armed Forces camps to minimize the transmission, but it is not enough. 

There are a few ways you can help these migrant workers. Charities and non-profit organizations such as Project Chulia Street and HOME are seeking donations to distribute care packages for these foreign workers consisting of masks, sanitizers and essential supplies. Soap Cycling Singapore has also started a campaign where for every $1 donated, they will give one bar of soap to workers. You can even help by purchasing data cards for these workers to call their loved ones back home, as campaigned by ItsRainingRaincoats and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2). To find out more ways to help you can visit websites such as BURO, Mothership and Lifestyle Asia.

 

Elderly

Lonely Singaporean ElderlyImage Credit: Asia One

As of 17 April 2020, Singapore has seen 11 fatalities due to the COVID-19 infection, and most of these deaths are of the elderly. With the virus spreading each day significantly, the elderly are the most susceptible. Seniors have a weaker immune system and are more likely to have other health conditions, weakening their body’s ability to fight infectious diseases. 

With the current circuit breaker measures, reduced visits by their loved ones and the suspension of senior-centric activities have increased the chances of loneliness for the elderly. It has been said that the lack of social interaction and physical activity could have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of vulnerable elderly populations. Many of these senior citizens also rely on non-profit organizations and social services organizations for social support and daily necessities. However, the pandemic has caused a dip in the number of volunteers and donations. This will affect thousands of seniors who heavily rely on such organizations to provide food and groceries.

Those working in essential service departments such as cleaners, security guards and cashiers, will face a higher risk of getting the virus. Also, with daily updates on new measures and policies to combat the pandemic by the government, many senior citizens will be unable to keep up with the news and may fall prey to scams and fake news, resulting in unnecessary panic. 

To keep our seniors safe and protected from the virus, we should advise the elders in our families and social circles to avoid crowded places, practice good hygiene and visit doctors as soon as they can when they are unwell (Gov.sg, 2019). The Women’s Weekly lists out five key things we can do as a family member or community for our seniors at home. To support seniors who live alone, you can donate to the Singapore Red Cross and the Sayang Sayang Fund. These funds will be contributed to customized care packages and psychosocial support calls.

 

Small Businesses And Freelancers

FreelancerImage Credit: Dollars & Sense

With the globe’s economy going through a recession, small businesses and freelancers in Singapore have been walloped. With the circuit breaker measures put in place, entertainment venues, art centres, and institutions will be seeing their temporary closure till 4 May 2020. With widespread cancellation of events island-wide, many creatives, local artists, and professionals within the arts industry have taken a big hit, leaving many in a state of uncertainty and a loss of income. 

Even freelancers in the creative industry have suffered a $23M hit from the COVID-19 crisis. Such a case is faced by a freelance photographer, Lim Yong Teck, who was hired to shoot for the Tokyo Olympics for an international news agency. It came as a big blow to him when the Games were postponed for a year. According to him, he now has virtually no income and is looking at part-time jobs instead. He is one of an estimated 1,800 creative professionals whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis. As of 25 March 2020, an estimate of more than $23 million in income had been lost over the more than 6,000 projects being cancelled or postponed.

The government has implemented various measures in order to support its local arts and cultural sector during these trying times. On top of an initial SGD 1.6 million set aside for arts groups amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, the state has most recently promised an additional SGD 55 million as part of its Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) in a bid to protect jobs and safeguard its local arts ecosystem. A major incentive for this funding is to encourage individuals involved in the arts to expand their technological skills, specifically in the digitization of their content. Share the following information to someone who you think can benefit from this:

The Vulcan Post has collated a list of government payouts, industry-specific grants, platforms to find work and ways to stay connected with communities, especially for professionals and freelancers. You can even contribute funds to the newly formed Pasar Glamour Art Aid, which strives to raise $100,000 to support freelance artists in the performing arts industry.

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