It’s all over…go on the Internet and you see what’s trending locally in Singapore is the news about the Zika virus.
The numbers seem to be climbing everyday.
But life goes on for the bulk of most Singaporeans. Some of us count ourselves lucky that we aren’t quite affected if we don’t work or live in the affected areas of concern.
Yet, for certain groups of people, the cause for concern is real especially if they work in the affected areas:
1. Hawker Stall Owners
Just a few days back, the Straits Times published an article of how hawker centres in the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive area are seeing lesser crowds as people stay away from these two affected areas. Unfortunately, hawker stall owners not only earn lesser because of the drop in customers, but at the same time they put their health on the line with an increased risk on getting infected.
Zika or not, cleaners still have a job to do to keep our estates clean. And for those working in the affected areas, their health are also put at risk being exposed to the possibility of getting infected by the virus.
3. Police Officers
Surely, there is still the need for police officers to patrol on the ground whether Zika or not to keep our streets and living spaces safe. And of course patrolling involves walking about outdoors, hence the increased risk of getting infected too.
4. Security Officers
Talking about safety, these workers also are on the ground to help keep our commercial and private residential buildings safe. Again, their work requires them to be outdoors, which increases the risk of infection.
(Oh, by the way, the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for Security kicked in yesterday, meaning officers must be trained and paid according to the PWM.)
5. Medical practitioners
Paramedics are often outdoors to respond to accidents and emergencies. This means that they too risk the possibility of getting infected by the Zika virus. Clinic staff in the affected areas also continue to work and see patients who come in and out of their clinic, while staying indoors reduces the chance of being infected, there is still quite a possible chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito.
So, Zika or no Zika, these group of workers and others continue to work and keep us going.
Singapore has pulled through the SARS epidemic in 2003. If we pull together this time round, we can do it if we cooperate and prevent the growth of mosquitoes.