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Stemming the Spread of the Virus

by Kylee Tan (Secondary 2D)

“Don't forget to take your textbooks home! You’ll never know when Full Home Based Learning will take place!”

How often did you hear this from your teachers during the COVID-19 period? With the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, our students were reminded time and time again to be prepared. Across the island, new protective measures have been implemented. As a result, businesses are embracing telecommuting and restaurants are being told to suspend their businesses. Evidently, COVID-19 has quite significantly impacted life in Singapore.

However, that’s not a problem for Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary)!

In the past few months, our school has adopted several precautionary measures, with the most significant being social distancing practices. Now, what does this entail, exactly?

“We’ve been paying particular attention to social distancing because it is essential in ensuring our safety,” shared Nicole Tan, a student from Secondary 2D.

If you visit Fairfield, you’d find teachers at the school gates conducting visual screening of all staff and students who enter the school. You’d find students avoiding the foyer, leaving the once crowded place completely desolate. You’d find tables set a metre apart in classrooms, ensuring physical distance between every student. Even our morning assembly sessions are conducted in classrooms, as stricter social distancing measures mean students get to watch daily morning devotions and weekly chapel sessions through YouTube live-streaming or other tele-conferencing modes.

It was heartening to see all Fairsians complying with the implemented precautionary measures and helping those around them. Sarah Chan, a Secondary 1A student said, “I had to add more activities to my daily routine, like taking my temperature, as well as doing the wipe down drill first thing in the morning and after eating at the canteen. These were not practised before the pandemic. However, I think it helped me to take responsibility for my actions. Also, I learnt the importance of maintaining our personal hygiene at all times.”

The long-awaited bell rings. The staggered lunch break means students of different levels make their way to the canteen at different timings so as to reduce inter-level mingling. They can no longer sit freely as they used to, as each class now has designated tables in an effort to reduce inter-class interaction. Trisha Ng of Secondary 2G1 commented, “The school made sure we socially distanced ourselves, reminded us to wash our hands every day, and taught us to be more hygienic to prevent the spread of the virus.”

As part of social distancing efforts, CCAs were also suspended, and students were prompted to leave the school compound as soon as the school day ended. Yet, in light of this circumstance, our students continue to remain optimistic.

”I've been able to step outside of my CCA and look at the situation in a more introspective way. This suspension helped me to realise that we previously really put in much time and energy into our CCAs,” Deborah Jane Carter, a Secondary 3F student, revealed. “I think that once the situation improves and CCAs are allowed to resume, I'll be better able to stay safe while enjoying the benefits of participating in my CCA. In fact, I feel protected in school because I think that our school is a safe space from the virus.”

This pandemic, albeit devastating, can still bring out the best in people. Through mutual encouragement, Fairsians have been supporting one another through the crisis, and some have also made it a point to bless the community. Spearheaded by our Community Student Leaders, specially designed and handwritten cards from our students and teachers were personally given to our nurses and doctors at NUH. This was Fairfield’s way of blessing and thanking the very group of frontline medical staff who have been combatting the COVID-19 virus from Day 1!

At the end of the day, Fairfield has indeed grown stronger together, with everyone exercising self-discipline in the form of social distancing, providing encouragement and help for one another, and blessing the community around us. But it doesn’t have to stop here. As our Principal Ms Chen emphasised, “It is even more critical for us to support one another in our learning and well-being during this Circuit Breaker period. Let us continue to look out for and bless one other in the Fairfield family during this crisis and beyond!”