Friday, June 18, 2021

 The second wave

Last July, when the first wave of the Corvid pandemic was in full flow, I posted a personal experience of handling a major family crisis and the effect that it had on me. This year with the second wave much worse that that of last year, I again went through anxious times, this time related to my patients and friends and lost two, who were very close to me.

We still don't know every aspect of this illness. What appears as a trivial illness, suddenly takes a severe turn, occasionally ending in deaths. Though the percentage of severe morbidity and mortality is still low, given the huge numbers infected, even this small percentage when added has had devastating effect on our health care facilities. It had a major disrupting influence on our economy and the ones who have suffered most are the socioeconomically backward, who form the majority in our country. The ripple effect is felt by all of us which ever strata of society we belong to.

Socializing is very important of our mental well being. This pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns in most part of the country has had a major impact on people, especially the young, more so in school going children. Schools and colleges are not just places of learning, they are places where one meets and interacts with others and indulge in various forms of physical activity. This leads to friendships and empathy towards each other. This is also so in offices and work places. Working from home is not a great alternative to going to school or college or office or factory. I am witness to increasing incidences of this already. Anxieties, phobias, depression are on the increase.

Physical inactivity, which is forced due to this pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had their own adverse consequences. Many have gained weight, developed diabetes and high blood pressure. Home bound elderly have had more number of falls and fractures and many have found it difficult to get urgent help. Due to poor agronomics professionals working from home have developed many stress related physical injuries, chief among these being back ache.

What about us doctors? last three months have taken a heavy toll, both mental and physical.Worse sufferers were/are Family physicians and Primary care doctors working in the clinics and primary health centers. Next are the doctors working in corvid care centers and corvid wards of hospitals. The mental stress these doctors underwent and still going is difficult to imagine. I know of GPs who have handled more than 800 cases both in person and on tele consults during these past months. But for this unheralded front line doctors our hospitals would have been much worse off that they did.

At the time of writing this post, there appears to be a countrywide ebb, more so in the city of Bangalore. The lock down is being lifted from day after. What is in store in the coming months? Will our people heed the advice on Corvid compliant behavior or they would again take a care a damn attitude and invite a third wave?

I anxiously wait

No comments: