Singapore — After last week’s joke about the Covid-19 spreading through ‘hostesses’ instead of hosts, Madam Ho Ching, Temasek Holdings chief executive and wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, sounded a more sombre alarm regarding the pandemic.
Many Singaporeans online found a humorous side to the outbreak of Covid-19 infections in KTV lounges, and memes proliferated in the aftermath of its reporting, mostly along the lines of the “how will husbands tell their wives they’ve visited” these establishments’ variety.
And Mdm Ho, who is very active on Facebook, joined in on the fun, with a meme that went on to be shared over 1,500 times.
However, some netizens called Mdm Ho’s post “deeply insensitive,” and “inappropriate,” given the seriousness of the situation.
And on Monday, Jul 19, she took a very different track.
In another Facebook post, she wrote of the need for self-reflection rather than assigning blame.
“Yah, we can joke about hosts and hostesses.
But seriously, folks, instead of blaming others, let’s hold the mirror to ourselves.”
She added that the incidence of Covid-19 in Vietnam had been low when the familial lane was open before Mar of this year, and added that “folks who came in on whatever pass have been in Sg for a while.”
And, rather than Singaporeans catching Covid from the Vietnamese, what happened is more likely the other way around, Mdm Ho wrote.
“If any one of the visitors have covid, they are likely to have caught the virus from someone among us.”
Entreating the public not to demonise others, Mdm Ho went on to educate concerning the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus.
“Don’t demonise others.
The Delta virus is highly infectious.
The pandemic this year is not the same as the pandemic last year.
We know Delta is much more infectious.
It may also transmit faster and more efficiently as an aerosol, compared to last year.
They could come in via arrivals, or they could come in via fishing vessels delivering their daily catch.
And they could hop, skip and jump to anyone anywhere.
All it takes is one super spreader to seed a huge cluster and cause a large community outbreak with the potential to overwhelm.”
She then again repeated the admonition to not “demonise folks who get infected,” but underlined that what is important is to concentrate on the lessons to be learned, including the following:
“Don’t bar hop
Don’t doctor hop
Don’t socialise intensively.
If we wish to eat with others, don’t just eat with different groups every day just bcos the rules don’t forbid it.”
She also added, “Don’t play play, bcos this can kill many innocent folks.
Yah, we can throw a tantrum and get upset about sudden changes in rules.
But the virus doesn’t care about our tantrums.”
Mdm Ho also warned that in the next two to three weeks, if Singaporeans cannot “work together to eat and play safely,” the country “will be whacked like any other country which had gone through desperation and despair when hospitals are overwhelmed.”
She urged people to “get out of our pampered tantrums and whining blame game,” as well as to “Hunker down and be serious in protecting each other and helping each other.” /TISG
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