The second wave of Corona hit India on the face. The whole system along with the citizens was caught unaware. None of the researches and data has predicted this amount of catastrophe. Due to lack of oxygen and beds, people were dying, crematoriums were running full.
Fingers were raised, blames were placed, an unimaginable amount of repressed fury was sensed amidst the vast majority of the Indian middle class. Could these casualties have been averted by timely interventions? Has the Indian government really failed its subject? There are no simple answers to these questions. Yes, partially the response to the disaster could have been better. But none of the countries have the needed healthcare to handle this kind of Tsunami.
There is another key point in the narrative, which is being missed by many of us. The amount of psychological damage the pandemic has inflicted. Sadly, India was never good at classifying and handling mental issues. The majority of the Indians believed, depression does not exist, it was just a figment of imagination. Recently, when few Indian celebs talked about it in media and shared their struggles around the same, the illness became real. In such a scenario pushing counseling sessions for the health workers and the foot soldiers, would be a task.
For the first time, the doctors, nurses, and health staff witnessed such a large amount of deaths, every single day. On the condition of anonymity, a young doctor from a leading hospital of Delhi confessed, “I cannot forget the evening when we had oxygen supply left for only one hour. We had 50 people in the ward, and we prayed fervently for the cylinders to reach us on time, else the whole ward will turn into a graveyard. That one moment we felt extremely helpless and many of us were in tears.”
Though the catastrophe was averted, we can understand the amount of stress and pressure the health employees are going through.
The healthcare professionals due to their training, are well prepared to handle deaths or miseries. But nothing has prepared them for the recent happenings. Once the wave flattens and comes down, it is important to conduct counseling sessions for them. This would help them with the healing process. We don’t have to look up to the government for support, every hospital has a psychiatrist on board, in-house counseling is a doable option.
Apart from the primary care providers, counseling centers need to be established for citizens too. It has been noticed, during pandemic at times the family members blamed and questioned the decisions, made by the caretakers. The situation worsened if a near and dear one passed away. In many households, there were moments when tempers ran high, the sense of dissertation crept in. Children went into guilt for not being able to save their parents. Wives set fire to the funeral pyre of their husbands, sisters took custody of brother’s children as none was left to take care of them. People need help to handle their grief and to make peace with the truth. Counseling will help in mitigating the pain and strengthening the family bonds.
Also, due to the inflow of frequent pessimistic data and news, paranoia clubbed with helplessness spread among the masses. Even the uninfected mortals reported feeling anxious, fearful, and depressed, often wondering, “Will we be the next in line?” The uncertainty weighed down heavily on everyone. Few individuals described deep remorse for not being able to help the known ones in the tough time. The thought they failed as humans, would stay with them.
Indians are well known for their strong social fabric. This is the time when the families, friends need to come together and provide the necessary counsel. It is time to shed inhibitions, and ask for help or talk to a confidante, in case of need. RWAs in respective societies can play a pivotal role, in providing mental aid.
The government needs to set up a committee to access the psychological damage, and start certain programs, to help the survivors. More helplines are needed to be put in place, which one can be easily accessed in case of need.
This is definitely the time when every Indian should become a soldier and help in winning the war. The time for pinning blames, calling names is long over. A calamity of this extent can only be dealt with a strong partnership between the government and natives.
- The author of this article is Ramya Mishra, Brand and Communication Expert
About the author: Ramya Mishra is a brand and communication expert. Also, she is a published author of two novels and a great storyteller. As a writer, she applies a simplistic yet powerful approach to writing. She is an LGBT activist and through her creations wants to bring awareness and acceptability among the masses. She frequently writes around burning issues, which need immediate attention.