Recently, it was reported that many elderly uncles have been gathering in large groups in Bedok because of gambling. Sometimes, the group even exceeds 50 or more people. The location has been identified as Block 26 New Upper Changi Road in Bedok. On race days, like Wednesdays, Fridays and over the weekends.
The group frequently gathered and loitered near the pavilion even though it has been sealed off from the public. To make matters worse, most of them did not wear masks and ignored safe distancing rules. Apart from gathering to gamble, the group was often seen with their masks off as they consumed drinks or smoked together!
Worrying behaviour that puts the public’s health at risk
It goes without saying that such behaviour is worrying and irresponsible.
First, this group of elderly men are susceptible to falling seriously ill if they were to catch Covid-19. It is no laughing matter and a cluster can easily be formed if one person were to get the virus. The recent news have also shown that the elderly are the ones who develop serious complications as they tend to have underlying health problems.
Secondly, this gambling kakis group is located in a mature housing estate. This means that a cluster, once formed, has a high tendency of rapidly spreading to other elderly members living in the area. This could potentially lead to serious consequences, and affect not only the elderly, but perhaps family members like babies or children.
The elderly need a proper outlet
It is true that we can’t just tell the elderly to all stay home indefinitely and ignore their social and mental wellbeing. Like all human beings, they need love and interaction. However, we can encourage them to socialise safely by keeping their mingling to groups of two. They can also choose to visit their friend’s homes instead of meeting in crowded places. In addition, family members can also visit the elderly in their homes to keep them company.
It’s a whole-of-family and societal effort to ensure that we safeguard the elderly’s health while keeping isolation at bay! Let’s encourage them to behave responsibly and reduce heading outdoors unless they need to!