Historical events of importance are documented not just by facts and figures but also through the human stories and visual images – whether it is the mushroom cloud photo of Nagasaki bombing during World War II or the photo of the green eyed Afghan girl in 1980s in National Geographic or closer home the black and white photo of an unknown child’s burial from Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1984 – the chilling reminders of the tragedies. The long walk to home by lakhs of migrant workers or the crying video of an Indigo Airhostess gone viral on Twitter would be the lingering images from the current Covid lockdown human angle stories.
Even when the whole world suffers through this pandemic together, each family is still thinking primarily about themselves first. The stocking up of food items and other necessities, buying of masks and sanitisers (and toilet paper!) in bulk, looking with suspicion at the delivery personnel or visitors, shunning anyone with seasonal allergies or flu – those are not just social distancing measures but also emotional distancing at work. But the “damned spot” in these difficult times is the cruelest treatment being meted out to doctors, health workers and their families – the very people who are at the forefront of this fight, who are endangering their own lives to save ours.
Banning them from their own homes is the most inhumane behaviour we can enforce on any living being in these difficult times when they are struggling at work with inadequate protection and round-the-clock working hours. Least they expect is to go back home and sleep peacefully for few hours to brace themselves mentally and physically before going back to work, instead of worrying about their families and looking for a place to stay.
Struggling with limited resources at hospitals is a common thread across the world, stories of wages cut across the board, inadequacy of proper masks, testing kits and ventilators, catching winks while they can in whatever way they can while battling the bureaucratic control of the organisation or the country but still staying upbeat and help people is worth applauding for. But they just do not need our applauds, they need our support and our understanding, our help to get them resources to fight this disease and our emotional support across the social distance.
Out of this gloomy outlook there are human stories filtering through – hotels and offices opening up their spaces for house the medical fraternity, gurudwara are also pitching in with the effort of providing space and food in this endeavour. Businesses are coming forward with the knowhow or funds to produce kits, protective gear or ventilators – even the MET museum staff is helping make masks.
But the most heart wrenching story I have read is of few doctors and nurses using their own mobiles to help patients say last goodbyes to their loved ones – this would be lingering human angle narrative from this Covid lockdown for the generations to come.
Continuing from Covid Lockdown Diaries I – Nature’s Pushback.