This was for a magazine, which eventually never got published.
“AND AS THERE WAS NO MEDICINE FOR CORONA,
SUDDENLY, IT BECAME A HEALTH CONCERN!!!”
The alarm was buzzing at 7:49 am, and like every other day, I missed my alarm of 7:00 am. It became a habit of keeping alarm at unachievable goals and snoozing every single time it buzzed. I was late for my target of getting up, but i did my course in 40 mins and reached the opd in time. But the scene was unusual there. Every single face around me was unfamiliar. Instead of faces, there were blue, black, yellow and different coloured varieties of cloths, each with a different design covering faces of people, especially nose and mouth area. Each one of them taking a small bottle out of their pocket and trickling some drops on their hands, and rubbing their hands in all possible ways. What I could hear and see, was announcements being made on speaker, people being guided about how to walk, talk, call, speak, sneeze, wash hands, sanitize, and how to maintain a distance from everybody.
For a health care worker, like me, it seemed nothing new, except for the fact of these things "being unfollowed", by the majority of people.
But but, what made people, to have so much concern about their health, which is the most unconcerned aspect in the life of an average individual. Being a doctor I see a lot of people, unhealthy, big tummies, unhygienic, unbrushed teeths, filthy throats, bad breaths, dirty genitals, big nails, uncovered sneezes, coloured spits on walls, alcoholics, smokers, tobacco chewers, drug abusers, all these things are familiar to me, and what i see is, people were least concerned about their health, untill their health alarm nodded with a disease or disorder.
The only time, when people do care about their body was, when they suffer from a un-easiness being called a "dis - ease ".
Each one of us out there is now much more concerned about corona virus, after it has been known that, it has become a PANDEMIC!
There were diseases before COVID-19. They were much really fatal in terms of causing mortality than COVID-19 can really do. But why, why is it that we are concerned about this coronavirus so badly, that a news of a single positive case, makes our heart runs faster. The simple little answer behind this heart thumping question is "because we don't have a medicine or vaccine for it".
Tuberculosis, leprosy, diptheria, measles, mumps and many more to name spreads by the similar ways of respiratory droplets which are containing the bacteria or the virus.
But before corona, did we really cared about it? Do you remember yourselves covering your nose and mouth with a mask, just to prevent tb and other respiratory tract infections?
Yeah! The answer is no.
Tuberculosis - the number one disease in terms of causing mortality and is on a primary level on health and wellness scale in India. According to Organization of World Health, India is the world's largest tuberculosis epidemic causing country. TB, MDR-TB, XDR-TB, TDR-TB, these abbreviations don't horrify us anymore, than the better world countries.
Tb also spreads through these little respiratory droplets, by sneezing, coughing, touching a surface contaminated with tb bacteria. But the precautions that we now are taking for prevention of coronavirus, were they taken in real terms for prevention of tuberculosis?! And the answer is no!, becuase today we have number of drugs for treatment of tuberculosis. Drug shortage, unavailability, cost, risk-benefits , side effects, toxicity - all these are just a puppet of terms for today's population, what's important is that somehow they can treat tb. But this treatment is not just a win-a-way shot. The treatment for tb comes with life long side effects of drugs and toxicities which hardly comes in lime light, becuase whats important to come in lime light is a life being saved, let it be at the cost of a person's health.
People are much being influenced by this modern era of vaccines and drugs against each and every little known infection, that we don't really care for our health. For us, "health concern " is just a meagre term, which is being spoken only in occasions and in some parties to impress people around.
We don't really know, what's the impact of our surrounding on our health, untill its right in front of our eyes, and it comes to our notice that there's no medicine for it.
Consider ciggarette smoking, everyone knows it's injurious to health. But but, did anyone of out there , let it be he/she really cares about it.
But why so this happens, becuase this habit has got impact on a longer time. If i slap you, then your response would be immediate, but if i make you smoke, then you might take years to understand, what real harm does it cause to your body, and by the time you know, you are already ruined.
There are diseases out there, much fatal than corona, more demanding in terms of economic, social, mental, and other terms.
But we have medicines for them, so they are not really a health concern for us. In today's life, the health concern for us is only something, that ain't has got a medicine or vaccine. Have you seen anyone out there being so concerned about a sneeze, so much ardent about washing hands, buying sanitizer out of health concern in shopping trolley of protein shakes and cosmetics?!
I won't go into the numbers, they will change by the time.
But but but,
1. Washing hands with soap and water.
2. Using sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
3. Keeping a tissue or bent elbow while sneezing.
4. Eating only properly cooked food.
5. Maintaining a social distance.
6. Avoid believing in rumors and trusting only the information from health authorities.
7. Maintain a proper respiratory and oral hygien.
8. Getting consulted by a doctor for a health concern and not becoming doctor by yourselves.
9. Dr. Google can be wrong sometimes, and pharmacist is not a doctor.
10. Ventilators, drugs, medicines, health care equipments, expenditure on health, standards of livings, all these are also the topics, which are important
All the above points were not really created for corona. They were in a public domain, since time, to spread information regarding prevention of fatal and infectious diseases. But as and when the medicine and vaccines for these particular diseases came into force, these little methods of prevention gradually vanished. Temple, mosque, elections, and leaders, they become our priority, than health care, education and standards of living.
On 26th of January, the president of united states , came to India , as chief guest for celebrating our republic day. From the sources, there is a rough estimate of 126 crores being spent for that particular 2 day trip of Donald Trump. Government didn’t raised money in pm cares fund for this trip. But whenever some natural calamity or disaster comes, the first thing the government does is to share the account number and branch code for raising the funds. Nobody amongst us, asks them the to show us where and how that money which is going to such fund raising campaigns goes.
We must thank our celebrities and other fund contributers, they indeed are the real helpers in these situations. We have seen alot of them, get criticised, bullied, boycotted, get death threats, but in these times of despair, their contribution is the biggest.
These many lakhs and crores of rupees were alloted to so and so states, these many kits arrived from so and so country and were given to the states, hydroxychloroquine was distributed among crores of health care workers, the government has decided a fresh strategy to contain the infection, drones, sanitization, army getting deployed, door step screening, each and everything above sounds so fascinating, only to realise that it is not happening to it's full throttle.
Somewhere government is at it's fault and somewhere, our beloved community.
The beauty of corona is, it made us realise that there is something called as human body which we reside in, and it needs to be taken care off, even if there is absence of disease. Pizza, pasta, soft drinks, liquor, drugs, #joint, #hash, refined wheat flour and many more to name on. These are also slow killers, but they will definitely ruin your health. Measures aganist them are also required. Surprisingly, the Chinese food caused alot of health problem to so many people, but the sizzling taste kept the food on the frontline. We never hated Chinese people, atleast not in majority of us, for noodles and manchurian.
The coronavirus had to come all the way from china to make us realise the importance of ventilators, and to make us understand that, we need more health care equipments to be manufactured than the temples. It made us understand the importance of true news, than what is going on around since few years in the news channels. It made us realise that debates in parliament and news channels are also required on topics such as health care, ventilators and drugs apart from “MANDIR YAHIN BANEGA”. The coronavirus is going to provide a shadow to lot many of important news such as rape, domestic violence, economic and financial backlogs, false news regarding the true deaths of people dying due to corona (atleast the government this time shouldn’t be blamed for, as the virus did everything), robbery, lynchings, caste discrimination, and most importantly, the Indigenious hindu-muslim fight that we hold since years.
Talking about doctors, We respect for their noble support in this time of life threatening circumstances. What they are doing is immensely unsurmountable. I support them in each and every aspect. But there are doctors and health care workers out there being selfish in this time of being selfless. I have seen doctors, taking the personal protective equipments given to them, to be distributed among their staff doing the duty, but they take these equipments to home, for protecting their family. There are doctors and health care workers out there, hiding in the their homes, to not come forward in this hour of need. The true reality is, the moment anyone gets posted or gets alloted in the duty to look after the respiratory patients, each and everyone expresses their displeasure in doing the duty, let it be at the backside of their smile. There are only a handfull of people in healthcare community, who truely wants to serve the people. And do you know what, it's nothing wrong to do so. In our country, a doctor who after doing 4 and half years of mbbs and giving a final examination, gets a degree only after completing a satisfactory rotatory internship of 1 year which decides whether he is still capable to perform with real patients at hand or not. Maintaining asepsis, priority of patient at first, arranging blood to save somebody's live, sleepless nights, unbrushed teeths, messy food, risking his/her life at each and every moment, lonely days, nasty people, and after all these, what costs a person to become a doctor, it costs him/her, their youth. A street food vendor, can give you typhoid, but the doctor gets beaten as he was not able to save a life of the patient. A street vendor seeling panipuri and not wearing handgloves, but a doctor gets beaten, as he was not having enough ppe to examine a patient. And then we become a health care worker, only to wait for getting beaten by uneducated, illiterate, insane people of our country. So theirs nothing wrong if a doctor, wants to save his /her life at first, then protecting people such as of our country.
So this was what i saw through my glasses, i understand there are problems in our country related to unity, similiar perspective, illiteracy, education, healthcare and politics, but people need to understand that our body too, needs similiar degrees of attention both in terms of health and care. The coronavirus might be a source to make people understand , whats the real value of health care and where do we stand in our fight against infections. Such pandemics are necessary as and when time requires, to bring light in this dark corrupted world. I hope, similiar degrees of awareness, still remains in people's mind, after the pandemic passes. And I hope government understands the need of the hour, to understand we need more expenditure in health and standards of living, than the temple per se. For fighting the life long hindu- muslim discrimination, first we need to be alive and healthy.
I hope the very best for our country and its people. Take care everyone now, and even after the pandemic ends. I have written a small piece of poem, i hope it inspires you. Thank you.
"Not blood, not votes, not violence....
But silence, silence made us humans....
Not hindus, not muslims, not they and we.....
But a virus, virus made us humans.....
Not police, not army, not government.....
But doctors, doctors saved the humans....
What an irony it is.......
What a pun it has created.......
People are requested to stay in houses....
But what about those who are still homeless.