Nothing in my medical education could have prepared me for the scene which is unfolding in my home country now. Indians had let down their guards early. Ever since the first wave was receding, people had stopped wearing masks, partying and travelling as if to make up the lost year, and the Indian government was busy ensuring their win in next election and gaining international friendships by donating vaccines.
My MBBS batchmates were tired of having worked hard over the extended 1st wave. They wanted to plan out an all girls get together. Here in UAE, We were already battling our second wave, and we had realized that the new variants were much more contagious. This time we were seeing entire families affected. I was constantly warning my friends but they were too busy and too overconfident too pay heed. “We have shown the world that India has done better than most developed nations” was a common rejoice on social media.
It didn’t take long for the cases to rise and for the last whole month India has seen the worst tsunami of covid cases. Every person you talk to has someone or more in the family affected. Hospitals are again full. No beds anywhere, and this time no medicines, no oxygen. People are dying in their homes. The crematoriums are full, and all i have in this moment is a heavy heart. There are so many messages of children who have lost their entire families in covid. Young and old who are just dying for lack of resources. There is complete collapse of the administrative framework.
Still a corner in my heart swells at the humanitarian gestures. Gurudwaras which are Sikh places of worship have converted their long halls where once langar were served into places where now you can get oxygen. “Oxygen langar”. Families are serving home made lunches to other families who are affected. People have converted their vans into ambulances. Donations from across the continents have started reaching.
Last week around this time, we were in a difficult state of mind. For the first time, India felt so far away. My mother in law had got fever and within next two- three days, father in law also got sick. While Mummy ji recovered soon, Papa’s situation was not improving. On the other side, my brother was alone in Gurgaon and started developing high grade fever. I immediately called my old boss and also a good friend in Delhi who runs a network of medical labs. She not only helped me identify where i could get the test done for him, but also helped arrange blood tests for my in-laws. However, For 2 days we tried in vain to get his PCR sample collected at home. The staff in pathology labs had already been reeling under workload and they had no one to sent home. They promised me that they will give the report within few hours, only if he could come and give sample. I had to get him tested, not because i was not sure of diagnosis, but because he had to produce the test report to get sick leave. On the 4th day, when his fever came down a little, I persuaded him to go and get tested. Due to those kind souls, i was able to get the report in time. Next day, his situation was worse. I needed to urgently get a medicine across to him. I called on one of my school friends, and he immediately helped me across. These are the times when i feel, the system might have collapsed but humanity still lives, and together we shall overcome.
I am participating in #A2Z2021 hosted by Blogchatter. Blogchatter community binds all the Indian bloggers and has put blogging at a forefront. You can visit them at https://theblogchatter.com