Arshpreet Kaur

Meet Arshpreet Kaur Grewal, the 28 year old Punjab Police Sub-Inspector from Ludhiana fighting fearlessly on the frontline!

“On 11th April, when I was getting ready for duty early at 3:00 am, I felt weak and was not able to get ready for work and texted my senior officers that I am not feeling good and if I can take a day off.  It was Saturday, I just thought I must be feeling tired of long working hours.  On 13th April I decided to get back to work on Monday morning but on 12th night, around 11:00 pm I got a call from DCP sir saying that I are supposed to get my COVID test tomorrow as ACP Anil Kumar Kohli sir had tested positive and you are not coming to office and shall be home quarantined.

On 13th of April my test was done at Civil Hospital Ludhiana and on 17th of April my report came.”

Unexpectedly, Arshpreet tested Corona Positive!

It was a state of confusion for her; she couldn’t believe her report. The only concern that mattered to her was family and  commitments towards her duty. Her parents are old and diabetic. Somewhere, she realised it was a part of life, and there would be not much harm because she isn’t too old. “There was a misconception if one gets infected, they may not come back,” she said.

“Everyone was supportive, but when the ambulance came to take me, I felt nervous, whether I will come back or not!” Arshpreet confronts the emotional turmoil she went through.

In the 22 days of her treatment, Arshpreet never experienced fever at the DMC hospital. “They focused on diet. A high protein diet, multi-vitamins, tulsi water, and haldi milk was given to us daily. Doctors advised, to stay happy and cheerful,” Arshpreet discusses her hospital stay.

“I had some breathing issues after four days of hospitalization. The X-ray did not show any critical result. Maybe it was due to psychology because it was one of the COVID-19 symptoms. I did suffer from a cough and sore throat, and I also felt impatient. As a sub-inspector, I worked outside and was willing to join my duty soon.”

To overcome her willingness to join her work, she read novels, played ludo, and talked on the phone. “Social media helped a lot.” She said about spending the days hospitalized.

Arshpreet posted some videos on her social media account to motivate the police forces who were at high risk of getting exposed to the infection. Not much longer, the news of deceased ACP Kohli of her department had raised more alarm among them. She expresses her condolences to him, “His death is a great loss to Punjab police, I had learned a lot from him.”

On the fourteenth day, she was tested negative, to her happiness, she was all set to go home; but it is necessary to get three tests as negative. Arshpreet was sure about her next negative result, but the second report came as positive!

“Being happy, helped a lot. I am asymptomatic and will soon join this brave fight. It is important to maintain stable mental health. Take all necessary precautions on duty, eat healthily. So we can win this battle,” She said in one of her motivational videos to the police force. She wants to thank all her acquaintances, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, MP Ravneet Bittu, DGP sh Dinkar Gupta,  Commissioner Police Ludhiana sh Rakesh Agarwal

and other senior Police officers for checking on her and keeping in touch. Even the common public reached out to her for best wishes. Her social media videos are dedicated to the policemen risking their lives. They are getting infected at high rates, and they must be present outdoors. In a message to the public, she said, “Stay home, the police and civil department are doing their best to make the environment safe for us again.”

We salute to Corona Champion and Frontline Warriors like Police Sub-Inspector Arshpreet Kaur Grewal who are risking their lives and fighting on the frontline every day.  Their real-life stories and experiences continue to spread awareness and inspire us to do whatever we can for humanity.  Arshpreet believes that the only thing that can be helpful is acceptance; she appeals to have mental strength while going through the severe symptoms and recovery process. Now, Arshpreet, the Corona Champion, is back to her duty and continues her fearless life as before! 

  • Written by Rakhi Vishwakarma 

Social media page-

Arshpreet Kaur Grewal-

https://www.facebook.com/cherry.grewal

Writer: Rakhi

Fb: https://www.facebook.com/rakhioverhere

Insta: rakhi.box.of.reads

 

Sanjeev Thakur story

Meet Sanjeev, the Chief Engineer in a Coal Mine who fought Corona!

“On 19th June I started having mild symptoms like general fever, for which I saw a doctor and was given normal medications but day after day my health was deteriorating. On 24th June I was tested for my sugar levels and also had an X-ray, and the reports were not in my luck, as my sugar level was high and they detected an infection in my chest. I was immediately referred to Jamshedpur and on the same night, I was tested for COVID-19. The next evening I got the results back which were positive. It was quite shocking and unexpected.”

Sanjeev Thakur, Chief Engineer in a coal mine situated in Dhanbad, Jharkhand. His journey was a roller coaster ride, where it took a long time to figure out that he had contracted the coronavirus.

His experience, in his own words:

“On the third day, I started to face breathing problems, my Oxygen level was low and I was immediately transferred to the ICU. I was there for almost two weeks on oxygen supply, and due to my high sugar level it took me a bit more time to recover and I became physically vulnerable, meanwhile. I have very few memories of me inside the ICU, but I can recall a man of around 75 years age, was beside my bed in the ICU, succumbed to the disease. It was quite demotivating and shaking, which strengthened my prayers to god, for giving me enough energy to fight the disease.

Initially, I started recovering and feeling better, but on 2nd July my second test was done, which came out to be positive again. Although it was a little bummer, had to keep myself strong. The only entertainment there was talking with other patients and hoping for the best to happen. Then, after two weeks I was shifted back to the positive ward, and the next day my  test was taken, which turned out to be negative and the last test.”

When asked about the first reaction after his first positive test result, he says,

“It was quite a shock and a big surprise as I had no symptoms, and I never thought of contracting it. We were taking enough precautions too. I was quite nervous and my first instinct was to ask the doctor that for how much time I have to stay here, and what is going to happen next.  But I must say, the doctors and the nurses were very motivating and encouraging and I cannot thank them enough. I was also tensed about my family and whether they were also positive or not.  I wanted to see my family again, as I had no contact with them, while being in the ICU.

It was a happy moment when I got to know that none of my family members were positive.  That was one of the happiest moment in the phase of my recovery.

I was lucky enough to have been in the best COVID-19 treating hospital of our state. While coming back from the hospital after recovery, I got to see my wife after 16 days who was also in isolation because of travelling with me and then got a glimpse of my daughter, as I had to be in isolation for two more weeks. Getting to see your family after going through all this, relieves you like nothing.”

We asked him about the challenges he faced, to which he replied as,

“Yeah, I had to face a few challenges as I said earlier, my sugar level was high which made me weaker and took me more time to recover. Also, I once missed the opportunity to call my family members in the ICU as I couldn’t recall the phone numbers, due to stress, weakness, loneliness and being delirious due to medication.”

He said that everyone in his family(extended family too) were very supportive and always had positive things to tell him. They pulled themselves out of fear and shock, together and were always motivating and encouraging him to stay strong, after knowing his status.

Upon the question of facing any sort of discrimination, he says, “No I am quite lucky that there was no discrimination towards me, neither in the hospital nor when I came back home. I feel very grateful for being surrounded by such supportive and understanding people around me.”

His message to everyone reading this is,

“My only message is to only encourage someone if they are positive for COVID-19 because it keeps the person motivated for fighting, and that is the most necessary tool to fight this virus.

I would like to give my heartiest thanks to the doctors, nurses and the working staff. I feel that they are Gods in human form, on earth right now. I urge everyone to thank and respect them. It is true that, in tough times, you remember God!

I also extend thanks to the TATA family for their full support to me and my family during this tough time.”

Sanjeev, the Corona Champion fought the virus and came out stronger with a new perspective of life. His story reflects how each of us in a moment of uncertainty  thinks about the wellbeing of people in our lives.  Our brave #CoronaChampions continue to spread awareness and break the stigma through their real-life stories and experiences. Please join this movement by sharing this story and helping people who are seeking support and motivation during this pandemic.

Written by Chaitanya Mishra

(Tags:) Team Corona Champions Maanoj Shah Ashwinikumar Naik Darshan Mahajan Tejas SarvanKar Rakhi Vishwakarma Karthik Kn Rohan Lawrence Menezes Chaitanya Mishra Komal Gupta.

#IndiaSaathTohBanegiBaat

#CoronaChampions #StayHome #StaySafe #FightCovid #TogetheratHome #COVID19 #StayHealthy #TogetherAgainstCOVID19

———–

Facebook link of Sanjeev Thakur:

https://m.facebook.com/sanjeev.thakur.3154

Writer:

Chaitanya

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tatyamishra

Instagram: @chaitanyatatya

Parthiban

Meet Parthiban, the photojournalist from Chennai whose family even lost access to the street by neighbours just because…

Parthiban shares his experiences with us while recovering from Covid19. Having tested positive for the coronavirus on April 2nd, he was sent into 14 days quarantine at the Government Stanley Hospital in a new facility dedicated to Covid19 patients. After 2 days, he along with 80 other asymptomatic patients was transferred to another facility, where he says they were made to stand in line for check-ups, food and medicine as the facility was understaffed. The facilities at the center were not as adequate for the patients; the rules were very much relaxed and not as strictly enforced with regards to the distancing of patients. This led to a fear that he might be exposed to an infected individual with a higher viral load even though asymptomatic. The only thing that kept his spirits up was the calls from his family on a daily basis. He was discharged after the quarantine period was over without any further complications.

In the midst of this, his family suffered discrimination from neighbours. The neighbours complained to the local authorities about the family moving in around the markets for buying groceries. This happened even though none of his family members tested positive during contact tracing by the authorities. Parthiban’s family was told to stay indoors and their access to the street was blocked. They found themselves in a difficult situation as none of the neighbours came forward to help them in their hour of need. “How were they supposed to get rations, vegetables,” Parthiban asks, narrating his family’s ordeal. Even the gas delivery to his house was stopped by the neighbours. This issue was resolved once the local authorities came forward to help them procure essential supplies.
“What if someone in your family tests positive and your family is left to fend for itself?” “How would you feel?” These are the questions Parthiban has for everyone, as the stigma and fear are a greater problem than the virus itself. He believes awareness, sensitivity and kindness is the need of the hour.

“I cannot forget the day I came back from the facility. Everyone in my street was staring at me like I was a ghost and a stranger.” This led to a sense of isolation, sadness for Parthiban and it has stayed with him ever since. Parthiban feels that this needs to change, and he hopes that his experience will help in changing attitudes for the better.
“I would come forward to help a neighbour or a friend in need or distress.”
“Let us work together, not against each other.”
“This is the only way we can win the fight”, says Parthiban. He came out stronger in resolve from his battle with the coronavirus. Strong immunity and good health are the keys to fighting this virus, Parthiban urges all to be vigilant and proactive in this pandemic. Let us be the change along with him and join hands for a better tomorrow.

Pathiban’s story reflects how the pandemic has disrupted life as we know it and a new normal prevails. Our brave #CoronaChampions continues to spread awareness and break the stigma through their real-life stories and experiences. The question on everybody’s mind is how to deal with the far-reaching changes it has bought about in terms of attitudes and new behaviors. We all need to showcase empathy towards each other as everyone fighting the pandemic is seeking the support of each other in some or the other way and we all need to be in this together! Please join this movement by sharing this story and helping people who are seeking support and motivation during this pandemic.

Written by Komal Gupta

Social media links to tag to: –

Parthiban
FB: https://www.facebook.com/parthi.b.babu

Writer: Komal Gupta
FB: https://www.facebook.com/tejaswiniwriter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tejaswiniaura
Meet Parthiban, the photojournalist from Chennai whose family even lost access to the street by neighbours just because…

Parthiban shares his experiences with us while recovering from Covid19. Having tested positive for the coronavirus on April 2nd, he was sent into 14 days quarantine at the Government Stanley Hospital in a new facility dedicated to Covid19 patients. After 2 days, he along with 80 other asymptomatic patients was transferred to another facility, where he says they were made to stand in line for check-ups, food and medicine as the facility was understaffed. The facilities at the center were not as adequate for the patients; the rules were very much relaxed and not as strictly enforced with regards to the distancing of patients. This led to a fear that he might be exposed to an infected individual with a higher viral load even though asymptomatic. The only thing that kept his spirits up was the calls from his family on a daily basis. He was discharged after the quarantine period was over without any further complications.

In the midst of this, his family suffered discrimination from neighbours. The neighbours complained to the local authorities about the family moving in around the markets for buying groceries. This happened even though none of his family members tested positive during contact tracing by the authorities. Parthiban’s family was told to stay indoors and their access to the street was blocked. They found themselves in a difficult situation as none of the neighbours came forward to help them in their hour of need. “How were they supposed to get rations, vegetables,” Parthiban asks, narrating his family’s ordeal. Even the gas delivery to his house was stopped by the neighbours. This issue was resolved once the local authorities came forward to help them procure essential supplies.
“What if someone in your family tests positive and your family is left to fend for itself?” “How would you feel?” These are the questions Parthiban has for everyone, as the stigma and fear are a greater problem than the virus itself. He believes awareness, sensitivity and kindness is the need of the hour.

“I cannot forget the day I came back from the facility. Everyone in my street was staring at me like I was a ghost and a stranger.” This led to a sense of isolation, sadness for Parthiban and it has stayed with him ever since. Parthiban feels that this needs to change, and he hopes that his experience will help in changing attitudes for the better.
“I would come forward to help a neighbour or a friend in need or distress.”
“Let us work together, not against each other.”
“This is the only way we can win the fight”, says Parthiban. He came out stronger in resolve from his battle with the coronavirus. Strong immunity and good health are the keys to fighting this virus, Parthiban urges all to be vigilant and proactive in this pandemic. Let us be the change along with him and join hands for a better tomorrow.

Pathiban’s story reflects how the pandemic has disrupted life as we know it and a new normal prevails. Our brave #CoronaChampions continues to spread awareness and break the stigma through their real-life stories and experiences. The question on everybody’s mind is how to deal with the far-reaching changes it has bought about in terms of attitudes and new behaviors. We all need to showcase empathy towards each other as everyone fighting the pandemic is seeking the support of each other in some or the other way and we all need to be in this together! Please join this movement by sharing this story and helping people who are seeking support and motivation during this pandemic.

Written by Komal Gupta

Social media links to tag to: –

Parthiban
FB: https://www.facebook.com/parthi.b.babu

Writer: Komal Gupta
FB: https://www.facebook.com/tejaswiniwriter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tejaswiniaura

Dr. Piyush Bhise, the first COVID-19 doctor-patient in Akola district

Dr. Piyush Bhise recalls his unusual journey, “It feels wonderful to come back. The duration of admission in the hospital and getting discharged was almost a month.”

On 29 March, Piyush got admitted to the hospital, and he got discharged on 12 April. His happiness to go back to the family did not stay long; the government has changed the rules to make the patients quarantine at a COVID care center. After coming back from the care center, he quarantined at home for another fourteen days. “When you are locked inside the room for quarantine, you come in contact with humanity. I had lost touch with the outer world. When I stepped out of the room, it felt utterly lost. The world seemed like a dream. I stayed at the street for the time being to connect to the outer world again,” he says about his home quarantine experience.

As a doctor’s life around the patients and long appointments. Working for long hours made Piyush suspicious of getting in contact with the infection somehow. He quarantined himself at the hospital rather than going home and risking everyone’s life. “I saw it coming,” said Piyush.

A lady had come to their hospital, feverish. She had collapsed inside the hospital premises. Piyush tried his best to save the woman. In 2-3 hours she was present there and asked her to get shifted in the government hospital. Unfortunately, she died after reaching there.

The entire world collapsed for Piyush when he and his staff who dealt with the ill woman had found positive. They went voluntarily for the tests.

“At that moment, our qualifications, credibility, and knowledge crash down when we know the test is positive in spite of taking all the precautions,” Piyush expressed his grief over his positive result. “We all know there is no treatment, no vaccine, and everybody just responds differently to the disease.”

He was asymptomatic. After admission, he started reading everything about COVID-19, every journal and turned every page on google. The only concern he had was about his parents; he wished they should not get dragged into this. Piyush suffered from chest pain, but he tolerated the illness well.

Piyush has always been in an air-conditioned atmosphere, and suddenly, he got shifted in a ward full of humidity. He sweated a lot, drank lots of water. Due to which he couldn’t eat. He was always trembling, couldn’t stand, and drained out of energy. “At such a stage, we only think about getting out of the situation. I am a foodie. Diet did not meet my expectations. I talked on the phone to my parents about how much I miss homemade meals. Being a doctor, I got a separate ward. I enjoyed the comfort and got my ambiance and got the cooler too,” Piyush said about his hospital stay.
It was time for Piyush to return back home. And this return was special!
His entire colony was present for his welcome. They had pooja thali, flowers and garlands. Piyush couldn’t control his emotions for the kind of support he received. Piyush was out of words to express his gratitude.

Piyush’s friends and family encouraged him to post inspirational videos about his journey. He saw some examples on social media and youtube; most of them he found were awareness videos urging people to wear the mask and wash hands. Most were from ICUs. They were asking people not to go outside, not even on the street.

But instead of fear, Piyush wanted to use the element of positivity, eliminating all the negative aspects. “In the video, I asked people not to panic and take your medicine regularly, follow doctor’s advice and get rid of the worry. There are discriminative things around. We should ignore it for our betterment,” Piyush didn’t miss to highlight the stigma surrounding the survivors and healthcare workers in the video he posted on social media.

Piyush also recalls how people blamed him for negligence and suggested that he should have avoided feverish patients.

“I took precautions and kept oral consultancy with proper distance and PPE.” I did the best I could do, adds Piyush.

“When patients increase, phobia goes down; when patients are less, everyone is peculiar;” Piyush rightly points towards people’s general reaction towards the virus.

Dr Piyush, the Corona Champion, intends to send a simple message to everyone fearing virus. “Don’t panic. There are many more recovered cases in India as compared to other nations. Indian people are fighting well. Few people have complications, need ventilators, and don’t come back. Even if the lockdown eases, older people, or those with hypertension, diabetes has to take extra care. When you go to a doctor, please listen when the doctor advises you to get an x-ray done. If they ask you to get a swab done, please get it done. Try to educate people about the situation and spread awareness. The people don’t intentionally discriminate. It is either because of the fear, or they have less knowledge of the situation. Only 10 % of people will stigmatize you, we cannot go and tell everyone. So the best way is to ignore it. So don’t worry, eat healthily, recover faster.”

Our brave #CoronaChampions continues to spread awareness and break the stigma through their real-life stories and experiences. Please join this movement by sharing this story and helping people who are seeking support and motivation during this pandemic.

Our brave #CoronaChampions continues to spread awareness and break the stigma through their real-life stories and experiences. Please join this movement by sharing this story and helping people who are seeking support and motivation during this pandemic.

By Ms.Rakhi Vishwakarma

Dr. Parul Story

Meet Dr. Parul, the Indian Doctor in London who fought a virus bigger than Covid-19

Dr. Parul, a physician working in London came back to India in the second week of March, along with her mother. She landed in Delhi to reach Chandigarh. Meanwhile, developed a fever on the way. Since being herself a doctor, intuitively, she sensed that this could be COVID-19 and went straight to the hospital. The hospital hadn’t handled any positive case of COVID-19 yet, and these were early times of the pandemic in India. So the doctors there were extremely skeptical. But they finally relented to admit her at their quarantine center.

And then, Dr. Parul narrates the journey in her own words-

“When the results for her COVID test came two days later, the doctors were doubtful about my reaction. I told them not to worry since I’m a doctor myself. I knew that I could handle whatever the situation might be. That’s when they revealed that I was COVID-19 positive.”

But Dr. Parul wasn’t prepared for what lay in store for her family!

“As soon as the news spread, many of our neighbours panicked. The city administration council put up posters outside our door. People clicked photos and shot videos of my house. They shared it with my name, address, and personal details on different WhatsApp groups. Since people love to gossip on WhatsApp, ugly stories about me started circulating in social media. Even news media put out the wrong kinds of stories. Despite going straight to the hospital from the airport, I had to be the victim of social media hatred. I didn’t even go home to collect my personal belongings to make sure that I didn’t transmit the virus to anyone.

While all this was happening at home, my health deteriorated. I had severe chest pain, diarrhoea and stomach pain by the eighth day of treatment. My confidence in my recovery waned, and I even told my parents to be prepared that I might not come back. Those were the darkest days of my life.
One day I got so unwell that I slept for 18 hours straight. My parents were unable to reach me on the phone, and I wasn’t responding to doctors’ and nurses’ calls. So few doctors put on their PPE kits and came into my room to check if I was alive!”
Dr. Parul recounts some of the most stressful moments of her experiences.

“Thankfully, I started recovering and, after a few days, tested negative. But the hounding didn’t stop after I was back home. I knew that going back home will be an unpleasant experience. Therefore, to avoid attention from neighbours and media, I insisted on going home late at night. Not just me but my entire family had to experience the harassment. My younger brother didn’t step out of the house for two months. Neither did I. I would only step out during the night to avoid people.

Even recently, when I went to a hospital to get a check-up done, a reputed doctor shouted at me and asked me to get out of his room. When I objected, he wrote a slip saying that I was COVID-19 positive and asked me to go to another ward. Can you imagine? Three months after testing negative four times, he had the audacity to write COVID-19 positive on my slip.

When I step out, I can still sense the eerie stares and gossip. It is like a bad dream – I’m all alone, and a mob is beating me up for no reason. They refuse to hear when I plead to them that I didn’t do anything wrong.

I am unable to sleep alone. During my quarantine, my room didn’t have any windows. It had only one small opening in the middle of the door through which food and medicines could be passed. So after coming home, I was getting panic attacks whenever I slept alone so I would keep the lights on or spend the most time in my parents’ room.

What helped me and continues to help me endure is the support I get from my family, friends, and even strangers. There were many instances when people went beyond their circumstances to help me. Nurses in my hospital shared fruits that they had brought for themselves since I wasn’t getting any due to lockdown. Towards the latter part of my admission, the nurses offered to play online mobile games with me during their off time, to keep me in good spirits during the isolation. A family friend got a shop open in the night to buy me new clothes since I didn’t take any with me to the quarantine center. The consultant at the hospital took care of even small things like soap and shampoo during my quarantine.

I understand that when I contracted COVID-19, those were the early days of the pandemic in India. So I knew the fear and panic was coming from lack of experience. But now it is time to educate and sensitize ourselves. Our country is not behind other countries in hospital facilities, qualified health care professionals, or technology. But we do lack emotional sensitivity; not only towards patients but also towards key workers like healthcare professionals, police, sanitary workers and many more. We should not wait till someone in our family becomes COVID-19 positive to be sensitive to those how are unfortunate to have contracted COVID-19.

The only way we can fight this pandemic is with the right balance of precaution and empathy. Yes, we need to be careful. But we also shouldn’t let our fears overpower humanity within us. That’s why educating our society about this disease is critical. And that’s what I am doing these days. I talk to as many people as possible and counsel them about the condition. I am on call most of the day, and I keep telling people the same thing. Don’t panic. Just help each other out. That’s the only way to overcome this pandemic – “सबका सात तोह बनेगी बात।”

Dr. Parul’s journey reflects the boundaries of our society even in the toughest times but also highlights the good things that keep our hopes high of humanity and the society we live in.

Our brave #CoronaChampions continues to spread awareness and break the stigma through their real-life stories and experiences. Please join this movement by sharing this story and helping people who are seeking support and motivation during this pandemic.

-By K.N.Karthikeyan

#IndiaSathTohBanegiBaat

Social media account:
Dr Parul :
FB: https://www.facebook.com/pk.doctor
Instagram: doc_pkay

Writer – K.N.Karthikeyan
Karthik :
FB: https://www.facebook.com/karthik.kn.5209
Instagram: @knkinstag

Balaram, an Animator Content Writer to a Counsellor

Balaram, an Animator Content Writer to a Counsellor

It was May 2, Friday. A time of strict lockdown. Balaram had just finished his routine animation work for the day. He suddenly experienced a
Severe body pain followed by vomiting, sweat, red-eye, cough, and high temperature. He decided to get his testing done from a nearby lab. To his shock, Balaram, Animation content writer, found he was COVID-19 positive.

Balaram went to the allocated COVID quarantine center at Laxmi Industrial Estate. Meanwhile, things quickly changed in his home surroundings. Following the quarantine rule, while his family was not allowed to get out of their house, they were also not allowed to throw the piling stack of garbage and use the elevator. Their neighbor used to send stuff on his door and called his sister to collect.
As the tension piled up at both the sides, Balaram’s journey to recovery was just like any other young individual. Fear, thoughts of uncertainty, stress and the dilemma; whether he would return back home? Will his life be back to normal?
“It takes a heavy mental toll on your family and your mental health,” adds Balram.

The fearful thoughts overpowered his mind to an extent that the young ambitious boy started writing his will.
“My sister can keep my laptop, I noted down details of my savings, investments, etc.. Today when I think about it, it sounds like a top-level cringe.” (laughs)

Even after spending five days at the quarantine center, his situation deteriorated. He was then shifted to Cooper hospital from May 11 to May 14 and finally, Balram recovered from the novel coronavirus infection.
But Balram’s journey from a fearful patient to a champion starts post his recovery.

One day, Balram at his home, got a call from Dr. Kusum Gupta, Head of CCC2 facility at Laxmi Industrial Estate. “She said they found it difficult to counsel some of their patients since no one wants to come to the ward. She asked if I could help them to clear their paranoia,” he said.
Now, this was something new for Balram. He immediately agreed to assist the doctor.

The center provided Balaram with their PPE, “I was handling six patients at a time. I went to the wards and introduced myself and made them comfortable to talk, eventually trying to make them feel safe. I reassured the whole treatment procedure and would ask them to keep hope.”

“While I was speaking with patients, I realised that they were in a state of panic due to WhatsApp forward which claimed that there is an order from the higher authority to kill COVID-19 patients by injecting a drug in their body!
In the time of the pandemic, WhatsApp forwards has done more harm than helping people.”

Balaram grouped people according to their age, comprising children, teenagers, and senior citizens. It provides them to have the same competent zones to discuss their problems. He nearly spoke to 110 patients and aimed to encourage willpower in them. They were treated as unwanted. “You need to stand up. The general public is paranoid about positive COVID-19 patients.

“It is upon us to decide whether we want to have a feeling of guilt or pride when we look back to our role during this pandemic. People who discriminate against COVID-19 positives will have a terrible time. Be an example to future generations,” Balram says.

Balaram also counseled patients in Cooper hospital. He helps patients to understand the protocol. Notably, the senior citizens were seen crying in the hospital, nervous about their lives. He made sure they don’t get scared when they were asked to get shifted into a hospital.

There are rare citizens like Balaram, who voluntarily go out of their way to help others with their learnings and experiences and motivate them to cope up with the testing time. Balram has truly been a Corona Champion who continues to spread hope in the time of fear.

-By,
Miss. Rakhi Vishwakarma

Quotes:
“In the time of the pandemic, WhatsApp forwards has done more harm than helping people.”

“It is upon us to decide whether we want to have a feeling of guilt or a pride when we look back to our role during this pandemic. People who discriminate with COVID-19 positives will have a terrible time. Be an example to future generations.”

Dhaval Parekh, the Final Year Resident Doctor Fighting on the Frontline!

Meet Dhaval Parekh, the young doctor who was called for contact tracing of patients as part of the government initiative. The final year resident doctor studying at BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad immediately joined the force to volunteer for the cause. Though his line of work did not entail patient contact, one day he developed fever, followed with a change of taste, weakness, and diarrhea. The young doctor on the frontline was diagnosed positive to Corona Virus.

During his treatment, Dhaval admits that he was lucky to have the best of care from the government and the doctors as he and his colleagues were put up in a hotel dedicated to COVID-19 patients. The atmosphere was one of support and understanding which helped him overcome the illness fast enough. He attributes this to the awareness of the medical community that he himself belongs to. The awareness he feels helps takes out the fear and myths that surround the disease, especially the stigma that is attached to the people who are suffering from it.

Currently, post his recovery, Dhaval is working in the death registry department in the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

Dhaval has been a witness to many medical experiments and studies for the treatment of Coronavirus. Among many experiments to his knowledge, one such experiment that stuck him was the encouraging results of the plasma treatment.

As a student, he recalls the subject of plasma donation in his post-graduation studies and has read about the same in his studies and articles. 

Dhaval was contacted by the local authorities for plasma donation. He immediately agreed. Speaking about the process, Dhaval says,  “the process starts from taking the consent of the donor, followed with a medical checkup, hemoglobin count test and suitability of the plasma for antibodies for patients.” He admits that, just like any other common man,  he too had some doubts and concerns about the side effects of the plasma donation which was allayed by the doctors who explained the whole process to him. Plasma donation is no different than a normal blood donation, Dhaval recounts.  

“There are not enough donors who are coming forward for the plasma donation and non-medical survivors of the illness do not turn up, this needs to change,” adding that, Dhaval says,  he is committed to inspiring more people to come forward. 

Dhaval states that the will to never give up plays a very important role and he expresses his gratitude towards the support from his family and friends. Dhaval urges all to take precautions as the cases are rising and we are moving towards unlocking the country.  India he feels is yet to reach the peak and it is prudent that the community understands the importance of government directives and initiatives to stem the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, on the frontline, this young doctor and the Corona champion continue to take up every responsibility coming his way that strengthens the fight against this pandemic. 

Meet Akhil, the first plasma donor from Telangana!

A UK-trained lawyer, Akhil Ennamsetty, returned to Hyderabad in March this year. This 24-year-old who is pursuing LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Edinburgh ensured to take all necessary precautions upon his arrival in India and hadn’t even met his family until he had promptly undergone COVID-19 testing. To his shock, he was tested positive turning out to be the ‘P16’ of Telangana State and the first patient from his home-district Warangal.

During his isolation period at the  Hospital, he saw the news channels showing a random dead body and describing it as a patient in the same ward as his, who was still fighting the virus. “It was disheartening and appalling; they could have conveyed the story after the verification & without the use of catchy words to increase their TRP,” Akhil described his experience of watching news coverage on COVID-19 patients. 

Post his recovery he was looking for an opportunity to help others.

It was when Gandhi Hospital began with convalescent plasma trials,  he seems to have got the opportunity he was looking for. Akhil became the first plasma donor from Telangana saving three critically ill patients by transfusing the plasma donated by him. Moreover, Akhil encouraged his survivor friends to also contribute in whatever way they can. 

 Soon, Akhil, along with his colleague in the UK,  started a website to provide counseling service to the victims of the virus & provide logistical and necessary living support to the stranded Indian students and workers abroad and helped the repatriation process. With two other friends of his from the United States, he is now successfully running a web portal that provides donor information to the patients’ families regarding the convalescent plasma therapy, the only hopeful treatment available for the critical patients as of today. 

 Akhil also observed something in the process. He observed a stigma that came along with the virus.  “My quarantine friend says his neighbors still don’t talk to his family.”

During these trying times, Akhil found everyone in his social circles to be supportive. Nobody tried to look at him feebly, “My boldness has overpowered their stigma,” he said. But he didn’t want to stop there.  Akhil, the Corona Champion continues to educate people more about fighting the battle mentally than physically. Because we are not alone. We are millions against one virus.

 

  • Written by Rakhi Vishwakarma

Aziz Pirani and Family- The Restopreneur Shares His Journey of Tackling Corona Virus

In the first week of May, my Dad developed a fever. It didn’t subside for a few days, so I got him tested for COVID on 5th May. By the time the results came on 7th May, Dad’s fever had subsided, and he was feeling well. But the test-result was positive. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do. I called people frantically to check for a hospital to admit him and for an ambulance to take him there.

One private hospital had one COVID bed free but in a triple occupancy room. My Dad is seventy-two years old. So I didn’t want to take any chances. Another hospital told me that they could give a single occupancy room after three days. Till then, we had to admit him to ICU. Dad wasn’t showing any symptoms. So 

I didn’t take that option either. Finally, thanks to BMC, I got a room for him in a PWD hospital’s quarantine center.

Getting the ambulance was also a struggle because of the severe shortage of ambulances equipped to ferry COVID patients. I got one after trying for two days.

I was busy in making arrangements for Dad’s admission. So I didn’t have time to be emotional. Dad also seemed okay after the results. But the day before he was to leave for the hospital, he started crying. All the scary news about COVID-19 caught up to him. He started signing Fixed Deposit forms and telling me the whereabouts of critical documents of our family. He was doing all that a man would do when he wasn’t sure if he would come back from the hospital.

I am a person who believes in positive thoughts and emotions. I deliberately keep my thoughts optimistic. But that day I broke down. Seeing my old man cry was one of the scariest experiences in my life. I tried my best not to panic myself and kept motivating him to be optimistic. But inside, I was panicking.

We shifted Dad to the PWD quarantine center. Soon I came to know of a vacancy in Nanavati hospital. So I moved him there so that he could get the necessary care just in case his condition worsened. Thankfully, it never did. He started recovering, and I thought the worst was over. But our ordeal had only begun.

Soon after admitting Dad, I developed a high fever and severe chills. I didn’t want to take any chances this time. So I got everyone in my family tested, including my Mom, wife, ten-year-old daughter, uncle, and aunt. In two days, the results came. Everyone was negative, except Mom and me.

My Mom and I shifted to my parent’s house, while the rest of the family stayed back in mine. My fever was getting worse. I had already started taking antibiotics before the results came. The doctor added Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to my dose after I tested positive. My body’s reaction to HCQ made my condition worse. Within a day of taking HCQ, I started developing constant cough and breathlessness along with severe acidity. I was getting so many frantic calls from friends and relatives that I was unable to take rest. In between all this, I had to manage daily calls with the doctor, Dad, and the hospital where he was admitted. We didn’t tell Dad about Mom and me testing positive because we didn’t want to add to his stress.

More than Dad and myself, I was worried about Mom. I thought that the stress of thinking about her family and her health would break her down. But she surprised all of us. I am not sure where she suddenly summoned so much strength from? Probably it was her instinct to protect her son and help him recover. She never showed any symptoms, and she was continually taking care of me, providing me food, hot water, and medicines. I was so afraid of making her condition worse that although we were in separate rooms, I used to sanitize anything I touched in our house.

Thanks to my Mom, I started recovering just on regular antibiotics for fever, cough, and acidity. By that time, Dad got discharged from the hospital. That’s when we had to tell him about his wife and son because we wanted him to go to the other house and not his.

“But for me, the most important part of my recovery is in helping people who have newly contracted the virus.”

After fourteen days of quarantine, I had recovered, and Mom was also fine. But since the norms had changed, we were not tested for COVID-19 again. Just to be sure, we stayed at home for two more weeks and got out only after

Now my parents and I are in post-COVID recovery mode, an essential aspect of fighting the disease comprehensively. We are watching our diet and also doing some basic workout that includes walking every day.

But for me, the most important part of my recovery is in helping people who have newly contracted the virus. Once I recover completely, I plan to volunteer for the ambulance services run by our community. Currently, I counsel COVID patients. I get 10 to 15 calls from patients daily. Along with all necessary information on where and how to get help, I keep repeating one thing to them- The most significant learning I had throughout this experience is that fear is a far severe menace than COVID-19.”

“Along with all necessary information on where and how to get help, I keep repeating one thing to them- The most significant learning I had throughout this experience is that fear is a far severe menace than COVID-19.” 

Although I panicked when my family contracted the virus, luckily, that didn’t stop me from immediately seeking tests and treatment. When one tries to hide or ignore the fact that one might have contracted COVID-19, the treatment delays, causing severe complications.

So that’s what I want to share with everyone; whether you like it or not, most of you may contract this disease at some point. When you do, please don’t panic. Instead, seek help immediately.

“So don’t panic. Just seek help.” 

Yes, some people might get scared, and they might shun you. But remember that this is not the time to think about anyone else but about you and your family. If you or anyone in your family develops a fever or other symptoms that last for more than three days, please get tested. And if the tests turn out positive, remember that your body has enough immunity to overcome the virus with the right medication. Stress will not only affect your immunity adversely but also will stop you from seeking help.

“Like anything else in life, the most crucial weapon that we have to fight this pandemic is our attitude towards it. Everything else will fall into place. My family’s tryst with COVID-19 is living proof of that.”

So don’t panic. Just seek help. And I can assure you that you will find it, even in entirely unexpected quarters. Like anything else in life, the most crucial weapon that we have to fight this pandemic is our attitude towards it. Everything else will fall into place. My family’s tryst with COVID-19 is living proof of that. The fact that Aziz, even after his family’s scary tryst with COVID-19, is determined to help others who are currently suffering from mental stress due to the infection, makes him a Corona Champion.

 

          Written by K N Karthikeyan