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Dust if you ‘MUST’: It is our collective duty to fight COVID

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While we continued our life after the first wave, with little or no use of masks, the imp (virus) made an even harder comeback, pushing us against the wall. A more virulent form overwhelming our healthcare infrastructure, an apocalypse in making of colossal proportions. What is happening around us is soul crushing. Scenes of bodies burning in overwhelmed crematoriums have become the face of our nation. Complacency among us ignoring all scientific warnings, fear of making wrong decisions, delayed actions and downplaying the threat has created a domino’s effect. The demon has once again caught us with our pants down. Pretty wild.. how we used to eat cake after someone had blown on it, that paradise is lost!! We… have to weather the storm…

Doctors’ duty is to ‘serve’. Whether we are showered with petals from sky, or promised jobs or honoured with badges or ‘national samman’. Be it pandemic or no pandemic, the ministrations of our healthcare frontline workers are unparalleled.There is no Munna Bhai MBBS with “Jadoo Ki Jhappi (magical hug”) or Dr Strange with time stone (one of the infinity stones) to go back in time to set things right. It is sad that, at this point of time, instead of pitching in, we are expending energy in pulling ourselves down. Don’t beat the warring soldier,………the buck does not stop here!

Some countries had scaled up testing and containment measures after detecting new cases or mutants,bringing down fatalities not letting the grass grow under their feet. A dynamic problem needs a dynamic solution and a dynamic personality. When one public servant’s (doctor-turned IAS officer Dr Rajendra Bharud) forethought and strategy could keep an entire community out of this storm(salute), why wasn’t the same done everywhere.? Fickle, sluggish and opaque attitudes has pushed us into an abyss.

However the ship has sailed… Strategic planning, implementation and a strong leadership with forethought at multitude levels of bureaucracy and communities is the order of the day, Yes!! Where can I place the order please? Swiggy…..Zomato or Dunzo…….I am working from home!!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. It is time everybody including communities should look within. Find a strong leader with greater transparency in implementing a public health response. It is time, every house, every street, every community, every city should have contingency plans. There are lessons to be learned ……relearned, look back at our own  nation wide pulse polio immunization. History always has some answers.Paramount action is the need of the hour. Identify our fault lines,take responsibility and focus on solving the problems. Have a strategy in place in communities, devise policies, form systems, use the existing infrastructure and plan to quickly respond to any resurgence including a socio economic fallout. COVID is here to stay. Constant updating with forethought about the future and devising strategies for strengthening the resilience, effectiveness and responsiveness of the communities so as to be prepared for the future will surely be in the game. If this is a race, we are hares napping on the course.

Success of any effort depends on owning up to mistakes, and having science at its heart. Only a thoughtful,  compassionate and transparent leadership can provide this. As rightly quoted by the Iron man of India, Sardar Patel “These people (leaders-bureaucrats) are the instruments. Remove them and I see nothing but a picture of chaos all over the country.” Currently there are too many chiefs, not many “Indians”; too much red tape and not enough get-up and go… there is work that needs to be done…..

Watch out!! The clock is ticking… ‘chal yaar… doctor hai na…sub kuch tekh karengi’……will not work this time………… as the imp(virus) continues its destruction.. ‘Aye Circuit…yeah corona ka kya ilaaj hai?’… ..Samjho………its not what you think….. “Aye Mamu…jadoo ki jhappi de daal aur baat khatam” …will have to wait…..…. so get vaccinated, stay home, stay safe and practice social distancing. Now even more than before, mask up or ‘hush bush’ we alllll.. WILL…….. go down…

Author: Dr Manjunath Haridas MD FACS FICS
Director  MH Surgical Clinics

Co Author: Dr Evelyn MBBS

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