The 'invisibility cloak' has been lifted from essential workers

Unmasking our hidden heroes - what's next for cleaners, labourers, landscape workers?

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Ever notice the faces of the cleaning staff in your local foodcourt or shopping mall? Or the garden and landscape team who come regularly to your community to keep the space clean and green? Or the friendly faces of your local security team staying vigilant and keeping things orderly? Ever said thank you? Or nod? Or smile?

For some of you, this may sound familiar, but it is more likely that the answer to these questions is a quizzical "no". We live in a garden city that prides itself on being efficient and effective, running like a well-oiled machine with almost clinical precision. This means that we have probably given very little thought to the people behind the scenes who make this possible - the human faces, stories, triumphs and tribulations behind this essential-services workforce.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2020, with the headline The 'invisibility cloak' has been lifted from essential workers. Subscribe