3 M'sians Talk About Life As Frontliners & How We Can Stand As One With Them

Our frontliners do so much for us. :')

Cover image via Bernard Tang (Provided to SAYS) & Bavani Engkiah (Provided to SAYS)

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From your health and personal wellbeing to job and financial stress, there's no denying that times are tough

However, the uncertainty that continues to surround us has also brought out the best of people, as Malaysians band together to take care of each other.

This includes the amazing frontliners like healthcare professionals, the police, F&B service crews, and delivery riders who work tirelessly to keep us safe.

So, you may wonder — what are their experiences on the frontlines like? And how can we show our support for all the hard work they do?

To find out how else we can help, we reached out to three essential workers to share what they think with us. Here's what they said:

1. "Vaccination works. The only way to help frontliners is to reduce the number of cases by protecting yourself and staying safe."

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via @vikimo (Unsplash)

Dr CH* is a medical officer who has been caring for pregnant patients in a Sabah hospital's COVID-19 maternity ward since last December. When cases were at an all-time high, her team of four specialists and six medical specialists (including herself), tended to nearly 140 patients a day.

"On a particularly bad day, I doffed at 4pm. That was seven hours of non-stop work with no toilet or water break. I will always remember the day," she shared.

"It is a never ending cycle of donning and doffing PPE (personal protective equipment). For most of our oncalls, my partner and I never got any sleep. We were simply overwhelmed and understaffed.

"I think the public is aware of our long hours in PPE, drenched in sweat, not able to drink water. But I think the public does not know how our job is affecting our mental strength. It breaks my heart every time I have to send a pregnant mother to ICU, not knowing if she will ever make it out of ICU, back to my ward," said Dr CH.

"It takes a lot of physical and mental strength for us to break bad news to family over the phone, and to hear them cry while trying not to quiver myself. Cases have since gone down, all thanks to the vaccination programme."

*For privacy purposes, Dr CH shared her experience under a pseudonym.

2. "It's never been an easy day for us... a simple word of gratitude will definitely make our day"

Bernard (left), began volunteering at a PPV after graduating university.

Image via Bernard Tang (Provided to SAYS)

As a volunteer, first at The Mines Mega PPV in June, and now in an airport screening centre, Bernard Tang understands the struggles of working on the frontlines. For him, the easiest thing the public can do is to practice patience when interacting with frontline workers.

"It's never been an easy day for us. The risks, the responsibilities — and sometimes we have to accommodate people's attitude too. We are being placed in a very chaotic position, so don't expect five-star services," said Tang, who started volunteering after he graduated from university.

"We must also understand that the majority of the frontline workers have taken their time off from their profession to help curb this pandemic. Throughout being put into a sacrificing position, words of assurance and gratitude will definitely make their day," he added.

3. "Something as easy as giving the right address or arranging your delivery item neatly can go a long way"

The delivery riders, like Bavani, certainly make things easier and safer for the rest of us at home.

Image via Bavani Engkiah (Provided to SAYS)

Bavani Engkiah has been a part-time delivery person since she lost her job four months ago, a reality that many Malaysians may be finding themselves in. From unpredictable weather to fussy customers, being a delivery rider is undoubtedly tough.

Taking note of the little details before you send or receive deliveries, is a small but meaningful way to help riders like Bavani.

"It would be nice to have more helping hands and to have people arrange the delivery goods neatly," said Bavani.

"The public needs to realise that it is not easy to drive in traffic on the road, and that it's not only their items that need to be delivered. Sometimes items [end] up late, and fragile items sometimes break.

"What's nice is that some customers know we work hard and drive long hours to do deliveries without any break time. They will treat us to home-cooked food and give us extra tips."

Now that we've heard from our real-life heroes themselves, let's continue to push through and show our support.

It's been a tough year, which is why many companies like Coway Malaysia have been fighting alongside Malaysians from the very beginning.

In support of our frontliners and the country, Coway Malaysia was one of the first multinational corporations to leap into action at the start of the pandemic last year — exemplified through the many corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives it has implemented.

The company continues to empower Malaysians with its latest campaign, We Stand As One. Check out the video below:  

With an extensive list of CSR efforts, plus over RM2 million channelled to help the country to date, Coway wants to remind Malaysians that we can overcome the situation as We Stand As One

Here's how Coway has been supporting Malaysians with their CSR initiatives:

1. Contributed 101 air purifier units to four mega vaccination centres in the Klang Valley

2. Contributed water purifiers and air purifiers to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) in Cheras

3. Donated RM400K to MERCY Malaysia's Food Aid Programme, which helped more than 3,600 families and individuals in need with basic food supplies

4. Air purifier sponsorship to MERCY Malaysia Mental Health Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Projects at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR)

5. RM300K donation to the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 fund

6. Donated 300 units of air purifiers to government hospitals treating COVID-19 patients nationwide

7. Donated 100K pieces of face masks to Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM)

8. Gave away 10K sets of Stay Safe kits to food delivery service providers' customers and riders.

9. Introduced the Rasa Sayang Campaign, which spreads love to homes through multiple valued added disinfection services

Whether it's championing for the overall wellbeing of healthcare practitioners or being courteous to our delivery riders, there are many ways we can support our frontliners. Here's to all Malaysians carrying on with a united front to overcome this challenge. <3

Visit Coway's website to find out more.

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