Dr. Sean Thum

Finding the Best of Us in These Trying Times

Responding to the call to serve at a designated Covid-19 centre was pretty straightforward. It was my duty first and foremost as a doctor, and wherever my country needs me to be, there I will be.

And if it was the Covid-19 frontlines, so be it.

It started out well. I was part of a friendly and welcoming group of individuals who were nothing but pleased to serve. We had a good, diverse team, with each person having different skill sets.

Being stationed at the frontlines, our duties were taxing. We had to see patients while being in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The gear was extremely constricting; causing us to find it difficult to breathe, and also to sweat profusely while in it. Apart from that, we were also shrouded with concern of contracting the virus from the patients we come across.

Day after day, the country charted an increase in numbers of patients diagnosed with Covid-19. Sometimes, the exhaustion and the worry was overwhelming.

I remember vividly every prayer I made - hoping that the situation would turn for the better. There were moments where the anxiety got so stressful I found it difficult to eat and sleep.

Nevertheless, stormy weather allows us to see the best not just in ourselves but also in the people around us. For me in particular, I saw the best in my comrades. With that, I am incredibly thankful.

I was inspired by the professional way they treated each and every patient with kindness.
I was encouraged by their boundless energy and optimism as we carried out our duties.
I was nurtured by the ties of friendship we developed during our time at the frontlines.
Their presence around me was sustenance in getting me through these trying times.

The past few months had been a difficult time for everyone across the world, but I would like to think that we did our part in helping to make the world a better place. We may not have done much. But I’m fortunate to have been a part of this team.

Hence, I would like to honor my team here:

Sister Azimah, Sister Liza, Dr Arun, Dr Brigette, Dr Chris, Dr Crynl, Dr Edward, and Dr Faizatull.

The darkest night will end and the sun will rise. This pandemic will end someday and life goes on. But may we not let this period go wasted.

This is the best time for us to find the best version of ourselves. Let us learn to put up with the rain as we strive to see the rainbow. Perhaps, we can do more than just putting up with the rain, why not invite our friends and family to dance in the rain? Joy and laugher can emerge even in a crisis.

I hope that, like what I found in my comrades, the pandemic was an opportunity in which you found the Best of You.
Dr. Sean Thum