If one was to casually visit the website of the Indian Medical Association, a virtual pamphlet would greet. No hint of welcome there, it's rather stark. 864 modern medicine doctors have sacrificed their lives since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, reads the donation plea. There are no numbers to signify the death of other healthcare workers - nurses, aides, helpers, laboratory technicians, or even medical waste handlers.
The situation is grim all across the nation, however, it seems worse when we realize that those who are trying to save our lives, don't have any shoulders to rely on.
A recent report by Times of India titled 'Who will diagnose the doctors' expresses the plight of medical professionals with warnings and pleas even from those who are no longer alive.
Yet, in spite of the fear of the pandemic, risk of losing their close ones, medicos put up a brave face each day, every day; some of them going out of their way to look after the well-being of those suffering from COVID-19.
Learning sign language
A few days ago, Chhattisgarh IAS Priyanka Shukla shared the story of Swati Bheemgaj, a nurse working at the railway hospital in Bilaspur who learned the sign language to communicate with a deaf and mute patient admitted for covid-19 treatment. The video that garnered much appreciation from viewers including Swati's alma maters from her nursing college shows the relief on the patient's face when he is able to express his concerns clearly with hand signs.
Ensuring no medicine wastage
A doctor couple from Mumbai recently started a medicine collection drive 'Meds For More' to collect unused medicines from Covid-19 recovered patients. While speaking to ANI, Dr. Marcus Ranney and his wife Dr. Raina informed that in just ten days they had recovered 20 kgs of unused medicines from housing societies and these medicines will be donated to the primary health care centres in rural districts across India for the timely treatment of the underprivileged, who are infected with Covid-19.
A little dance and music for the fading hearts
While most medical practitioners especially doctors are seen by their patients as silent and serious warriors, social media has managed to bridge that gap by amplifying the humane side of the doctors clad in masks, shields, and PPEs.
Earlier in April, a viral video showed medicos and patients swaying to the bhangra beats of a Punjabi number. Posted by Gurmeet Chadha on Twitter, the video celebrated the amazing spirit of the healthcare warriors.
Watsapp video calls to bid adieu
An earlier report by IBTimes highlighted how doctors are allowing their critical patients to connect with their families through video or phone calls in hard times. On Wednesday, Dr. Dipshikha Ghosh shared a heartfelt story of a dying patient's son who sang to her mother one last time. Replying to her tweet another doctor Vikram Ghanekar mentioned, "… Senior colleague managing my cousin in ICU for covid-19 arranged a what's app call with his wife and kids. My cousin is awake but on venti. He had tears in his eyes. Wife and kids (COVID positive themselves) were extremely grateful for the gesture."
Face to the PPE
Last year, during the first wave of the pandemic, A San Diego respiratory therapist Robertino Rodriguez printed a picture of himself on his PPE during the duty hours to light up the faces of his patients. As reported by Huffpost, the doctor shared this experience on Instagram: "Yesterday I felt bad for my patients in ER when I would come in the room with my face covered in PPE… A reassuring smile makes a big difference to a scared patient. So today I made a giant laminated badge for my PPE so my patients can see a reassuring and comforting smile."