The Doctor's Prescription
To all my fellow human beings, especially privileged ones like myself, please read what I have to say. This is war, and needs to be treated as one.
Many a time, during our training and work as a doctor, we have seen patients come to us with folded hands, begging us to do what we can. Trust me, in any case, we are always doing our best. We understand the pain and helplessness you feel when a loved one is sick, because we feel it too. We feel it for all our patients, all those who are suffering, and even for those who will fall sick later.
Today, as the world struggles to understand COVID-19 which has brought us to an unprecedented situation, it is doctors who now beg you to understand the gravity of the situation.
It is now time to be blunt. This is the medical analogy of a war. And a war demands sacrifice. But this is a war in which everyone can participate; each one can do their bit to help the doctors attend to those who get infected with COVID-19.
All everyone needs to do, is to simply stay indoors, unless absolutely an emergency occurs.
By that, I mean, that we manage with what we have.
The mozzarella cheese, the eyebrows, the new set of colour pencils; none of it makes the cut. Not even the ice cream or the speciality bakery bread. The only thing that justifies stepping out are bare essentials needed for survival, baby food, medicines, etc.
So before we tell ourselves that the grocery stores are open, let us ask this: “Is this absolutely needed? Can I not do without this? What happens if I don’t go out and get this?”
Plan so that you only need to leave the house once a week. Plan so that only one of you goes out; don’t make it a trip with the children.
There will be days when you don’t get the particular items you think you must have, but then so many doctors aren’t getting the N95 masks they need.
There will be times when the fatigue will set in, but then remember the airport staff who are working continuously to screen passengers.There will be times when you will feel bored, but it is better than being the perpetually anxious family of a health care worker exposed to COVID-19, like all our families are.
There will be times when you will feel everything is becoming normal and we are overthinking, but you haven’t experienced the strange foreboding and butterflies in the stomach that every doctor is feeling each minute, because they understand the magnitude of what’s happening.
Yes, it has been days since you met family, but this is for you, and them and everyone.
Today, more that any other time, follow the prescription that millions of doctors are writing out for you “STAY AT HOME”. Today, please trust them when they say this is the only way out. Because, it is. Because otherwise, for thousands or even millions of us, there may be no tomorrows.
With folded hands, once more, please stay home!
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