"Monk in face mask conducting a sea burial. "My family sent off my beloved aunt on 27th April 2020, during the Circuit Breaker. I’m writing this in dedication to the care and support each one of the frontline workers provided during this difficult period. As they say, “It takes a village!” My aunt was hospitalised about 2 weeks before the Circuit Breaker started. She lived out her last days in Singapore General Hospital where she got good care from the team of dedicated doctors and nurses. I was allowed into the high dependency ward on her last day. Witnessed how the ward doctors and nurses put their heart into the smallest of details, even though most of them were probably overworked as manpower and resource got shifted to critical COVID-19 work. It wasn't the first death in the family, but sending off a loved one during the Circuit Breaker made it more trying. We couldn't gather too many of my aunt's good friends and colleagues for her wake. We had to make special arrangements so that older folks in the family have minimal contact with non-family members. But we understood and respected the importance of the CB restrictions. We too refrained from hugging, especially my aunt's friends who came by, just in case one of us caught the COVID-19 bug. Monks too, including the one who went out to sea with us to conduct the sea burial in the hot sun, had to deck out in masks. It was no mean feat and I could tell how challenging it was for them to catch their breath under the masks as they chanted. There was an air of uncertainty as we grappled with our emotions, yet had to make important decisions on the rites, including keeping the (number of) people restrictions in mind for each part of the journey. Staff at the Singapore Casket skillfully and tactfully articulated instructions from the government and made sure every technicality was taken care of. We couldn’t have everything running so smoothly without their help. It was surreal seeing how the frontline workers all rallied in support of one another and for us. Thankful to be Singaporean. #SGUnited""--Contributed by Yeo Kai Ting, as part of the "Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore" collection community call. This photograph shows a Buddhist monk wearing a face mask. He is conducting a sea burial during the circuit breaker period. Additional description by Library staff. Title devised by Library staff.
All rights reserved. Yeo Kai Ting, 2020