“I am a dermatology resident who hails from the quaint town of Tuticorin. Having completed my undergraduate in Kanyakumari, I moved to Bombay for my post grads at HBT Medical college. In the mid of my second year, the COVID wave hit us and we were all put into COVID care duty. As someone whose specialisation was dermatology, this was completely new but having no choice, we learnt the ropes on the job and dove in completely into our new roles.
What started in the March of 2020 is still ongoing with no visible end in sight! In between, we studied for our course and also gave our exams. I have to spend close to 6-8 hours in the general ward and close to 12 hours in the COVID OPD armed with a PPE suit under asbestos thatched roofs complete with double masks and other protective gear. In between, I have also taken ramadan fasting so it means, my energy is down by half. But I take it all in the hopes that someday in the future, we will all be able to live in a world free from the virus.
Though the cases are grossly reduced when being projected to the mass public, we see people fighting for beds and ventilators in front of our own eyes. Since our ICU beds are often filled, some of the critical patients are put onto the general ward where I work; and we are expected to give ICU care in the general ward.
We are often put in unfortunate positions where we would have to choose whom we should give a bed to! I remember this one incident where I had to choose between two different patients and it was such a tough call to make but we had to follow the protocol!
But despite our appeals, we see that it falls on deaf ears. Even while I step out to pick up essentials, I see people maintaining no social distancing; there continues to be a crowd everywhere and even when we inform our patient’s close about critical cases, they brush it off quite lightly!
I lost my aunt to COVID just two weeks ago and using my connections, I connected to the doctor at her hospital and I was told how critical it was. But with my family, I couldn’t be a doctor, rather I had to be a family member; I told them as little as possible and it was hard to see my aunt passing! But the world is no longer how it used to be and with times changing, we need to adapt to scenarios.
There continues to be a lot of misinformation about vaccines; people forward anything and everything on whatsapp without paying any regard what it might actually constitute. So my humble request would be to be extra safe and careful and get vaccinated at the earliest; we are all in this together and we can only move forward if we all work for it.”