Neha and Tara's Experience with COVID-19 in India
Currently in India, the Coronavirus spread has boomed once again. This phase two is deadlier than the first, killing and infecting all age groups. Hospitals have filled up, oxygen tanks are low in supply, and some are on the streets. But it is not only the infected that suffer, it’s also their families. Whether it’s racing to get an oxygen tank or grieving a death, the families of Covid-19 patients face immense tension and sorrow. Here are two stories from families that dealt with the new Coronavirus strain, and how they managed to recuperate and strengthen:
1. Bangalore, India: Neha
Neha lives in a city called Bangalore with her husband. Both of them use all safety precautions, and stay inside the house at all times. Neha’s father lives in a small village area in a different state, which is quite far. He lives alone and has no support system. Recently, he had begun feeling lethargic and began to have trouble breathing properly. Knowing these were symptoms for COVID, he decided to get tested at a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, his results were positive. Since the hospital in her dad’s area was filled up he began self-medicating at home by himself. Over the course of one month, Neha’s dad’s condition only worsened to a point where he was unable to function without help. After consulting with multiple doctors and hospitals, Neha decided that the only option was to get her dad to Bangalore so he could be treated properly. Thus began a new journey. Worried for his safety,
Neha ensured there was someone to help her dad on the train. He was in a section by himself. As soon as the train reached Bangalore, an ambulance that had been previously called picked up Neha’s dad and raced to the hospital. After all these nerve-racking weeks, Neha still had to wait to see her father. The wait was almost torturous, but her and her husband knew that it was necessary. After about 2 months, Neha got a call saying her father tested negative! This joyous moment was inexplicable, and Neha immediately went to see her father. The joy one feels when a loved one is healed is immense, and Neha almost squished her father when she met him! Now, Neha, her father, and her husband all live together in Bangalore. Neha believes that the biggest thing she learned from this experience is that it is better to stay together during tough times and support one another!
2. Mumbai, India : Tara
Tara lives in a joint family of 15 people in Mumbai. She is the second oldest cousin and works online right now during the pandemic. Her older cousin is a doctor and so she has only been able to see him for 5 months since the coronavirus started. Ever since March, when the second wave began in India, her cousin, Raj, has been stuck at the hospital. The entire family missed him very much, but they knew he was saving lives, and so they were all very proud of him! Last month, due to an override of patients he was also one of the 26.5 million people that contracted the virus, and was forced to lock himself in his room for two weeks. Over the course of those two weeks, Tara or another member of the family took care of him, not just physically, but also mentally. These were trying times as the risk of infection, fear, and the overwhelming information from the media was putting everybody in stress. However, they all stood strong and recovered. A few weeks ago, Raj became COVID free. In the joy of celebration, they all held a pooja, or a prayer, and cooked a lot of good food! They were all happy, and also relieved! In addition, multiple members of Tara’s family have started their vaccinations. Tara believes she has learned how helpful and important her family is, and how not only Raj, but also the other members of the family need one another!
Both these stories show how through a little resilience and support it is viable to go through any crisis, even a worldwide pandemic. Therefore, have fun and appreciate your family, but don’t forget that COVID is not over yet, so it is best to be safe and use sanitation!
Khanna, Tara. Personal interview. 18 May 2021.
Rai, Neha. Personal interview. 19 May 2021.
"WHO (COVID-19) Homepage." World Health Organization, 22 May 2021, covid19.who.int/region/searo/country/in.