I’ve always had an interest in the uniformed services, because serving my country and making sure things run smoothly is important. When the pandemic started and the Movement Control Order (MCO) was announced, it was only natural that I was involved in the process. After all, this is what I wanted to do. My family was initially worried, but they also understood that I had a duty to uphold.
While wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) and working in tough conditions were challenging, nothing compared to how it affected my interactions with my family and the time I had to spend away from them. As a mother of four, I have a close relationship with all my children. Normally, when I go back, they would wait for me at the gate and I would hug and kiss them even before I got in the house. But being a frontliner meant that I had to follow all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) – no physical contact until I was thoroughly sanitised. I needed to be careful, lest I end up exposing them to the virus.
As difficult as it was for me, it was also hard for them to adjust. For example, my daughter’s SPM exams were postponed, which stressed her out a lot. Online classes were also something they needed to get used to. As a mom, I made sure they understood the importance of patience and perseverance. To help make things a little easier for them, I woke up at 4 a.m. every morning to cook for them, because I wanted them to have a mother’s touch even when I was not there. I’m lucky that my husband understood my duties and is truly a strong pillar in my life, stepping in to care for the children when I could not be there.
I’m also extremely grateful to my fellow frontliners who went through this experience with me. In the most challenging of times, we leaned on each other and supported one another to get through the day. Without the pandemic, we would never have gotten as close as we have. Today, I’m proud to say that I now have two families.