Update 9 Oct: There will no longer be Quarantine Order for close contacts any more as announcemed by the ministry on 9 Oct
I actually had this all blogged before the announcement on 9 Oct as I have never felt so helpless in my life.
I will not and shall not forget what the stress and the anxiety that government had put me through 10 days before PSLE. There is no endemic , the way Covid-19 is being treated is very much pandemic which so much emphasis of contact tracing with minimal infrastructure to support it.
It was on 21 September that i received a phone call from the child care (whenever i get calls from child care or school is it is normally bad news, never good news) so true enough, they told me that they have a positive Covid-19 case in K2 (same level as my youngest but not the same class) and to pick up my boy and they will be closed for the remaining days f that week for deep cleaning. The next message was to wait for a call from MOH.
At 6pm that day , true enough a MOH officer call me to tell me that they will be an sms sent to serve the QO order till 27 Sep and that a CISCO officer will call me the next day to explain it all to me and any queries that I have and that there is a possibility of a LOA for my school going kids (i totally panicked, as my P6 had the final few days of revision).
At the point in time, if a child is on LOA, there are many procedures to abide by before allowing him to sit for PSLE. The worst case scenaro, , if my youngest is tested positive, then the rest of the household will be on QO including my P6 boy (at that point in time all QO kids are unable to sit for the PSLE).
At that point, though there is a remote possibility, it is a possibility as this is hitting right at home -just 9 days before PSLE, in the midst of all PSLE prep, here am I wasting time calling officers and ensuring my P6 is not disrupted in any way possible especially emotionally. As there were no QO SMS and any further calls of what to do, I sent my 3 other school going children on 22th September given that I have no further information but a very vague phone call purported to be from MOH and pushing all responsibilities and explanation to CISCO.
On the later part 22th Sept morning, after finally receiving the sms QO and CISCO calls, I called the primary school to inform them of my QO at home. They told me that my primary school kids need to be put on LOA (Leave of Absence – they cant go school but they can go out) until my QO kid is tested negative on the PCR entry swab test. So depending on how fast the PCR comes and its results, there are 2 possibilties – positiive QO the entire family (ie P6 missing PSLE as well) , or negative, LOA is rescinded and they are returned to school , potentially for most of the household except the ones on QO life as normal.
Given any other time (ie not PSLE) i will gladly QO myself with my youngest at the hotel (his classmate and mum were allocated to Grand Copthorne) however given that I needed to be there for my P6, I chose not to be the caregiver and my husband decided to QO with him at home (they were only allowed out of the ensuite room by wearing a mask).
Luck was on my side for once, the PCR came back negative when I checked at 5am on 23rd September and the primary school kids were clear to return back to school that every morning. They were lucky as they did not miss a day of school. (frankly, i have no issue missing school for my P4 and P2, but it is a different story for my P6, I do not want him to be disrupted due to no fault of his)
And there is still one more final hurdle which is the exit PCR on 25 Sept, only with a negative, will we be allowed to return back to normal life for the entire family on 27 Sept. The QO was set to end on 27th Sept noon, and by then , the PCR results still wasn’t out . The entire day of 27th , I spend my entire day calling MOH and CISCO, each pushing the responsibility to each other without any resolution. To make thing worst, at 8pm on the 27th Sep I receive an SMS saying that the QO was to be extended another 3 days to 30th Sept (instead of spending time and effort on my PSLE boy, I had make calls to MOH and CISCO the entire day (each time to be put through more half hour of waiting time for the call to be picked). Another round of calls asking why the extension, where is the PCR results. (if it is a positive, my P6 will be implicated , at that point in time a QO means no need to go for PSLE at all though the rule was relaxed a few days later).
I HAVE NEVER FELT SO HELPLESS IN MY LIFE.
From the recent reports of 500 kids missing PSLE due to Covid-19 related restrictions, I can totally emphatised, my boy came so close to almost being in that statistic. We only received the PCR negatives on 28th Sept and only then i can feel more than ease (this was T-2 before PSLE)
The best i could do was just to keep it all away from him as he does his final revisions, he didn’t know what was happening and the frustrations and the extreme anxiety that i had (since 21st Sept the day I received the call from the child care informing of the positive case ) something that i hope i wont need to go through personally ever again.
I practically blame every one there is whether or not it is their fault though I know for sure it is not my fault as all I did was only send my son to child care, but till today i only hold one person accountable for my extremely stressful experience that was extremely unnecessary – the government for their policies and regulations without the adequate infrastructure to support this and still bulldozed their way through it (and yesterday they “admitted” the waste of resources and remove the requirement for QO for close contacts)
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