Many are refusing to give in to fear and xenophobia, and are actively taking initiatives to love those around them. Photo from StandUpFor.SG Facebook

Dorscon Orange may have cast a gloom over this year’s Valentine’s Day, but some are finding ways to show the way forward in love.

“She’s a nurse and I’m so proud of her”

Abraham Yeo, 38, Singaporean of the Year 2019 finalist, posted a photo of himself with his wife, Cheng Yu, in her nurse’s uniform, as Cheng Yu had noticed people giving her “quite a bit of space” on the train.

“So proud of my lovely wife,” he began, before mentioning in his post that in this season, he tries to “hold her hand even more … esp when she’s wearing her uniform because she’s a NURSE and I am SO PROUD OF HER”.

He pointed out that nurses and doctors take “much more” precautions because it is their own life on the line. “The least we can do is to honour and love them, and find ways to support them.”

Yeo also gave some suggestions for those with partners in the healthcare sector on Valentine’s Day: “Support them in whatever love languages they have.

“Hold their hands in public, affirm them, help them with whatever chores they have, buy them coffee, or just spend a good time over a delicious meal.”

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Stand up for SG

“When (the outbreak) unfolded many of my friends were asking, ‘How can we be of service? How can we let those at the frontlines know they are not forgotten?'” said Wally Tham, 43, one of the co-founders of community group StandUpfor.SG.

On Sunday, Feb 9, StandUpFor.SG launched #braveheartSG to show care and appreciation for those on the frontlines doing “thankless and invisible” jobs.

They encourage the public to submit their messages on social media through the hashtag #BraveHeartSG. Volunteers then help to print and distribute them today (Feb 14) to coincide with Valentine’s Day.

On this Valentine’s Day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanks healthcare workers for going above and beyond the call of duty to keep Singapore going. Photo from PM Lee’s Facebook

They hope to collect handwritten notes of encouragement from the public for over 5,000 frontline staff including nurses, receptionists and janitors.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also penned a note today to thank doctors, nurses and healthcare workers for looking after their patients day after day. “Your loving care and commitment makes all the difference. We all stand with you , and give you our full support,” he wrote.

In three days, the group collected over 200 notes from the public and gathered the support of several agencies and businesses. HSBC (Singapore) is sponsoring snacks and drinks, while a local printing company, Print Lab, is handling the printing of all the notes collected.


Some of the heartfelt cards for healthcare heroes, collated by StandUpFor.SG.

StandUpFor.SG was born out of a bible study discussion in 2012, Tham said. Going beyond the “theoretical discussion” of loving your neighbour, Tham said that they wanted to step in and stand in the gap when Singapore gets frightened or angry.

Since then, they have run several campaigns, writing notes to thank public transport drivers in 2012 after an assault of a bus captain made the news, distributing masks and air purifiers to low income neighbourhoods during the haze, and more.

No one left behind

This Friday, Operation Mobilisation (OM Singapore) is resuming their fortnightly ministry to streetwalkers and brothel workers in red-light districts “to let our friends know we care for them, especially during the coronavirus outbreak, an uncertain and challenging time for them”.

“It is an opportunity for us to walk the talk, exercise faith in God and not fear, trusting that the Lord will take care of us in Isaiah 43:1,” said the spokesperson for OM (Operation Mobilisation).

Last Chinese New Year, some members of the team celebrated the season with steamboat dinners held in the garage of several brothels. Similar plans were made this year, but were cancelled as the coronavirus outbreak unfolded. (Photo by OM Singapore)

Some members of the team also had a Chinese New Year dinner with workers from a few brothels. Photo by OM Singapore.

“We will, however, scale down by going out in smaller groups and visiting fewer brothels and contacts.”

Since 2015, OM has sent teams out on the streets with baskets of small gifts and gospel tracts, whether rain or shine. Every year, special Valentine’s Day gifts are prepared. During each walk, the group focuses on having conversations within the friendships that have already been established.

In the face of adversity, Singaporeans have expanded Valentine’s Day to encompass much more than romantic love.

#braveheartsg is calling for more volunteers to help distribute the printed messages on Valentine’s Day this Friday. Contact Standupfor.SG for more details.

To send in your own photo of a handwritten note for medical workers, post it on your social media account with the hashtag #braveheartsg or simply email them. 

About the author

Tan Huey Ying

Huey Ying is now an Assignments Editor at Salt&Light, having worked in finance, events management and aquatics industries. She usually has more questions than answers but is always happiest in the water, where she's learning what it means to "be still".