‘3rd Wave Is Upon Us; Of All Gatherings, Election Rallies Are Worst’
Dr Mridul Sharma, 24, from Amritsar, says our leaders lecture others on Covid-appropriate behaviour but fall short of following the protocols themselves
No matter where the Covid-19 has come from, it is certain that it will go very far in destroying the health of millions. And we doctors and other frontline healthcare professionals are the first line of defence when the virus attacks. The Delta variant has shown just how devastating the effects of the mutated virus can be and I am pretty sure the Omicron variant is going to cause as much, if not more, damage. The third wave is a certainty and we should brace ourselves for it.
People have no idea how much pressure healthcare workers come under, when the cases surge and peak. Not only are we ill equipped to fight the virus, as it is mutating faster than we can understand it, we are also overwhelmed with the volume of cases.
Conducting a political rally when the third wave is imminent, isn’t a good idea. In fact any gathering is not a good idea, be it a marriage or funeral, but political rallies are the worst. A big rally is scheduled for January 5 in Punjab and in my opinion by January 15, there are chances of the third wave striking in force. I wish people understood the situation.
I myself contracted the virus twice, once in August 2020 and the second time during the second wave. And since I live alone, it gets difficult to manage the infection on one’s own. My oxygen saturation levels went dangerously low while I was infected. On Covid duty during the second wave, I had to take up rented accommodation near the hospital, so that I didn’t have to commute much and there were lesser chances of me infecting someone else.
Most other people can cope with the slow recovery but a healthcare professional, especially a doctor, has to get back on one’s feet immediately. I lost my grandfather aged 86 to post-Covid complications in April. He was full of life and someone with a healthy lifestyle and yet it was difficult for him to fight the long Covid complications. As healthcare professionals we don’t even get time to grieve our loved ones. When people conduct election rallies they must understand that human lives at stake.
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My sister is a dentist and during the second wave, healthcare professionals from other streams were also asked to pitch in to enhance resources. My parents get anxious to see both their children stand in the frontline. I wish governments understood that individual families get impacted when prevention isn’t done well and each story ends up differently.
Tamam umr sarkarein yahi bhool karti rahi, dhool chehre pe thi aur aaina saaf karti rahi. (Governments commit this mistake all the time: find fault in others’ behaviour, forget to check their own record). Political leaders should lead by example so that the public knows how to behave and follow Covid protocols. As the virus mutates, the complications are also getting severe: the Guillane-Barre syndrome, body paralysis, long Covid etc. And people with co-morbidities have it tougher.
India has better immunity than most countries because of our food habits, but we also have enormous numbers. We are bracing ourselves to report on Covid duty once again. Even if we report on duty for one day, we have to quarantine ourselves for a fortnight. It isn’t easy to be confined for that long every few days. And when we are called on duty, the workload is beyond overwhelming. We all need to take the right decisions every step of the way to fight the virus.