The second wave of Covid-19 has infiltrated more families than before. The health workers have been on their toes, working odd hours, ever since the first wave hit the nation; the pandemic has also had an emotional toll on them and sometimes drained their strength.Senior Staff Nurse and Incharge Critical Care Unit for Covid at Government Medical College Jammu, Ajeet Kour shares her professional experience with great optimism, despite facing many hardships in striking a balance between duty and obligations towards family.
“Every day we witness miracles. A number of patients recover daily which hardly find any mention in public discourse and media coverage. I wish these stories should also be projected so that people’s faith in the health system is restored. If there are some deaths, there are maximum recoveries also’.Ajeet Kour says that people need to consult a doctor immediately after testing positive. ‘More lives can be saved if people get medical help a week in advance’, she claims. She says, ‘Our efforts have led an 82 year old lady to recover from Covid. Another woman got well after spending 20 days in our ward and when she left, she distributed chocolates among us. There are numerous such untold and uplifting stories’
‘The only regret I have is that a lot of young lives are being lost due to delay in seeking medical help. Young deaths leave an extremely negative impression on the morale of the society as well as of our medical fraternity’.When asked how she expects Covid to end, Ajeet Kour said, ‘Covid won’t end unless the society cooperates and takes up the challenge, the people take vaccination and adopt Covid appropriate behaviour’. She also expects that the media starts projecting more positive stories around the pandemic, so that patients are not discouraged from approaching a hospital in early stages of the infection.
Ajeet Kour works seven-day shifts every alternate week at the Government Medical College. She says that her work day ranges between 8-12 hours on an average. ‘When I am back home, I make sure I cook for my family as much as I can. I also make sure to wear a mask at all times during my stay at home. I don’t want to risk my family. I also encourage friends and family to shop online instead of in-person’, she told.Ajeet Kour has two young kids and they are responsibly handling their affairs. Resentfully, Ms Ajeet says, ‘I don’t have time to attend to my children. They study by themselves on their smartphones. I just wish I could restrict their use of smartphones’.
Meanwhile, the Healthcare warrior also shared her personal ordeal and recalls, ‘One month back, when the second wave of Covid-19 was at its peak, my husband contracted covid infection and tested positive in RAT test. For the first week, he was fine and I took good care of him. At the end of the week, just when his condition worsened I was expected to join duty’. ‘The next week, he was on oxygen support for three to four days. Only my kids were there to take care of him. God knows how my kids managed everything, especially their meals.
’The resentful Ajeet Kour continues, ‘On one hand I wasn’t able to help my husband and on the other, I was put in quarantine for a week before resuming my duty at GMC. So practically I was not able to help a soul during that period, neither my husband, nor my patients. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless!’Recalling further, Ajeet Kour said, ‘Those days were the hardest for me. I called home every hour. Some days were more hectic and I could only call after three to four hours’.