Covid is back and I’m scared, not too scared, not scared enough to stop living and working as usual, but scared enough to acknowledge it.
Why am I scared? In the last covid wave I lost someone. And the circumstances were such that there’s still a little voice inside that questions me.
I was at work and a manager walked in and said that one of his reportees & his mother were desperately searching for hospital beds and not finding any, their SPO2 was quite low. I started the search, along with our clinic team. Few minutes later my sister called me. No-one from my family calls me during work time unless it’s urgent, I answered. My grandfather had succumbed to Covid in a hospital. My parents were rushing to the hospital and relatives were calling my sister, crying. My sister was surely shocked and scared.
I thought for a minute I think, didn’t have more time than that. Decided to stay back and keep searching for 2 hospital beds. For this employee (& his mother)and the ones to come later, we were able to find hospital beds with much better care than my own grandfather received. Finally went home in the evening at the end of the work day, travelling 2hrs to reach the city where my family lived, but I did not work. Continued to travel daily for 4hrs because both my work and my family needed me. So what’s that voice inside my head that still questions me? What are these questions?
“Whether I should’ve left to go & mourn the loss of nanu who had helped raise me and loved me.” “Whether I should’ve left and supported my sister immediately.” “Whether I should’ve taken leaves and been there with my grieving mother (who, needless to say, was in a terrible state for many many days, having lost her father; days on which I would be present at home for barely enough hours for her to see that I am still alive)”. But then I rationalise, saying to myself that that day I could contribute to saving two lives against one that was already lost. And contribute to saving many others to come. I tried to be there for both, those who loved me, and those who didn’t. Who decides that I should feel guilty about taking away my time from the ones who gave and continue give me love, to give that time to those who don’t love me? That’s not what higher purpose is about, right?
I don’t have all these answers, I just have my voices and my rationalisations to those voices. But I’m exhausted. Exhausted by the fact that the clutches of capitalism will not let us close down our offices owing to the nature of our industry. And that people who haven’t been scared will continue to make light of this situation and possibly put themselves and us through all this all over again. That thought exhausts me, but not enough to not keep trying to keep this place safe till I stand on its soil.