It’s 13 Feb 2020, and you know what that means: it’s time for Tilt I Thursday, or its acronym TIT.
Now, my friends will tell you that I don’t get tilted easily.
“He tilts other people instead,” they’ll probably say.
And yet, notwithstanding my superior tolerance levels, I found myself angered beyond belief by the following headline:
S’pore Nurse Allegedly Forced Off Bus Because She Was Carrying Her Work Uniform
How ironic is it that nurses, who readily give their lives as they stand on the front lines against unfathomable deadly pathogens, are being condemned and discriminated against in the same vein as petty criminals?
How despicable is it that nurses, who toil endless hours on end for a cause that doesn’t reward them enough, are being treated to scathing comments and gestures that reduce them to tears?
How damning is it that nurses, who do all the dirty work everyday people lack the balls and mental fortitude to endeavour on, are being subjected to rough rides home (or lack thereof) instead of comfortable spaces for them to rest their tired heads on?
I profess that I’m not one to get tilted easily, but the Coronavirus outbreak has managed to do the inevitable:
It has somehow drawn out the worst of Singaporeans, triggered a nation of empathisers and tilted this tilting writer… all at the same time.
According to Mothership, an Instagram story has been circulating the net of late, claiming that a nurse in Singapore was ejected off a public transport bus after a fellow passenger spotted her grasping a plastic bag with her work uniform inside.
The original post, written in English and Malay, was published by the nurse’s sister on Instagram, in an apparent bid to vent her frustration.
A screenshot of the post was then re-shared on Instagram’s story function, with several users including indignant comments about the incident.
The post is believed to have been put up as early as two days ago (11 Feb).
Here’s a rough transcript of what the original post entails:
“I AM TRIGGERED!!!!
“My sister had a bad night shift last night because she was being kicked in the face by a pt (patient), but that is not the case.
“Whenever she goes home, she will change from her nursing uniform to home clothes & board the bus home.
“Today, she decided to bring her nursing uniform home to wash so she placed it in (her) NTUC bag that has no zipper & board the bus. Normally people don’t give a f***.
“But today, MY SISTER CAME HOME CRYING because a person in the bus took a peek of her NTUC bag, saw her nursing uniform & shouted at her to get off the bus because SHE IS A NURSE.
“Not only 1 person tells her to get off the bus but A FEW PEOPLE TOLD HER TO GET OUT OF THE BUS. Another nurse defended her but she was also being kicked out of the bus.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE AH?!!!!! TAKUT MATI SANGAT?!?!!! (WHY ARE YOU SO SCARED OF PEOPLE?!?!!!) HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL NOT HUMAN??!!?? ARE WE ANIMALS TO YOU?!?!?!!!
“KALAU TAKUT MATI SANGAT, DUDUK RUMAH DIAM DIAM JANGAN CAMPUR ORANG, BOLEH CEKIK ITU STOCKPILE OF FOOD SAMPAI MAMPUS!!!!!!!!!!!! (IF YOU’RE SO SCARED OF DYING, JUST SIT AT HOME AND DON’T MIX AROUND WITH OTHERS, YOU CAN CHOKE ON YOUR STOCKPILE FOOD UNTIL YOU DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
And it seems that Netizens have not taken kindly to the offending commuters’ actions, with one including indignant comments on the maligned nurses’ behalves:
“People seriously stop this kind of nonsense nw!!!
“SMLJ is this”
And The Worst Part Of It All? She’s Not The Only One
The aforementioned nurse isn’t the first medical worker to face such condescending public treatment.
On 8 Feb, a nurse on the coronavirus frontline at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) detailed a lengthy Instagram post; which spoke of all the struggles medical workers had to go through as well as the unpleasant remarks they had to endure.
“People raise their voice at u saying u bring germs/ virus with u, that u are infecting other people and that u are INCONSIDERATE but u just be quite and leave the train or bus because u are tired after work to tired to explain ur situation,” he wrote.
And in a separate incident, a Singaporean nurse tweeted how she was ostracised for wearing her uniform and taking the lift down from her home one early morning.
For the record, Singaporean nurses are allowed to wear their work uniforms in public.
“You nurses always walk around with virus on you and always spread to people…” a man allegedly told her. “So stupid.”
She then tweeted in Malay:
Translated version: “Guys. I’m sorry. But I deadass couldn’t let what he said slide. Sorry ah ***** but that’s just nonsense. Just because I’m Malay, just because I’m a nurse. If he were to go to a hospital, I want to see if he is going to depend on Nurses or not. Please ah we are tired. And before y’all ask me what their race was…. yes they were.😊”
To date, more than 13,000 have signed a petition to cease discrimination against Singapore nurses taking public transport. But to think that it would require a petition to encourage normal human behaviour…
It really speaks volumes about the country and its citizens.