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Six feet no more – A story of hugs, crowns and stethoscopes

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Disclaimer: This is a long distance love story. 

6th May, 2021. The day I, a corona victim as well as warrior, knew we’d survive as a profession, as a country, as a species itself. It was the day I felt my mother’s hug- after 109 days. 

It had been an arduous month; she battled COVID while I (a medical student) battled the exams I had to crack in order to treat it. My panic reached a header when even my father tested positive, while I was 262 km away, dealing with the banalities of mechanisms of childbirth and causes of bowel obstruction. What good is a Littmann stethoscope if it can’t be used to heal the very people who gifted it to you? What good is a Littmann stethoscope at all in a time of e-consultations, oxygen deprived hospitals and newspapers that read like horror stories? 

With the gods smiling upon us, we all emerged victorious: my parents were cured of the crowned virus; just as I was crowned with the “Dr.” title, along with a positive RTPCR report. 

This month has seen me turn from a patient into a doctor. This past year has seen me slowly wade through the superficialities we all insist are an integral part of life, to focus on the simple pleasures. A mother’s long-sought-after hug, a card game with my grandfather, my father’s driving lessons. Baking sessions with my sister. A close friend’s daily check-in call. A long-lost friend seeking to reconnect. An old school teacher whose medical queries you can finally answer. Fellow doctors who will partake in your glories and groans forevermore. 

This is how we survive, by helping others to help ourselves. The only way a warrior can persevere, is if she has an entire army to cheer her on. 

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