My mom is a doctor in a Government Hospital in Delhi. Although she is a physiotherapist, she has volunteered to work for the patients of Covid 19. Every day she leaves the house at 8 am and comes back by 3 pm. A separate room has been allotted to her in the house. As soon as she enters the house, she straightaway enters that room, takes a bath, washes her old clothes, and cleans the bathroom. Other family members, consisting of me and my father, generally refrain from entering that room. A few hours in the hospital are enough to exhaust her both mentally and physically. Then she also comes back home and helps me and my father with the household chores.
I and my father have been trying our best to make things easier back at home, trying to manage most of the housework between ourselves, and doing things to make her happy.
We try to watch all the favorite movies of my mother every day when she comes back. My mom loves to play carrom board and therefore we have started playing it too. A few days ago, I got sick with a fever. Those 3 days were the most stressful days for us. I was on complete bed rest. There was a state of utter panic at home. We could only heave a sigh of relief when it got fine within the next three days and there were no further symptoms. Apart from the generally morose environment at the hospital because of the pandemic, the situation gets further exhausting due to the unawareness of the masses about the disease. There are enough incidents in the hospital wherein people have behaved extremely callously despite having visible signs of the corona. I have a hotspot just a km away from my house. A whole lane behind my house has been sealed, for a few corona positive cases were found there.
My mom, however, does not agree with the government’s decision to cut the salary of the doctors, because according to her she at least deserves to be paid her complete salary for all the effort she is currently putting in. In the current state of the pandemic when my mother is fighting so hard, people around us have been less than kind. In fact, in my otherwise friendly neighborhood, people have started to not only socially distance us but also ignore us and maintain more distance than needed. People who were so close to us, now go back inside their houses as soon as they see us coming out. Neighbors who we would send new dishes to our house every other day, now wouldn’t even wish us properly on crossing paths. We are made to stand in separate queues outside grocery stores. The fear of the pandemic is indeed so grave that instead of offering support and kindness, people are making it more difficult for doctors and their families. Because even though it is only my mother who goes to the hospital, in reality, the whole family is struggling with her. I have sleepless nights because I am so worried about my mother’s mental and physical health. I just want to request people to not socially exclude doctors and their families. Doctors are the soldiers we need right now and we as family members and civilians have to try and encourage and support them by at least being kinder.
Just calling them heroes verbally isn’t enough.