SINGAPORE - For nearly two years now, an army of front-line workers has been at the forefront of Singapore's battle against Covid-19.
Doctors, nurses, ambulance officers, community care staff, delivery riders, security officers, cleaners and others - theirs is a story of long days and long nights working shifts and often putting themselves at risk of catching the virus.
The Straits Times is paying tribute to them in an Instagram campaign called #STcovidheroes.
To contribute, please pen a tribute to a front-liner and upload it on Instagram with a short note.
You could post a photograph of a front-line worker you have met, a photo of yourself thanking front-liners, a drawing, a card or even a video of yourself thanking them in a song.
Submissions must include the hashtag #STcovidheroes.
See the tribute messages here.
ST editor Warren Fernandez noted that with the rise in the number of Covid-19 infections, front-liners like healthcare workers have had to step up to care for more and more people in the community.
"They have been doing this for months on end, despite the risk to their own well being," said Mr Fernandez, who is also the editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group.
"They deserve our gratitude and support. They need to know that their tireless efforts are well appreciated.
"This project is ST's way of joining the community in paying tribute to our heroes."
Ms Sherry Soon, 40, founder of local ground-up movement Be Kind SG, said tributes are a way to remind front-line workers to care for their own well-being as they take care of others.
Ms Soon, who has vasculitis, said she visits the hospital for treatments frequently and has seen how stressed and stretched hospital staff are because of the pandemic.
"We may not be able to provide grand gestures, but we hope that these small and meaningful tributes can remind healthcare angels and front-line heroes to take a pause and be kind to themselves," she said.
In February last year, she galvanised corporate sponsors, schools, non-profit groups and the Singapore Prison Service to put together 7,000 care packs which contained snacks, toiletries and thank-you notes, among other items, for healthcare staff.
In February this year, those on the front line were collectively named The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2020.
Others have expressed their appreciation in other ways. In August, SingPost launched a set of stamps featuring a diverse group of front-line workers including teachers, bus captains, postmen and supermarket staff.
ST executive editor Sumiko Tan said: "Singaporeans have been feeling on edge as the Covid-19 crisis drags. We hope our campaign can help lift the spirits of those who have worked so hard to keep the rest of us healthy and safe."