Liv’ED It is an ED original style where we write about our personal experiences on experiencing and reviewing any app/place/website which gives us a feeling of coming back for more.
Clear as day, I remember the night of April 15th. A week past my 21st birthday, I woke to a call from a dear friend at midnight. Her father was very critical and I, along with the entire group of friends that could be reached that very moment, started looking for beds all over Delhi NCR.
It was arranged the next morning, thank the lord, but the situation shook the lot of us. As for me, it proved to be an eye-opener.
Although the conundrum that had been caused by the depleting resources was not uncommon, the fact that I too could help in some manner never crossed my mind prior to the “wake-up call”.
Onset Of The Relief Work
Thus began the cycle of resource-sharing and arrangement. I slowly got introduced to 2 more groups of COVID relief workers that had been at it ever since the pandemic struck. Despite being overwhelming and tedious, the essence of working as a COVID relief worker kept me motivated.
I mean, I couldn’t just simply abandon the people I was determined to help, the lives I was determined to save.
Helping in whatever minimalistic manner possible, my teams worked extra hard to gather leads (as many as possible) and then to verify the same so as to differentiate the authentic ones from the rest.
Adding to that, the limited timeframe within which the resources were being exhausted was another issue that kept us all on our toes. Plus the guilt of never helping enough didn’t help.
Of course when people gather for an initiative conflicts arise. Our relief group was no different. Internal conflicts over seeking credits and acknowledgment over tasks that should’ve been selfless from the start arose and that led to the downfall and as a result, disbanding.
But there were larger issues at hand than losing one group. Apart from being a part of the two major COVID relief groups, I started “freelancing”. After all, helping as many as I could was my ultimate goal.
Next came the government crackdown on youth willing to help. Of course, the aim of the authorities was to stop the spread of illegitimate leads and the inhumane hoarding and black marketing of resources, but it didn’t leave the genuine groups unscathed either.
Apprehensive of being sued, or worse, jailed for helping without being appointed for the same (someone had to do it if not the ones appointed) we contacted a lawyer friend asking him for “safer” ways to help the ones in need.
The NGOs on the ground were of extreme assistance. We contacted them and started providing as many verified leads to them as we could. On average, our team called 80 numbers every day.
Now despite what’s fed to us, let me tell you, resources were not as hard to avail as it was to channelize them. Reverting to every single call for help was tedious, but with around 30 members in one team, we reverted to all of them.
Alas! If only we could’ve helped every single one. We even started redirecting the calls to other groups when our hands were full and vice versa.
The only good thing that came out of it was the confirmation of lives saved because of the effort we put in. Whether the news came from the patients’ family, or from some associate, it didn’t matter. We were glad enough to have been of assistance.
Ray Of Sunshine, Shower Of Doom
But the happiness and relief didn’t last long enough. After all, we were smack between the pandemic. The most common message our team got was a request to put the story (with the patient’s details) down as the person was “no more”.
A dear friend lost her father to the pandemic. He couldn’t make it. His prayer meet (via google meet) was overwhelming for me despite being a non-family member. It felt like a personal loss.
Many lost their lives to the virus. It was even harder for me since I could clearly understand the pain they must’ve gone through. My grandfather, my dearest grandfather passed away as well. The mourning seems never-ending to date.
Filled with grief, trauma, and exhaustion, I couldn’t talk, eat, or act like myself. But I knew, deep down, that neither I nor the people depending upon my aid, could afford this breakdown. So bottling up, and gearing up seemed like the last resort.
Although there were limited things I could do as a COVID relief worker, I gave it my all. So did every other individual who was a part of the team.
Immunity Against The Distress
Not to mention the expectations of each of our colleges. We suffered breakdowns, were in mourning, were constantly working and going through burnouts, but all that institutions were worried about were assignments, lectures, and exams.
We grew immune to living contradictions, at one point. With the youth working its head off for COVID relief, and politicians holding rallies in full swing; preparations for IPL being done at a stadium, not far from which, was a huge crematorium running out of space, there wasn’t much left to disappoint.
The pressure was as real as it could get. Apart from all this, there was this one post that caught my eye. The pandemic being referred to as a “gen02cide”. Not to be used casually I know. But it is what it is.
As for the display of power people hold, I was left in awe. At the same time, the power people hold (we’re democratic aren’t we?) left me questioning their intentions.
That being said, the only recluse seemed to be the friends and family that kept checking in on me. And I, them. After all, relationships are the binding vines of life. What are we, if not the relationships we build? The connections we establish? The lives we touch?
Image Source: Google Images
Source: Blogger’s own experience
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