Covid-19: Severe Situation in India during Second Wave | Family’s Experience | Important Points

Covid-19: Severe Situation in India during Second Wave | Family's Experience | Important Points

As some of the other countries in the world are slowly coming back to normalcy and out of Covid era, India is dealing with Covid’s second wave and people are struggling to even find a hospital bed, oxygen cylinders, ventilators and even the required medicines. The health infrastructure of the country has collapsed and has been exposed. The huge population of the country is taking it’s toll and the number of patients are unmanageable. Patients are dying outside hospitals as there are long queues of patients trying to find a hospital bed or oxygen cylinder. At this point in time, the country is witnessing 400,000+ new Covid cases/day. Frontline workers are in despair and consoling the patients and their families with false hopes that they will recover and go back home soon. Everyday, we hear the sound of the distinctive Ambulance siren multiple times and we wish and pray for the patient’s well being.

News channels are filled with just negative news about Covid these days as it is the hot topic for them. Why do they only show negative news in the media? Guess what? Coz that’s what gets them TRPs by scaring the hell out of people. Social media is flooded with fake news, fake facts and what not.

Some relief & positivity

Amidst all this chaos and negativity, there are some positive deeds happening as well. A lot of woke people and organisations have been working day and night for Covid relief. People are slowly coming to the realisation that they can help through donating and creating awareness using social media, NGO websites and payment apps. Some organisations are providing and refiling oxygen cylinders while some are preparing and delivering free food to those families who are all Covid positive. Many people are sharing verified leads to find oxygen supplies, medicines etc for the families who need them. I believe all of us have at least become more grateful for all the people that we have around us. Russian vaccine Sputnik V is the third vaccine introduced in India after Covaxin and Covishield but the rate of vaccination needs to increase multifold. People have started to realise that the frontline healthcare workers are the real heroes while movie stars are isolating in Maldives. :p

Did we learn anything from Covid’s Ist wave?

Until a few days ago, vaccinations were only being provided to those above 45 years of age. It was announced recently by the Government that citizens in the age bracket of 18-45 can now start registering for vaccination. Guess what? The government app crashed with such a huge population from this age bracket trying to get their vaccination appointments. Even after the app got back up, people still struggle to find any hospital or medical centre where vaccines are available for this age bracket. This is utter mismanagement by the Government of India. In fact, politicians including our Prime Minister were rallying along with huge crowds for the elections. The Central & the State are busy blaming each other on who was actually responsible to setup oxygen plants in the country. Even though, on paper, there shouldn’t be any shortage of oxygen in the country and the production is more that the demand currently, where is the issue then? Most of the existing oxygen plants are concentrated in a few states in the country and as it cannot be transported via air, it can take upto 2 days for the oxygen cylinders to reach some of the other states. Also, there is a shortage of cylinders specifically and not of oxygen. I guess the Government didn’t learn anything from the first wave of Covid after all.

Most people are still ignorant to the fact how deadly Covid really is. A lot of people are still afraid to get vaccinated due to misinformation and fake news. Those who are able to book their slot for vaccination (including me), have to face huge crowds at the vaccination centres where policemen have to intervene to make people follow social distancing. I guess, common sense is very uncommon.

As I say:

One realises the scale and severity of Covid, only once it invades their own house.

Covid in my house!

As you might already know, old people are more prone to falling prey to Covid and my 79 yo grandpa tested positive almost a week back. My strong grandpa is fighting with Covid in isolation and we are fighting with anxiety and the fear of it spreading to the rest of us. I’m writing this post at 5 AM in the morning because I just can’t sleep thinking whether grandpa’s blood oxygen saturation levels are good enough right now or not. I can hear him cough from his room. Even though we are all isolated physically, we are all together in our thoughts. All of us are fine for now and I hope we’ll all come out stronger than ever.

UPDATE: 30th Apr, 2021, DAY 7 since my Grandpa started showing Covid symptoms

We got his following tests done:

  • CT Scan: to check the extent of Covid’s spread in the lungs
  • Blood tests:
    • CRP: to check the level of inflammation due to Covid
    • D-dimer: to check if there are any blood clots in the body

All the reports came out to be quite in the normal range. Inflammation in lungs was around 5%. As my dad is a doctor himself, we didn’t have to run for consultations here and there a lot. As my grandpa is a heart patient, he already used to take blood thinner ‘Aspirin’. We did not have to give him any steroids at all. We went for CT Scan, given his age factor.

UPDATE: 8th May, 2021, DAY 15 since my Grandpa started showing Covid symptoms

All his symptoms (fever, cough, tiredness) have gone since DAY 12. His oxygen saturation levels have always been above 92% since DAY 1. I believe because he already received the first jab of Covid vaccine weeks before he caught Covid, it really helped. Also, he’s always had a very active lifestyle including yoga & meditation for years now and it would have definitely helped him recover faster.

So, I guess you now know what you gotta do, right? Take the vaccine, maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay hopeful & positive for a better tomorrow.

Important points to note

  • Don’t panic. Most of the patients can be treated at home who have mild Covid symptoms.
  • Buy an Oximeter and a Thermometer to monitor the vitals every 4 hours at least.
  • Avoid going in the room where the person is isolated. Provide whatever they require on their doorstep on a table. If you have to enter the room, double-masking is a must and don’t touch anything unnecessarily.
  • Taking steam after short time intervals, Coconut water and the world-famous home-made ‘kaadhaa’ would also help.
  • If there is a verandah in your house, the patient should take some fresh air. Others should avoid crossing paths and should not go out at the same time. If you live in a flat, let the patient get fresh air from the balcony. Others should not use the balcony at all and make sure the neighbour’s balcony is not very close to yours. Be responsible for others welfare as well.
  • Go for CT Scans around DAY 6-7 only if there is a lot of coughing and if oxygen levels are dropping below 90%. The scan is a bit heavy for the body, if I put it in general terms.
  • One advise for all would be to not take any steroids if the reports are in normal range and the inflammation is not too much. If steroids are taken from DAY 1, they may bring more harm to your body as they are very heavy for the body. Only take steroids if your doctor advises you to take them.
  • If the D-dimer test results are not in the normal range, only then you should go ahead with blood thinner drugs to avoid clotting. Please consult a doctor before starting any medication.
  • Please consider plasma donation if you have recently recovered completely from Covid. Kindly go through the guidelines around the eligibility on who can donate plasma.

Anyways, through this post, I just wanted to highlight the current situation in India amidst this Covid era and share my family’s experience and important learnings with you. Didn’t want to scare you. I hope everything gets back to normal very soon, the world becomes Covid-free and we could again meet each other in reality and not just virtually. Until then, stay safe, stay masked and take care!

With a heart full of hope for mankind 🤎,

Dhruv Dixit

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