Safety, Survival and battles with COVID 19

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Prarthana RK Mahale, a second year medical student at GMERS Medical College, Valsad in Gujarat (India). She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

COVID pandemic puts 34 million population ‘on the very edge of famine’ “ – read the headline of the news as the COVID wave was menacing the health of people, raising a critical question- ‘Have we really understood and accepted previously implemented regulations or are we still not impacted?’.

The easiest answer to this question is No. The earliest outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 was met with huge drawbacks of lack of infrastructure, planning, improper rules and improper implementations. But coming this far off through this pandemic and having studied and researched a lot more in terms of this virus , we still lack the understanding of one main issue – acceptance of required precautions .

The society still encounters several people rejecting the existence of such an outbreak while there are many who still find wearing protective equipment like masks , face shields or using hand sanitizers as corporate propaganda. The end of the second phase marked reopening of schools, public places, international and national travels which only resulted in increased carelessness of people around. As the 2021 prediction of the stoppage of this outbreak met its pitfall, several countries marked a sudden and worsened outbreak situation causing re- implementation of night curfews and lockdowns, which is yet again frowned upon by people who feel ‘the system’ is forcing them to stay inside.

As the infrastructure crumbles down at the weight of multiplying needs of ventilators, oxygen supply and sanitation, the health professionals who have been working tirelessly to enhance survival are finding themselves in deep waters as the common man revolts their attempts misled by the loopholes in the management and the politics.

As the first wave prompted quarantining, lockdowns and closing down public places the third wave stands in raising ethical questions of survival with struggling income, demanding the need to stop complete lockdowns across the world. This could be understood by the reality in numbers as  the early days of the crisis last March, 813,000 payroll jobs have disappeared(bbc news) impacting the global picture. As the global economy dwindles down, the differences between developed and developing nations appear to be increasing in its intensity. Several nations are still keeping up with complete lockdowns met by yet more agitation especially from businesses while others are facing backlash for not implementing proper lockdown methods.

With the research and discovery of vaccinations for Novel Coronavirus, the healthcare system faced another huge hurdle of speculations surrounding the vaccine that led to slowing down of worldwide vaccination programs.

As a human witness to one of the worst outbreaks of its decade, humanity seems to be divided amongst the people understanding the repercussions of their actions hence following proper safety measures while others find themselves ignoring the plight of the world around them.

But the silver lining in these hard times is witnessing different communities , healthcare providers and other pillars of society coming forward to save lives.

About the author

Prarthana RK Mahale, a second year medical student at GMERS Medical College, Valsad in Gujarat(India), is a member of MSAI and IFMSA. She is a published author with a cause and believes in educating people around and bringing awareness to society. Her mantra as a medical student is ‘Saving lives above all’ and she is on a mission to provide equal healthcare facilities and education for every human, as it’s the way to supreme peace across boundaries.

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