Forum: Outbreak has shown best and worst of Singaporeans

History tells us it is during a major crisis such as a war or extreme disaster that the beautiful and ugly are most distinguishable.

The present Covid-19 outbreak is an excellent illustration.

By the second day after the first Covid-19 case was made public, almost all face masks were sold out.

Interestingly, the same evening, the Internet was flooded with masks offered for sale.

This was followed by reports of people being cheated in online scams involving face masks.

More disturbing was the response of certain unscrupulous merchants suspected of profiteering by selling masks at high prices.

While there will always be black sheep in our midst, Covid-19 has also revealed a large number of remarkable Singaporeans.

The response by Singaporeans from all walks of life and across the island to the call from our political leaders to come forward to show support for front-line officials was remarkably spontaneous, enthusiastic and sincere.

Equally inspiring is how friends, neighbours and families have grown closer by showing care and concern, and offering help.

An elderly neighbour with two 5kg bags of rice told me that if I needed rice, she had some to spare.

I am fortunate to have such a caring neighbour.

The outbreak has served us well as a national education lesson. Our people are more united and showing greater care for one another.

Cheng Lian Seah

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