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  • Writer's picturePaakhi M

The COVID Warrior

I fixed my PPE kit before entering the hospital. It was only a week before that Sonali, an ENT specialist in our hospital who got infected by the Corona Virus while saving a patient from COVID, died of the disease. I knew her, not closely, but enough to be affected by her death. What was stopping me from being the next one to be victim to COVID-19?

As I entered through the hospital doors, the distant noise of coughs and ventilators blended into a whiteness. I closed my eyes and breathed cautiously, not deeply. As I did, I tried to remember the last time I hugged a colleague in the hospital or comforted the family of a patient by wrapping my arms around them. I tried to remember the last time I breathed unrestricted in the lobbies of the building, or the last time I didn't feel a slack noose around my neck, waiting to be pulled the moment I stopped trying to save myself from being just a statistic in the pandemic.

My shifts seem to extend longer every passing day. When I get home, I go straight into my quarantined room, my precautions slowly fading into paranoia. But what's wrong with paranoia, if it keeps my family safe?

I wish I could keep every family safe. Save them from the pandemic. Keep every person disease-free, even if it meant me having no people to cure. Lately, every patient I meet, a chip off their grief embeds itself in me. The time where we weren't bound by a mask seems like a fairytale: a fantasy, something that I wish would become true, sooner than later. But, right now, when we are in the middle of a pandemic, I am on the war front, and it's my privilege to be a warrior.

I huffed, on the move to save yet another, while putting myself in line of the gunfire, praying that the metaphorical bullets miss me by luck.

They didn't.

As of now, I lie in a bed of the same hospital I work in, my colleagues visiting me once every few days. The loneliness consumes me, the quarantined room like a glass cage, stopping anyone from contacting me. The sound of the oxygen cylinder pumping air into me is the little company I have, especially when my 'friends' believe that COVID-19 is transmitted through Skype. I barred my family from visiting the hospital, and I see their faces and hear their voices when I video-call them. They pray for me. I close my eyes and breathe in the precious gas that keeps me alive. I pray, to whom I forget. I pray to last through this. I pray to work in the hospital again and save lives. I pray to hug my family once again. I pray for the world to last through this pandemic; a disease that has extended a comma into a semi-colon, I pray for it to not become a full-stop.

The COVID Warriors are putting their lives at stake to save ours. As the dreaded virus has taken over the world, every healthcare professional stands tall on the frontline, ready to take on every challenge thrown their way. We salute those who have spread a wave of positivity and hope in these dark times and wish for their good health and well-being.

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