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Over 4,000 Students Lost Parents to COVID-19, Says Minister

I was devastated when I read yesterday, about an entire family with young children, including a 2-month-old baby, got infected by COVID-19. My heart dropped.

Just thinking that the entire family is at risk of losing their lives is horrifying. I can only hope and pray that they survive this. Were they not careful? No, the adults were all vaccinated. It only took a small group gathering to infect all who attended, and spread it to their families.

I must highlight how important it is to be aware of our own individual responsibility to follow SOPs and practice self-care. It is as simple as being hygienic and staying alert should we develop symptoms. After 2 years of fighting Covid together, we all know the SOPs and it is up to us individually to protect ourselves and loved ones.

No words can truly describe how tough it would be for a child to lose a parent, or a parent to lose a child. Emotional and mental suffering is a given, but coping with it and practicing self care would be harder for a child. Losing one parent is hard enough, so imagine losing both at a very young age. A strong support system needs to be established quickly.

No doubt, close families and relatives would step up and take the responsibility to care for these kids for as long as they can. But the reality is that this situation may not turn out well. Can the family sustain additional weight to their pre-existing commitments? Are welfare homes the only option available to them?

A backup childcare support system would be another alternative, but can families afford long-term external help? Or would it be beneficial for a coping period where the kids will be given full childcare assistance? Is such a support system something that society and government need to look into?

Whatever the decision, it must first and foremost benefit the children affected by Covid-19, and then supporting the responsibilities that now falls on the next of kin.