Being pregnant during this Covid-19 pandemic can be scary and difficult. Even more so when you serve on the frontlines.
Dr. Yap Chong Fong learned in April last year, six months after getting married, that she would be a mother. However, she was apprehensive as she was serving in a government health clinic in Bukit Mertajam, Penang where she works.
Her job required her to take samples from people under investigation to test for Covid-19. The 30-year-old medical officer was not the only one concerned. Yap’s family and friends advised her to request for a transfer to another unit. However, she refused, citing that the clinic was already understaffed.
“I was aware that as a frontliner, I shouldn’t be selfish. I then set aside my fears and continued to serve. I strived to fight the Covid-19 pandemic (with my colleagues),” she said in an interview with Bernama.
She gave birth to a healthy baby on 29th October last year. However, three days later, she received news that the anesthetist who had given her an epidural (for pain relief during childbirth) had tested positive for Covid-19.
Yap had to undergo a two-week quarantine, during which she took care of the baby by herself. “My husband and family members were very supportive and would give me moral support through video calls,” she said.
Thankfully, Yap tested negative after undergoing a 2-week quarantine period. Recalling her work on the frontlines, Yap was clear that serving the community was a duty belonging to her and her colleagues.
It also helped that they had positive attitudes and good teamwork to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Dedicated frontliners like Yap have displayed such rare bravery throughout the past year and deserve every recognition.