Coronavirus - The Perfect Enemy omnipotent, omnipresent and invisible.
This is a guest article submitted to Fact Not Opinions on the personalized reaction to Covid-19 from the perspective of Dr. Debuka in the United Kingdom.
The World has Changed
Unless the most oblivious soul found themselves a moon sized rock to be buried under, it has been impossible to miss the most unifying news across the world since the I-phone. Even the cemetery residents probably have a chat across their coffins overnight about “what has the count has been today?”
It has been a harrowing time for most and has caused disruption at a scale neither seen or imagined before. Hell, it’s the perfect enemy no one ever dreamed of – omnipotent, omnipresent and invisible. People are holed up in their dwellings – permanent or temporary, romances have rekindled while some have died a quick death, flat they have ever been, the family photo albums have been reviewed bellies are replaced by paunches and love handles, houses are cleaner and rearranged, Ludo and Tambola are back in business uniting friends and families across the seven seas. Religion has thankfully taken a much-needed backseat, politics isn’t as filthy for a change, animals are out and about, the bloom of the flowers has rarely been as vibrant, stars are finally sneaking a glimpse through the smogged skies and the list goes on.
This, though, in no way takes anything away from the harsh reality of what is happening and I for one know it first-hand having to work in a ward that is dealing with the sick. Millions have suffered, countless will suffer and before we settle down, we all might have lost someone we knew or held dear. This is the bitter truth and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, but socially distance and hope that we are spared.
Reflection on the Virus
However, it is also a time for some introspection and reflection. I’m certain that the tales of horror from these times will be told and retold in the years to come and events recounted. Most of it will be of the harsh times, the challenges, the threat, the fightback by healthcare professionals and people in general. Hopefully, we will also recount the unexpected solidarity, compliance and compassion shown by everyone to help stave this threat. It shall surely leave an indelible mark on this decade, maybe even the century and will shape the times to come in the form of healthcare, travel and foreign policies.
The World Going Back to Normal
Even with all this going on, I almost dread the times when things go back to “normal”. This is so because the “normal” has come to be defined by a need to be in a maddening rush to blaze a path at the cost of everything, anything and anyone that comes in the way. Where days at work blurred into weeks and months, life became about milestones and achievements, or popularity on facebook and Instagram, of the hits and likes on your tiktoks and videos, of the tweets and re-tweets. It felt like you had to run away on a vacation to a mountain or a beach or some unknown and untarnished corner of the earth for some peace and tranquility, just to temporarily escape the constant blitz. And even when you got there, you found overzealous people taking selfies just so they could tag every one they knew and garner a few more likes than their last post. The virtual reality, the need to achieve and excel, to own the best gadget, the fanciest clothes, the trendiest bag, the newest bodyshop products, the cutest dog or cat, the latest dance move, a new diet regime or an exercise routine, to be ripped and pretty and blah blah.
I like that we have paused, albeit forcefully, so that my plans are only as far as the time I go to bed the same day and mostly nothing else. I don’t remember the last time I had my breakfast this peacefully, enjoyed the couch in my living room as much, went for a walk that was just about the walk, cooked my own food, cleaned my house, rummaged through old photos, spoken to friends and families I hadn’t touched base with in eons. Its unnatural and eerie but it has led me to experience a life I never thought I would. I miss the freedom sure but I also don’t mind the side effects of the lockdown.
As economies and nations plan a way to get the wheels moving again after this standstill, I write this piece to my future self to remind myself to reminisce about the time when even though all was wrong with the world it still seemed alright.
Dr. Ekansh Debuka - Blog Orthoapedic registrar working at the Aintree Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
MRCS Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2019
Gold Medal King George Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow, India 2014 – 2017
MBBS Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal, India 2007-201
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