The situation of COVID in India is normalised as of now. Sadly, we are used to seeing deaths around us and the lines in front of hospitals. This family from Kolkata, who chose to stay anonymous, had this battle during June 2020.
The First Of Their Kind
Indians, as welcoming as towards their guests, shun their own when they are in trouble. It stems from an acute misunderstanding of situations and a terrible fear for their life.
This family, consisting of the father, mother, the father’s brother (Uncle), the narrator, her brother and sister-in-law, and her cousin brother, were the first people in their complex to get infected.
Since there was no precedence of a case whatsoever, the family, being utterly clueless, called their contacts in the society seeking help.
That was their first mistake, as they were harassed by their neighbourhood, constantly monitored and even had their privacy breached upon in such difficult times. More than helping, they were an utter nuisance and were very rude over social media towards the family.
“The security guard would not let groceries be delivered to our apartment, the neighbours were paranoid and although most of them didn’t want to see our faces and treated us like untouchables, some of them got us medicines and helped us out”, says the narrator, an 18-year-old college student.
The Battles Won and Lost
On the 17th of June, the narrator’s father was out of danger as he was transferred from the ICU to a general bed. For once, she felt a sigh of relief and stayed up the whole night dressing up because she enjoyed it.
On 18th, news broke that her paternal uncle died due to a heart attack which dampened the spirits of her house. Luckily, they were allowed to see him for the final rituals. Her dad got the news later when he was slightly better and was crestfallen.
Since everyone in her house was affected, the onus of doing the household chores fell upon her for she was the only person who was asymptomatic. Being overworked, she had a slight fever but she overcame that and took charge and fought through this tough time.
It was a tough month for all of them, with harassment and the hospitalisation and quarantine, but eventually, I’m glad I could write this down as a Victory Over Virus Episode.
The major points we need to take note of is the fact that ostracizing patients for having COVID-19 is really below the belt. We, as a nation, need to come forward and help those in need. Now with the curve almost flattened towards the Y-axis, we need to fight this together. Learn and heal together. Help everyone indiscriminately. We cannot let the machinery collapse, but rather, reinforce it and build towards a better and more resilient healthcare system.
Image Sources: Google Images
Sources: Author’s Informant
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