• Mahesh Menon

Day 14

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein


Day 14.

I do not remember what I was doing 2 weeks ago. I remember the initial urgency- the sense of panic. And then, the sense of pride as my colleagues and our nation started preparing for the onslaught of a pandemic.

The realization that we have mistaken luxuries for essentials, and we have been following a way of life that we may not really need. That there are those who are needy, much, much more than we are, and that we can help. "The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist". (Laurence Leamer).

The realization that to keep fighting a pandemic- we do not need space-tech, but a focus on good public health measures, which requires a strong scientific plan enforced by stronger political will.

One week to go. We speculate- more lockdown? Or will everything return to normal?

As doctors, most of us spend a lot of our waking time thinking about and planning around this virus- telemedicine has come to India and it is helping our patients. We have bright minds working on ventilators and safer techniques in accessing the upper airway. Microbiologists have risen to the challenge, scientific researchers have been working hard.

In 14 days, surely we have learnt a few things. Some of us have a PhD from WhatsApp university now- watch out for these ones!!.

We hope that we continue to good work required to keep the curve flattened:

1. Make work and financial plans for the next few weeks to months- financial security. 2. Follow the rules- like standing in a line with some distancing! 3. Say no to hoarding- essentials have been available, right? 4. Connect with local politicians. Find out how to help front-line workers like doctors and policemen and everyone who tried to keep Coronaviridae out of your life. 5. DONATE BLOOD, if one is healthy! 6. Donate to verified organisations to help with equipment, food and help for those in the community who need it (if you are in a position to do so). 7. Most importantly, focus on our own health! 8. Zero tolerance for the abuse of healthcare workers, front line workers or policemen who are doing their jobs in this crisis!

Like Shel Silverstein said, anything can happen, anything can be. Ignore the naysayers, and I think most of us will come out of this pandemic unscathed in the long run.

This marooning has been tough for all of us at home, and like the experiences of a shipwrecked sailor on a deserted island, this curfew reminds us what is truly essential for all of us.

“Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.” ― Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe.

Stay home, stay safe, you matter! And don’t panic! Cheers.

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