Plight of Brothers!
Plight of Brothers!
Covid is the name that gives me chills every time I hear it!
I clearly remember the month and year, it was March 2020 when the lockdown was announced.
I was a clogged corporate employee and getting the option to work from home in a city like Bangalore felt like a blessing!
A city that never sleeps like most of our metro cities unexpectedly has become quiet!
I could hear the birds singing, but no human presence or traffic, I was entirely relishing the serenity of this shutdown!
There was a sense of calmness and the pace at which we were running all the time had stood still, it felt like we all needed this, at least I felt I needed this without comprehending the gravity of the situation and how destructive the COVID virus was.
I continued having fun during the lockdown, I participated in everything which our honorable PM asked us to do to show solidarity, I prepared Dalgona coffee and lit up the Diyas.
I avoided visiting my hometown because I was quite fond of this whole new world.
I was still oblivious to the effect of Covid on the world, there is a saying that until something knocks at your door - you would not know the real danger, it was precisely how covid hit me and my family.
It was July 30th, 2020, and a morning call from my brother shocked me and shattered me completely, I was in Bangalore and to hear that my mother was battling to breathe, and her oxygen levels had gone down to 40% was just ominous,
the awful part is no hospital was ready to admit her because they did not have ventilation support,
My brother cried helplessly on the other side of the phone and I broke down this side.
Getting a bed in a hospital was impossible during that time because the Covid surge was at its peak, my mother fought for straight 3 hours to breathe in that wheelchair and we just could not comfort her, seeing her in that predicament was the worst thing a son could see and my brother had to go through that, and I on the other side endured the pain without knowing how to help them.
After many calls and through sources my brother got her admitted to a private hospital.
While that gave me little consolation that she is finally getting the treatment, I started my journey from Bangalore to my hometown which requires about 10 hours, and that journey has been the most unbearable one till today, not knowing if my mother would heal was killing me, I had not met her for almost a year and the chances I had to visit her before that, I preferred not to because I was comfortable being in Bangalore. The guilt was too much and I was painfully revisiting all that we spoke about during those few months.
I reach my hometown early morning and the first thing I do is rush to the hospital, and the moment I enter the ICU room with all the PPE kit and glance at my mother in that ailment, I just began sobbing, it was unreal to see my mother in that condition.
It almost felt like my mother wasn't there, she was weak, and her head was down due to the heaviness of the oxygen support mask while she sat on that ventilation bed, with many tubes around her, she was clearly fighting to breathe and just holding on to life, she was half asleep and the heavy breathing goes on.
Stuck in a ward where she could not see her family, I finally had the courage and called her "Maa"
and with all the effort, she lifted her head
As soon as she see me, with a faint smile and with whatever strength she had, and says "I thought you will never come"
That shattered my heart at that very minute.
I did ask her why did you think I won't come,
And she replied by saying "I have covid, no one visits when somebody gets covid, even the sons"
I replied -" I am here"
Those words hurt me, her thought process that I might not come was shattering, to say the least, but what I was feeling did not matter, what mattered was her and her well-being.
There was so much stigma around covid and the fact that she was in a ward where the patients were left alone by their respective families in hands of nurses who don't attend to them as a family member does. My mother reckoned the same. And I could not condemn her for thinking that, we had been hearing stories all over the news channel, how the deceased bodies were left in the hospital and how there have been mass burials. The covid shook us beyond our imagination and crushed us in ways that still haunt us.
I could see that my mother was terrified, afraid of the people in PPE kits, panicked, sad, and just pleading with us to take her home, at one point she just said to kill her instead of keeping her there in that ICU
I cannot decipher the emotion which we went through and it still gives me shivers to even think of that time.
The journey to her recovery was filled with tears, uncertainty, anxiety, and a lot of praying,
My brother and I had to stay in the hospital so that we could take care of her, even though we were outside of the covid ward - we knew that we just had to be there.
We were just enabled to give her food and come out from the ward.
realizing the fact that my mother was afraid that she will not withstand this virus, we decided not to wear a PPE kit, mask, or gloves to make sure that she doesn't have anything to be worried about and that the virus is not a big deal, even though we were at risk of getting exposed to covid, we simply did not mind, we wanted her not to panic and now when I look at it, it feels it worked.
We went through gallons of emotions during that treatment, financially it broke us, we toiled to get certain injections because of no stock, and our relatives did not come to visit us because of obvious reasons, it was just I and my brother coping with all the challenges and honestly it was too much to take up.
After a straight 14 days of treatment, my mother was finally shifted to a general word, it was a miracle that she survived and doctors said that it is indeed one, because someone with a 40% oxygen level getting recovered in such a short span was a rare thing
but my mother did.
Today when I reweigh that whole situation and think about it, I know for sure that professional progress and financial growth are not my focus, Family is the prime priority because we never know when we will lose them, I can always earn the money and grow in career, but will not have the people back if I lose them.
All I do now is thank god because I have got another opportunity to spend time with my mother and family, and I would not want to lose it for any reason.
Covid was the worst, it has been painful for everyone who had to go through it, but it did teach us certain lessons, such that life is fragile and you need to make a most of it.