Right when the entire nation was out in their balconies and terraces (some intelligent ones, also thronged the streets… but, who am I to say anything? I am just another 23-year-old woman who is not supposed to have an opinion) appreciating and applauding the healthcare workers and every single person who was out on the streets just so, we could stay within the comfort of our homes, I sat in my room, and posted a story on Instagram that went on like this- “Yes, we’ll get out in our balconies, and clap for you on 22nd March, but, on the rest of the days, be prepared to get thrashed and abused by us.”
Just minutes after that update, I got numerous replies. Some called me anti-national, some thought I was being downright cynic, and, some went on to say that maybe I should consider going for therapy so I could stop looking at the dark side of things always.
Trust me, I had a ball going through those replies on my story. Ah! The sweet pleasures of life. 🙂
For starters, NO, I don’t get your optimism.
I don’t get your optimism about how clapping for people who are serving us in times of crisis brought us together as a nation, because those very people will bear the brunt of their selfless work, while you and I sit in our air-conditioned rooms watching memes and trolls on coronavirus.
I don’t get your optimism about how quarantine is giving people time to make art and practice healing, because it is giving the daily wage workers, the homeless, displaced, and poor people sleepless nights, too.
I don’t get your optimism about how the lockdown is a strategic, well-planned government initiative and how all the essential services and commodities will be available for ‘all’, because let’s be honest, promises are ‘cute’, and isn’t that ALL we’ve been thriving on for the past six years?
But, who am I to say anything? I am just another 23-year-old woman, who is not supposed to have a ‘political’ opinion.
And, no, I certainly don’t get your optimism about how healthcare professionals are serving the people day and night, because, they are DYING. They are dying a slow, painful death and are treating the patients at the cost of their lives.
I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God. Yet, I see Him everyday, wearing a white coat, in the hospital premises, in the OPDs, in the wards caring for the patients making sure that every grievance, every pain, and every misery is addressed to in the most humane way possible.
By calling doctors ‘God’, I am in no way putting them on a pedestal; that’s not what I meant.
Doctors, paradoxically, are the most vulnerable of human beings, and why I say so is because they are painfully aware of how fragile life can be. As Barney Livingston puts it, they are the ‘wounded healers’.
The point, that I am trying to put forth is, if we can spend thousands of crores on building statues, and renewing the parliament building, we MUST spend more on the public health system and the basic facilities that a doctor entails to treat the patients.
Instead, the doctors are being thrown out of their houses, bullied by the police on the streets. They’re being forced to work without PPE, forget about the availability of N95 masks, many of them have to reuse the normal surgical masks.
There’s acute shortage of gloves, face-shields, testing-kits, and what is scarier is that they’re being expected to extend their services to the affected, DESPITE the loopholes in the system, DESPITE the scarcity of things they need to protect themselves from contamination.
IT’S NOT A SERVICE. IT’S A SUICIDE.
Like sleepless nights and brutal working hours weren’t enough, they now have to risk their own lives to save others.
The question, here is, WHY SHOULD THEY? Why should they be compelled to meet the unrealistic expectations of the society that doesn’t see them as a fellow human counterpart? Why is there so much noxious glorification around them treating the patients?
Yes, they are doctors. They are in the business of healing people, if you may say so. But, they are humans, too. Perhaps, MORE than any one of us are.
I see my dad going to the hospital and clinic every single day, putting himself at risk of infection. I see his exhaustion, his fear, his agility, his despondency. I see it in his eyes, in the way he talks about how grim the situation is for the entire healthcare fraternity, and yet, he steps out daily, with HIS choice, to serve his patients.
I see my fellow seniors and professors performing the necessary procedures on the patient and not delaying the treatment in these hard times, just so the prognosis could be better. They do it, tirelessly, every single day, out of choice and NOT by compulsion.
That’s the beauty of this profession, I believe.
There’s hardly any coverage on how ill-prepared we are as a nation to deal with this pandemic.
Mainly, because, I believe, we’re much happier looking at B’wood celebrities doing their household chores themselves, blissfully ignorant of the fact that for every life we’re losing or every life that is at risk of infection, a doctor is going out there in the battlefield, without any armour…and, believe me, there’s NOTHING poetic or glorious about it.
It’s appalling. It’s disgusting.
India has never cared for it’s doctors. The government is too busy selling hate and bigotry, NRC, GST, demonetisation, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, to the public and fulfilling its malicious agendas in the name of “development” and “women empowerment”.
How many state of the art public hospitals did Modi government build in six years? Well, of course, besides, All India Institute of WhatsApp Sciences. Oh, sadly, even that wasn’t build by him!
Community spread has started.
The situation will worsen in the coming days.
Dark times await us.
And, if we don’t learn a thing or two from Italy, and the US, the healthcare system that is in shambles already will become non-existent with doctors giving up their lives for absolutely NO fault of theirs while we cheer for them from our balconies; especially so because we were called on to do so by our very own ‘chowkidar’
Amidst all this mess and clutter, I can silently hear Kashmir asking us, “Dear India, how is the lockdown now?”
But, who am I to say anything? I am just another 23-year-old woman who is expected to keep shut and avoid creating a stir because it’s not ‘feminine’, but, will continue to do EXACTLY THAT, at the drop of a hat.