‘Pandemic’, ‘New Normal’ , ‘Lockdown’, ‘Work From Home’ , ‘Social Distancing’ , ’20 Sec Handwash’ , ‘Masked Faces’ , ‘Sanitizer’ , ‘Cooking’ , ‘Fitness’ , ‘Immunity’. ‘Quarantine’, ‘Online Deliveries’, ‘Mortality Rate’, Co-Morbidities’,
All these words have suddenly made their way into our daily vocabulary. Bolting everyone of their reality , the pandemic has shaken every single person. Top leaders and organisations in developed and developing nations have been struggling to navigate their best way out of an unprecedented times..
Even for me these were just words and statements , that had just become part of my daily conversations with family , friends and colleagues. We no longer chit-chatted about the weather but on the COVID statistics in our zones..
All this was true until, July 30 it came down hitting on me , us – my family. We became part of the statistic.
For over a week my mom was ill and she was being treated for viral by my uncle (Physician) turned out to be COVID. We had been really vary of taking her to the hospital for a physical checkup due to the lock of co-operation and preparedness from the hospitals Also , we were pretty sure , it wasn’t COVID as to our knowledge we had not been in any contact with a COVID positive person . Moreover , As my mom is a senior citizen with diabetes, we were taking all the necessary precautions . We had already self isolated our selves for over a month , stepping out only to purchase the essentials (Grocery and Medicines) , cleaning and sanitizing them before storage etc. However, we were soon to learn that was not enough!
In a couple of days her O2 Saturation dropped , (we were able to monitor and catch – thanks to the Oximeter we had at home) we were worried and planned to take her to Emergency. Thanks to our relatives and the contacts , we were allowed entry into one of the hospitals (Most of the hospitals , I reached out to directly , declined entry on account of no Beds) for her treatment. After an initial check and tests , the ER doctor said she was hypoxic and seemed to depicting all the symptoms of COVID. They had taken the RT-PCR test and needed to wait for 24 hours for the results. They would be admitting her in for 10-12 days to begin treatment for COVID.
Those couple of hours , were distressing. All the Google stories/news on disease and its impact on co-morbid kept playing through my mind. It was the first time where I really felt alone and so unsure on how to deal with this news and situation. Couple of years ago when my dad was admitted to the hospital , it was my mom who had been pillar to us both. I could not bear the thought to loose her.
Soon enough , my brother also tested positive and eventually I did . In a matter of 30 hours, both my brother and mother were admitted to the COVID ward and I was packed of to home quarantine as I was asymptomatic. The following few days were brutal. Sitting at home , I felt completely helpless and useless for not being there for my family , why they recovered from this horrid illness.
It took me a while to process all the information and be neutral enough to face my mom and brother on a daily basis and keep encouraging them via video calls , messages etc. Overwhelming support came through from my family and friends. All the while , navigate through the bureaucracies with the hospital administration staff and BBMP – (Another blog for another day.)
After the ordeal of 10 days , my family successfully recovered and returned home. can’t express the relief and joy , the moment we were together after successfully putting behind us one of the biggest battle. My brother returned to his schedule in a week or so , it was a longer recovery road for my mother. Even now we still see some effects of the impact COVID has left on her. August 2020 has earmarked in our life .
As the second wave hits the country now (in May 2021), my thoughts keep slipping back to those days when we were faced with this crisis. As horrific as it is to see the crumbling health infrastructure around us , I am thankful and grateful that we were able to get past it . We continue to do every bit and measure to ensure we keep ourselves safe.
I can’t help but wonder,
Is a personal experience really necessary to merit the disease’s seriousness and a COVID appropriate behavior ?
Why is complacency so much part of a human nature, even after we have seen fatalities in our closest circles?
Why are we so ready to blame the health care, government , media but take accountability of our own ?
Of course, I don’t deny they all have accountabilities too and we definitely had a better chance to prepare for it , But is that all?