Sharon Au was all ready to bid au revoir to her life in Paris and return home for good when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Singapore in February. Then, Singapore was the third country to report cases of the coronavirus and was one of the worst-hit outside China, so the former actress-host, who now works as an investment director in a private equity firm in Paris, was understandably worried for her mum back home.
“I considered quitting my job and returning to Singapore,” reveals Sharon during YES 933’s Gu De Dai Zai Jia (directly translated as Good Stay Home), a celebrity interview segment that was streamed live on Facebook yesterday (Apr 29). Hosted by deejays Zhong Kunhua and Nico Weibin, local and overseas celebrity guests share snippets of their lives on the radio show and how they have been keeping busy during the lockdown. Actress Ya Hui and songbird Kit Chan will make an appearance today (Apr 30) and next Monday (May 4) respectively.
When 8days.sg spoke to Sharon after the live streaming session via WhatsApp, the 44-year-old explained that “the crisis had caused a shift of perspectives” and that she was frustrated that she and her mum were apart during this challenging period.
“I spoke to [my mum about coming back] and she said 'don't be silly! Unless you are the anti-virus, don't come back and disturb me’,” she chuckles.
“I am sure she is concerned, but she is not the type to panic. It was the same in March 2011 (when I was studying in Tokyo) when the major earthquake and tsunami struck Tokyo, resulting in a nuclear scare. My mum never once showed that she panicked, neither was she hysterically asking me to fly home like the parents of my friends. She is really cool.”
Even when the COVID-19 pandemic worsened around the world and Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was making arrangements to fly Singaporeans back, Sharon decided to stay put. Her reason: She didn’t want to be an asymptomatic carrier bringing the virus back to the Lion City.
“You never know — maybe I already had the virus because [before the lockdown in France] I still went to concerts. I went to watch Madonna! So I thought to myself better just play safe and stay in my apartment instead of flying back.”
Despite being thousands of miles apart, Sharon says their mother-daughter relationship has improved since the pandemic. She frequently texts her mum to check on her — sometimes a bit too often, much to her chagrin.
“The pandemic has made me rethink life’s priorities,” says Sharon, “When the pandemic is over, first thing I want to do is fly home and give my mum a hug and tell her I love her and that I want nothing more for her than to be healthy and happy. I also want to apologise for being selfish and running off to Paris and leaving her here alone.”
Catch Gu De Dai Zai Jia live on weekdays at 5.30pm on YES 933’s Facebook page.