Good Samaritan leaves free repellent to neighbours


In light of the ongoing Zika outbreak (in Singapore) and a cluster sited at Bishan Street 12, a good Samaritan has placed a bottle of homemade insect repellent in a lift at Block 196 Bishan Street 13 for public use. The free repellent, contained in a simple spray bottle, features a simple note that reads “Mosquito repellent for body”.

The good Samaritan, a sales manager in her mid-30s, spoke on condition of anonymity. She said that, having lived there for 10 years, everyone looks out for one another as in a kampong (“village”), so she is especially motivated to look out for their wellbeing.

The mother of three, who has been making her own repellent since last year using a blend of essential oils she buys from a natural health products website, said:  “Why keep it to myself? There should be a community spirit. I hope that people will pay it forward and start doing it, too.

“If people in my block are safe as a result of using a repellent, it keeps all of us safer as there is less risk of transmission. So it does not make sense for me not to do so. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost me a lot.”

She said that she would continue providing the free repellent as long as there is a risk of Zika transmission in Singapore.

One of the key ingredients used is lemon eucalyptus, which she read is effective against mosquitoes. The blend, which incorporates lemongrass, peppermint and lavender, can keep mosquitoes away for up to six hours.

She added: “I think putting it in the lifts is a good reminder for people to put it on themselves just before they go out. They might have some at home, but forget to put it on.”

Mr Neo Wei Hong, 24, spotted the bottle while playing Pokemon Go at that block on Wednesday night (Sept 7). 

The National University of Singapore undergraduate was so impressed by this act of kindness that he took a picture and shared it on his Facebook account.

He sprayed some on himself, and said that in the three hours he was out after applying it, he did not get bitten. He added: “It shows community spirit.”

Neighbours at the block were also touched by the deed. “When I first saw it, I thought it was simply awesome. I think people are appreciating it, although of course there are some who will wonder if it’s safe,” said IT manager Lalitha Veerasamy, who is in her 40s. 

Another neighbour, who wished to be known only as Mr Lim, 36, said he did appreciate the act, but he would stick to commercial repellents as he thinks they are more effective.




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