Written by Pranav Singhania
Just a few months ago, we were hoping that the change of calendars came with a change in fortune (for the better). We were almost there, at least that’s what we thought. I don’t think any of us had ever imagined that it would rain down on us this hard. A lot of us are still continuing to work from home, food and groceries delivered to us in a few taps, access to unlimited entertainment, and a paycheck hitting the bank without even having to step out. This, this is being hopelessly privileged. But for many of us, along with the privilege comes a wave of guilt. The guilt of not being able to give back to society at this time.
You scroll through social media as people scramble for hospital beds, medicines, injections, food & oxygen. Such basic needs right? And yet this is exactly why we are losing so many lives. And it isn’t like it’s all happening just behind a screen, at this point, almost each of us knows someone within our own family or friends battling it.
Caste, creed, sex & age truly didn’t matter. The anecdotes, the visuals from the hospitals, just harrowing to hear and watch, almost making you sick in the stomach. It sends a chill down my spine to even try to think about the atmosphere within. The stories break you, make you feel defenseless. Never thought we would be feeling anxiety, anger, fear, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, exhausted, and overwhelmed, all at the same time and collectively.
It could easily be us standing in their shoes. I don’t think we can even remotely relate to what the ones affected are going through right now. It’ll go down as a dark war of our times. A lot of us failed and a lot more need to be held accountable. For now, we fight together, and when we are out of this, we play the judge and the jury.
Meanwhile, lost in this concoction of dingy emotions, here you are trying to desperately figure out what you can possibly do to set things right, however little it is. Ensuring your own safety and of the people around you, without adding any more pressure on the already overburdened medical system, you can either contribute with your time and/or means.
- Take care of yourself, this sustained mental assault is hard on each of us, if you can keep yourself sane through this, you’re doing more than enough. If it means staying distracted and disengaging from all of this for your own good, do it. It isn’t a competition.
- Check-in on your family and friends, everyone’s going through the same journey of an emotional roller coaster, while the ones who are battling it might at least find strength in the fact that there are people behind them.
- If you’re dealing with Covid within your own house, please know that this doesn’t have to turn out to be the worst outcome, please try to lift the spirits, easier said than done yes, but a little distraction could go a long way, because the mind needs to remain healthy as much as the body for it to heal itself.
- Help your family and friends with the right information, take a pause before you share any information, the other big threat out there is turning out to be misinformation.
- Multiple cohorts have come up in all parts of the country (a big thank you to all of them who are doing this alongside their day jobs), trying to align the supply-demand of resources better, become a part of them to ensure the requests are prioritized and fulfilled, even if it means calling a 100 numbers to identify that one resource which could save a life.
- Try helping organizations that verify the resources and keep them up to date.
- Amplify, amplify, amplify as far as you can, as much as you can, but try your best to verify, it’s difficult yes, and having an efficient system is a luxury at this time, and that’s why the only way to fight the inefficiency is to verify and ensure we are helping as many as possible.
- Convince people around you to get vaccinated, make them understand what it means, hear them out, understand their concerns, bust their myths, clarify with reason.
- Get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
- Mask up, until it covers your mouth and nose, for the love of whatever/whoever you believe in, don’t slack on this.
- Stay at home, if your profession allows you to.
- The easiest way is to donate money, but finding a trustworthy charity isn’t easy, you would have to spend some time to identify charities that have had a good track record, are well recognized for years, have no public negative news, are trusted by other prominent organizations and public figures and who offer strong paper trail and transparency into their expenditure. These should be some good ways to go about verifying its legitimacy, again this isn’t easy, you would have to spend some time, but if you could spend hours before choosing the right phone for you, I think this is the least you could do for a good cause.
- By providing/cooking food, a lot of the people currently need good food, now again this is something which would have to be done with the utmost safety in mind, you do not want to contribute to the chain in any way.
- Do not hoard, for the love of God, you do not need 30+ tablets of everything right now.
- Do not take any medication/oxygen without medical guidance or supervision.
When we are out of this, the one thing we could smile about is how the country known for ‘jugaad’ came forward together, to represent grit, selfless service, and humanity. No one’s really a stranger anymore.