AKINN STORIES: REFLECTIONS WITH DR PENELOPE WONG
Dr. Penelope Wong
Consultant, General Nephrology and Peritoneal Dialysis, TTSH, Wife, Mother.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many upheavals in routine, forcing all of us to relook how we live, work and play. At AKINN, we have gone back to the drawing board to assess how our designs can remain relevant and focused - always for the customer - and adapt to this new normal.
Fresh challenges, pleasant surprises, creative workarounds. We’ve been reminded that it’s the little things that make us feel more confident - the simple joys and power of getting up and getting dressed.
What was life like before COVID-19 hit us all?
That seems like an entirely different lifetime ago. Christmas had just ended, we were preparing for my eldest to start primary school and also planning for Chinese New Year.
It was full of plans of travel and my children seemed much more like little babies before COVID-19.
How has your life changed since?
My family and I spend a lot more time at home, and we spend a lot more time with extended family.
What are 3 things you have learnt since adjusting to this new normal?
- I have been reminded how fortunate we are to be able to have extended family close by, and feeling safe and secure in the knowledge that they are healthy and well.
- I have been amazed with how my children have adapted to the frequent changes in school schedules, activities and reduced time outside of the home and it has truly demonstrated to me how resilient and adaptable they are.
- I have also been struck by the effort and generosity of Singaporeans with helping out those who are much less fortunate than themselves, whether it is for migrant workers quarantined in dormitories, or helping with shopping and provision of food for neighbours who are not able to go about these daily activities on their own.
Why do you continue to get ready & dress up?
It serves as a reminder of what life was like before the pandemic occurred. Although, the idea of ‘dressing up’ has changed somewhat and is definitely much more casual now!
What are some of the little things that bring you joy now?
The increased daily interactions with my children and husband. Virtual wine tasting sessions and the occasional virtual dinner party.
As a medical specialist, how do you keep your mindset and outlook positive amidst all the gloom?
I haven’t been on the frontlines, and have been working on the ‘business as usual’ side of the hospital. I think the relaying of information has been clear and precise throughout the medical fraternity. This has removed a lot of uncertainty and has promoted consistency.
I have also watched lots of my colleagues work on the frontlines and their strength, determination and persistent positivity has kept me feeling quite upbeat throughout this whole period.
How has your choice of deciding what to wear daily changed?
I live in a lot more active wear!
What are the moments or stories that brought you happiness, hope and encouragement, even during this time of uncertainty?
My younger cousin is currently with Healthserve to provide and deliver supplies to migrant workers on the cruise ships. My best friend has conducted virtual yoga classes to raise funds for the Food Bank.
Any advice to share with anyone having a hard time coping?
I wouldn’t dare to be so presumptuous as I believe everyone has different reasons for why they might be having difficulty coping.
What is the one thing you love about working from home?
I have really treasured the additional time with my husband and children, and will treasure the memories that this time has generated.