When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Singapore will be in heading into Circuit Breaker (CB) from 7 April 2020 onwards due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nobody could have expected what life would have entailed. From commuting daily to SIA-MINDS Employment Development Centre as a workshop trainee, Wan Xian now had to be confined at home. Wan Xian’s mother also had her fair share of concerns. Can Wan Xian adapt to this change? She will be cooped up at home the whole day and not able to travel to the centre as she has used to do every morning until the circuit breaker ends? Will Wan Xian be stressed out and begin to throw temper tantrums at home?
As her training officer, it was imperative that I supported her family by following up with Wan Xian and her caregivers to enquire on their wellbeing at least twice a week. We corresponded through video calls of which when I found out that Wan Xian did her house chores and assisted in baking activities at home, I would commend her. To make the most of her free time with productive activities, Wan Xian helped to do simple household chores such as sweeping the floor, cleaning the table, hanging the clothes, peeling garlic and cooking fried rice and vegetable pancakes. Over the weekend, Wan Xian helped to sieve the flour helping out Mother to bake cakes and cookies for the family. Whenever I called, Wan Xian would get excited and even insisted on getting mum to take photos of her doing work, to send it to me.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, Wan Xian would spend time engaging with the home based activities provided by the centre. We also made sure that Wan Xian also participated in MINDS’ befriending Zoom activities during CB which she really enjoyed based on feedback by her mum. It was a chance for her to keep in touch with her friends virtually and she really had fun doing activities such as playing party games and sing-a-long, simulation and crafts, and physical exercises such as yoga with her peers online.
When CB was about to end, Wan Xian’s mother shared with me that “There’s a blessing after all – it’s time for family bonding for us.”
Throughout this Circuit Breaker period, Wan Xian has shown much improvement at home. To Wan Xian’s mother, seeing her daughter manage herself independently and helping out with the family duties, has filled her heart with much happiness. “It is a small achievement but a meaningful one”, Mother quipped cheerfully.
Written by: Rahmawati Bte Te’kad Training Officer (SMEDC)