The health care workers rendering their services as brave warriors in the ongoing battle against coronavirus, have reminded the world why words could never do justice to explain the nobleness and generosity defining their profession. While for the rest of us, one line answers to the frequently asked questions about covid19 would suffice, health care professionals are expected to understand and know everything about the recently discovered coronavirus because their job requires them to help, heal and save. ‘We are in this together’ is more than a phrase these days, a trending reminder of the strength of unanimous efforts on all social media platforms, but are we really in this together?
The health care professionals risking their lives amid the coronavirus outbreak to win this war by ensuring as many recoveries as possible, deserve unparalleled appreciation for their efforts. They are rather facing challenges like shortage of PPE kits and abuse, questioning our ways of expressing gratitude for what they are doing.
The stories that demand to be told and shared:
- Could have easily escaped this, rather volunteered to help: A doctor of Indian origin, Dr. Divya, got married some months ago and was in Africa with her husband. On learning about the covid19 outbreak in India, she returned back to her home country to work as a frontline doctor amid this pandemic. Another, whose team after being given directions about dealing with coronavirus disease, simply asked when they were supposed to start, could have left for the United States of America with her husband and escaped being on the frontline. But she chose to stay. These health care professionals chose to step out and be on the battlefield!
- They are doing way more than they are expected to: While coronavirus disease is on a journey to terrify, threaten and kill, it is heart warming to watch the videos of the health care professionals dancing for covid19 patients and using badges with their smiling pictures to support their patients psychologically. Dr. Bablu Sardar, a doctor from Kolkata, drove to a place 540Km from the hospital he works in, to safely drop a daily wage earner to his home as the latter couldn’t afford to be dropped by the hospital ambulance.
- They are not meeting their families so that we can be safe with ours: Many doctors, nurses and other staff members dealing with covid19 patients, are staying in the hospitals or have sent their kids to stay with the relatives in an attempt to not risk the lives of their loved ones. Dr. Sachin Nayak, who works in a hospital in Bhopal and is currently involved in the management of covid19 patients, has been living in his car for over a week now!
Challenges faced by healthcare professionals amid coronavirus outbreak
- Lack of resources: There is a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment and this scarcity risks the lives of the health care workers.
- Long working shifts: The protective gear has to be discarded after every use. Considering the shortage of PPE kits, health care professionals are working without taking breaks to save the resources as much as possible.
- Fear leading to lack of co operation: The fear of coronavirus disease has led to patients escaping the isolation wards, further worsening the situation.
- Assault and abuse: The warriors fighting against covid19 are shielding us. But some locals of Indore had the audacity to completely overlook this and made the doctors and nurses the very targets of their violence and stone pelting. If you think this made them rethink their decision of working on the frontline amid coronavirus outbreak, you are mistaken because they chose to continue rendering their services. In a recent incident that is disturbing and gruesome at so many levels, an ambulance carrying the body of a doctor who died of covid19, was attacked in Chennai!
- Denied entry to their rented rooms/apartments: Many doctors and nurses treating covid19 patients, were not allowed to enter their flats or rooms after they started working on the frontline. Some landlords mercilessly asked them to leave and some healthcare professionals lost the access to parking lots.
While we drink our dalagona coffee after posting pictures on instagram, watching the sun set from our balconies, waiting for all of this to get over, there are health care professionals who are drinking less water to avoid going to the loo while treating covid19 patients. The least we can do is not attack them!