Singapore has extended the implementation of its circuit breaker measures till 1 June 2020. For many of us, this means being ‘confined’ at home a bit longer, not being able to meet our friends and loved ones for a meal or a movie, and working from home instead of an office. These, unfortunately, sound all too familiar for some persons with disabilities.
First Mother and Daughter Outing in Decades
For the first 20 years of Vivian Goh’s life, she was in and out of hospital because of lung infections. The 40-year-old has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, a condition that causes her muscles to waste away because the nerves controlling them do not work properly. Vivian lives her life in a three-room flat with her mother, and her second home, the hospital. She is bed-bound and could not sit up or move her head, depending on her mother for almost all daily tasks.
Despite all these, Vivian, with a sense of contentment, keeps herself engaged on the Internet, which is her window to the world. It was only in April 2017 that Vivian and her mother stepped out of their home for their first outing in decades.
Home-bound for 10 years
Former IT support assistant at SPD, the late Mr Lim Koon Heng, was confined to his home for 10 years after a road traffic accident left him paralysed from the neck down. Before Koon Heng joined us, he stayed in a HDB flat with his elderly parents. As his house did not have a lift landing, the only way that he could get out of his home was to have his elderly parents carry him on his wheelchair down a flight of stairs to the lift.
Unwilling to burden his parents, Mr Lim sacrificed his freedom and chose to remain at home until he moved to a new flat that had a lift landing. It was only then that Mr Lim could leave his home on his own in his motorised wheelchair.
Love for Family Comes First
The late Mr Lim was home-bound for a decade due to inaccessibility of his flat and did not want to be burdensome to his parents. Vivian only went on her first outing with her mother after 20 years due to the severity of her disability. In keeping with the call to stay home to reduce the chances of infection during this COVID-19 situation, the tech-savvy Vivian even took charge of purchasing her family’s groceries and daily necessities through various online retailers. Their choices reflect their love for their families.
While the circuit breaker measures are being enforced, we now have been given a choice to protect ourselves and our families by simply staying home and not going out unnecessarily. Continue with that Netflix binge, do those push-ups, read that book, bake that cake, just for this while longer. This too shall pass if we all do our part.
Let’s make the right choice today. #StayAtHome.