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Jobs that does not exist before COVID-19

I wrote in my previous post about the book "Hard at Work" that share insights on the different jobs in Singapore.  However, those interviews were made in 2014 - 2017, a period of time that was not that long ago but also seem like another time zone. From 2020, wearing a mask when you are out in the public and working from home is the new normal. I believe the situation of those jobs that were already facing difficulty, such as the camera shop owner, is made worst due to the COVID situation.  

Though this is definitely a very serious and sad situation for those jobs experiencing hardship.  I would like to be an opportunist in this post to look at the specific jobs created due to the COVID-19. 

Crowd control measure

1) Temperature screeners

Salary: $8-12/hr 

To ensure only healthy folks are entering and exiting places, we had temperature screeners at the entry points. They also double to check if people had done their safe entry check-in and check-out.  At the start of the covid-19 situation in 2020, the checks were really active as people forget to scan their NRIC or use the trace together app to check-in or check-out. Come 2021, we have a very robust scanner that will alert with a loud beep that check-in had been done properly. Mid Jul 2021, there is already a reduced of manpower for this role with more automated scanners in place.   

2) Safe distancing ambassador (SDA)

Salary: $1,800 to $2,500 a month

SDA's job is to ensure folks who are out and about adhere to measures such as keeping a 1m distance apart when browsing, wearing their masks properly (cover both the nose and mouth), ensuring shops abide by all these measures too.  At outdoor areas, it gets more challenge to check that there was no intermingling between groups and that groups kept to their small sizes as recommended by the government. Among all the COVID jobs, SDA probably face the worst reaction.  Given that people do not like to "police" around though SDA are just doing their jobs.  Well, we have this famous woman who did not wear her mask on multiple occasions, the case is still ongoing as of my post. (I shall update when it is concluded) Of course, I have also read that some SDAs were rude and unprofessional in their engagements with establishments. SDA are not perfect, they were a force that was formed up rather quickly after all. 

Virus containing measure

3) Contact tracing officer

Salary: $10/hr 

The role is to identify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.  They work from the MOH Contact Tracing Centre (CTC), calling the confirmed or suspected cases to do activity mapping (their whereabouts the days before SHN). With permission, contact tracing officer make use of the data on TraceTogether app of the suspected cases to contact those who may be exposed.  

The TraceTogether app uses bluetooth signals on our handphone to exchange encrypted anonymised ID with another handphone using the app at the nearby vicinity.  The app is really powerful and now store info such as our vaccination status, any exposure alert (which means you are probably in the same space as a confirmed or suspected case and should monitor your health over the week) and COVID test records. 

Building on people's fear and the fact that the contact tracing officer have a legitimate reason to ask for some detail (though they are not authorise to know about your bank account or password for anything), scammer found this loophole.  Scammers made use of +65 numbers and answered the call with a foreign accent automated call.  You need to just hang up and not waste any time. Trust that if it is the real authority, it should be a real person talking to you!

4) Swabber and swab assistant

Salary: $3800 a month

Employed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to conduct COVID-19 testing operations at various locations. Swabbers don PPE (personal protective equipment) for the operations and assist in swab operations and infection control at workplaces, dorms or HDB pavilions. 

I am very impressed that even our wastewater had surveillance measures.  Wastewater were tested for COVID-19 fragments and when picked up, there will be a call for the resident to go for swap tests. When there was a possible clusters, there will also be a call for such voluntary screening to be taken place. 

As with the automated gantry for temperature screening, there are now Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kit.  These test kits can be bought from pharmacies or were given out to cluster areas to encourage more self testing.  ART will allowed people who may require more frequent testing due to their job nature, such as the service crew in restaurants, to perform more regular testing at their own convenience. 

5) Tagging officer / COVID Ops team

Salary: $3600 - 4000 a month

The team oversee the Person under Quarantine (PUQ) movements and Government Quarantine Facility (GQF) occupancy as well as Person under Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) movements and SHN Dedicated Facility (SDF) occupancy.  They had to don PPE and also work in shift.  They are responsible for the escorting of the quarantine cases to the quarantine facilities or residential addresses. 

6) Pandemic disinfection cleaners

Salary: 1300 - 1800 a month

These are definitely the silent heroes who will disinfect the premise due to a recent cluster outbreak or through a suspected case. Only after a proper cleaning and disinfection will a premise be operational again.  The cleaners need to be trained on the steps to ensure the disinfection is done correctly and also the proper procedure to dispose the biohazards PPE and masks wore during the cleaning operation.

To conclude, these are the jobs that I read about, the salary had been extracted from the many jobs posting that I found online and these jobs do pay well.  However due to the nature of the job, it is considered as a high risk job, considering the possible exposure to the virus.  I am definitely interested to keep track of how these jobs come to be in a year or a few years from now.    

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