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The Dark Long Nights And The Helpless Days...COVID Second Wave Overwhelms The Sensitive
Lucknow, April 28 (TNA) For almost a fortnight now, it has been an experience that even a journalist like me, who has a body of work of 23-years, is unable to put in words. The nights have been dark, endless and the days helpless! The second wave of Coronavirus has not only overwhelmed the healthcare system around us but also the fragile and caring-hearted.
Every day I receive dozens of calls- on phone and social media, not seeking help but solace as they vent out their depression, frustration, agony, sadness, sense of being nothing. While in the past I would have soothing words to calm their frayed nerves, this time, the magnanimity of the situation has left me at loss of words.
Every morning as I get up, the WhatsApp messages start with Om Shanti and the nights, before hanging up for the day, innumerable messages of RIP in various groups leave me grief-stricken. The battle for plasma, oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, admissions, life-saving drugs and injections...the list is endless.
What is frustrating is that even as teh world continues to live in a make-believe world in "you are resourceful", the failure of being one is a deeply sinking feeling. In know many actually resourceful people in Lucknow, who have been running from pillar to post to get even their near n' dear ones beds etc in this medical emergency.
Many have failed, thrown up their hands in despair and are left with just prayers. A dear friend of mine called me twice in the past few days. The late night calls, which were hitherto happy and cheerful have now changed into dismay and depression. "What are we doing Dada? Whats happening? Where are we headed?" He blabbered as we spoke yesterday.
He spoke aloud on how many of his acquaintances, friends, their parents died of the dreaded virus that day. Another friend, with whom I share a spiritual calling, is herself a COVID patient but she has been relentlessly trying to help people in distress. She has done so too to one or two but has failed in majority of cases! Arranging plasma, trying to coordinate bed availability, oxygen refilling etc, she tells me has taken a "huge mental and emotional toll" on her.
She has lost many school friends, relatives and people in the neighbourhood. "I am scared every time my phone buzzes....its not the fear of the unknown but of being unable to do anything. "The system has collapsed, the rulers are dishing out blatant lies of all being hunky dory" she looses in while speaking before composing herself again.
Another friend living in Gomtinagar sends a lot of voice messages, slamming the establishment. He minutes later deleted them even before I can go through them all. He explains his dad has asked him not to get "hyper and overactive" as the government was watching and threatening to bill urgencies as rumour spreading and warning of seizing property and sending people behind bars!
New apps telling bed availability, monitoring oxygen supply, audit of facilities at hospitals and the virtual meetings the CM holds everyday...all promises of the government, some authentic and actual ring in no happiness to people now.
"We have lost so many, the virus is out on the rampage...when they had time to stop it, enforce covid appropriate behaviour, nothing was done, powers that be were busy with elections and public meetings....." says a smug 67-year-old at Wazir Hasan road in Lucknow. 135 teachers and others on duty in UP Panchayat polls have died, attracting the attention of the Allahabad High Court.
However at the end of it all, the environment around us is of despondency, uncertainty and chaos....the nights are indeed dark and long and the days helpless!!
(The writer is the editor-in-chief of www.thenewsagency.in)