Sacrifice. It is a damn hard thing to do. We all make it at some point in our lives and scaling it is something which is unfair on the person making it.
Soldiers sacrifice their pleasure days with their families to protect their nation when the duty calls them. Astronauts sacrifice a major chunk of their lives, I think that people forget what these space sailors do. They are away from their family, leave their kids as a toddler only to find a teenager, and have no clue as to what is going on in the world; working to unravel the hidden mysteries of the cosmos.
In the middle of all this, we tend to take our medical staff sacrifices for granted. For them, day and night are the same. Patients come before their families. A good 2 or 3-hour sleep is sufficient. Perhaps, it is fitting to say that what mother Teresa did for our nation, these medical workers are doing for us.
Given the current scenario where COVID-19 is spreading its vicious cycle, our concerns raise when we hear about any case, even a sneeze or a small cough in the throat of our loved ones feels like a warning alarm. While we fret, medical facilities up their ante to combat this situation. Medical staff is working tirelessly to get rid of the virus from their patients. To acknowledge the same, our government organized a “Janta Curfew”. The moment the clock ticked 5, everyone was out on their balcony to celebrate the efforts and sacrifices of these noble workers.
Nevertheless, in all this, we forgot that like us, they too are humans. They too have families and kids they would love to spend their time with, yet here they were fighting for the patient. In the midst of all this, I encountered a heartening story of a nurse in Mumbai.
Like all nurses, she was called for service to the hospital to fight COVID-19. She was scared, which was pretty obvious. In a time where people were told not to go out of their houses, she was getting a call from the hospital to face the deadly virus. Besides, just like a family woman, she was concerned about her two daughters and her husband. What if she catches it and transmits it to them? The tension was at its peak. Her elder daughter getting paranoid about the current situation made matters worse for her. She begged her not to report but for her, duty was of utmost priority.
With no Plan-B, she assured her daughter and decided to leave for work. However, she could not risk going to the hospital by public transport. The locals were shut down and the risk in the taxis was high. While her husband decided to drive her to the hospital, she only prayed for his well-being as she felt she had jeopardized her husband’s health.
On the very first day, things felt like a war zone. From admitting patients, allocating beds, and most important, calming the patients down regarding the situation, everything had to be arranged. With no minute to rest, the bigger task was to keep the patient’s families at bay. The heartbreaking part was of a Pune couple who begged her to allow them to leave for Pune so that they can go home to their kids. And, as a worker on duty, she kept emotions aside and kept that couple in the hospital for their well-being.
Such is the fickle nature of time that in all this hustle and bustle, she has forgotten her own family. It has been 5 days since she last met them. She along with her few colleagues decided to pool a car and leave for their respective homes. But canceled it as they couldn’t risk the lives of their loved ones.
Such is the power of the Internet, with extra shifts piling up, they kept their morale high by forwarding motivational messages to each other.
Because a new batch of travelers arrived for the treatment, she recalled that a nurse had to come back within 3 hours. Yes, she left the hospital at 6 am and came back at 9 am. From there, they worked without a break for 14-hours.
As the saying goes, “Hard Work and dedication betrays none”; all the sacrifices and hard work they did paid off! The look of relief on their patient’s faces when they tested negative was their reward.
Think of it, what would have happened if she and her colleague gave up in these trying times? Instead of that, they fought valiantly, stuck together, and came out with flying colors.
Regardless of these stories, we still have a few people who believe that going out of their houses is cool for them. Sharing baseless and non-credible messages is fun for them.
This brings us to the question: What’s the point of them working hard if we can’t respect it? The cycle needs to stop and this is the reason why a lock-down is announced. And yes, as she said, once this is over; we will come out, celebrate our win against this deadly virus but, to achieve that, we need to stay in our houses and take necessary precautions as these fighters are asking us to take. Only then we can make their efforts worth it.
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“Honestly, when all us nurses were called for service to the hospital to fight COVID-19, I was scared. I have 2 daughters & a husband, who’s health I was concerned about. At that point, my 4th grader was just happy her exams were cancelled & my other daughter was paranoid I’d catch the virus–she begged me to not report. All I could do was assure her that I’d be okay, because when duty calls, you show up–there’s no plan B. So my husband took over the house & I left for work. Even getting to the hospital was tough, because the risk in taxis was high. So my husband drove me, but that put him at risk. The other nurses & I decided to carpool, but we realised it was best for us to stay at the hospital. I still remember the first day–between admitting patients, allocating beds & calming down patients… it was like a war zone; we didn’t get a minute to rest. But the hardest thing we had to do was keep families apart. I was handling a couple from Pune who was begging me to leave to go home to their kids–but I couldn’t. It was heartbreaking. I thought of my own kids & how much I missed them–it had been 5 days since I’d been home. They kept calling to make sure I had my mask on or was eating, but even those calls lasted a few seconds. There was so much to be done that we had to work extra shifts–we kept morale high by sending each other motivational messages. One of the nurses left at 6am & returned at 9am because a new batch of travellers had arrived–she worked until 12am again that night. But all of it’s worth it when we see the look of relief on our patient’s faces when they test negative. Just last week this group of travellers thanked us with folded hands for taking care of them–in these situations, I always say it’s our first & only duty to serve. These are trying times, but we’ll get through them together. Believe only credible sources for information, take our instructions seriously & stay at home. Help us by not getting out unless it’s for essentials or if there’s an emergency. And once this is all over, we will all celebrate. You celebrate with your friends & family & us nurses will celebrate with ours–we can do it together, by just being home alone.”