“Covid” a strange but simple word which could have been a smart-assed or probable humorous term for anything. But for what it actually stands for, it’s anything but humorous or smart-assed.
As I take a slow thoughtful walk on the terrace of my home and watch the signs of life around us my thoughts turn to those months of November and December 2019 when the trickles of this term ‘Covid’ or as is what it is called otherwise- ‘Corona’ had started flowing in the media. It was a slow, steady start of flow which eventually turned to a devastating flood in both the media and in our society. It is April of the year 2021 now and these simple terms ‘Covid’ and ‘Corona’ are still wreaking havoc everywhere, in my country even more so now.
After months’ long lockdown and protective measures the re-opening of society has not done any favours to our country. My home state is suffering from community spread now, thanks to tourism being one of the major contributors in the economy of my state. My dear elder sister and her colleagues, all employees of a bank were one of those professionals who risked their lives in one way or other in these trying circumstances. My brother and sister-in-law who work in hospitality industry have always got some news about various acquaintances of theirs in other cities succumbing to this deadly virus. Some of the deceased members of families leave small children behind; others take away blessings of elders. My father’s sister was one of these figures in the count of the dead.
It was an absurd, ironic situation there was so much depression, isolation due to the continuing spread of corona virus and yet there was one small but important consolation for us. My brother and sister-in-law had returned to living with us now, till their office allowed work from home due to this spread. My elderly parents took joy from this one simple fact of familial togetherness. Though every death becoming a figure still terrified a bit more, leaving the living to figure what’s next in store. One day my sister came home afraid, her office was starting trainings of new recruits. People were going to be joining their office from all the districts of the state, she was afraid; more for being the cause of the medium of infection to our parents then to herself. In a way, we all shared in her fears; keeping updated of the then current statistics every day. Some day it’s the biggest single day spike in the country, some other days some other cities went under lockdown; and my state had thousands of active cases now.
One of those days after returning from office my sister announced, “I want to get vaccinated. I want to be safe.” That there might be some possible side-effects or allergy was left unsaid, because in the end getting vaccinated was the only responsible thing to do. There was no other option but to overcome our fear. So it was decided, the day after my sister and my sister-in-law would get vaccinated. That day came, both of them took their covid vaccinations and fortunately apart from some pain they had no other side affect.
As the cool evening breeze touched my face, I sighed. My sister and sister-in-law had got their vaccinations the previous month. It had been more than 25days since then; vaccination was open to 18yrs to 44yrs old persons since the start of this month; our advocates bar association was giving the front line worker certificate to us also; and the very respected Chairperson of our State Bar Council had succumbed to the jaws of Corona. I was still afraid; afraid of this demonic virus, afraid for my family, afraid of the side-effects of getting vaccinated and afraid of not getting vaccinated. Seemingly too many fears; but all hoped and prayed for one single thing- safety of us all.
I attempted to take strength from my sister and sister-in-law’s decision; from the assuring feedback of some friends, some more statistics. Trying to see that statistics can be positive also, it does not have to be numbers of only active corona cases or number of people who have died due to corona. It can be numbers of people who have recovered from corona, number of people who got their vaccination for corona; and number of people who are completely fine after getting the first or second dose of vaccination. Most of all, I took strength from the fact that my sister passed one month with close contacts from 5-7 corona diagnosed fellow colleagues and just maybe the vaccine helped with her fight against this deadly corona virus.
I know now, this was a turning point in helping me decide whether or not to get myself vaccinated against corona virus. I was going to start my efforts to get the appointment to get myself vaccinated against corona. How can I not, when I saw my 20yrs old niece running a fever after she got her first dose of the vaccine and recover from it successfully. It is my turn to join the battle against Corona Virus and the getting myself vaccinated is the first step in winning this combat, to beat the Covid Virus making any more advances. As I checked the schedule to get an appointment for getting myself vaccinated, I was determined to win this first battle, no matter how many days it took. Even now, it has been more than a week since when I check daily to get an appointment but I clearly remember the moments in my journey to this decision. I recollect the moments in my journey to decide whether or not I am on the side to fight against corona; or on the side of fear that this demonic virus shall win over us.
I am on the side of winner, the side that shall win over corona.
© 2021 Charu Bhatnagar