The views expressed in this article are the author’s and are not necessarily the views of the partners.
“Doctors are out of masks”
“There is no protective gear for our doctors”
“Health care workers are at risk because of the virus”
Waking up to these headlines, I thought to myself, should I read more about what’s the plight that our doctors are facing?
As an aspiring-to-be-aware citizen and being at the periphery of journalism, it was a duty to go through the news bits. Not to mention, the curious mind that needs to know what’s going on in the world.
However, I constantly found myself avoiding the news that was related to the state of doctors. It was getting difficult to balance the guilt of avoiding information and choosing mental peace over the profuse amount of news around how doctors were unsafe.
Why was I getting affected? Because a considerable part of my day went into talking or thinking about someone who was also a part of the clan serving on the frontline and as we know, without proper protective gear.
The guy I met at a goofy trip, had fun parties with, shared jokes and moments with, was suddenly part of a warzone. Someone who I think fit in the life you created, have your friends tease you with him, go out on fun dinners, cook together is suddenly away from you in a different city, miles away and gearing up to go to a place where risk is higher than other places.
Was I prepared for that?
Nobody is prepared for that kind of thing, right?
And of course, you don’t want to cry. Because there’s nothing to cry about. Everyone has a purpose and a job and it is a duty to fulfil it. You know that stuff. You don’t know who to talk about because you don’t want to belittle his work by crying about it. You want to honour what he does, no matter what risk. Yes, these are the ideals to follow.
However, it takes one trigger, one guilt, one news pop-up to bring back the fear where you just want to call that person and tell him how scared you are for him. And how weird it is to feel that way for someone.
How weird it is to pretend that everything is normal and it is a regular day at work when we know that every day is a bigger risk than the other
Maybe it’s okay to feel that way. It’s okay to recognise your fear. What’s not okay is to let that fear drive your action.
It’s okay to go weak and sleep with tears in your eyes. But it is not okay to let that happen three days in a row.
Maybe it’s okay to feel that emptiness in your heart with the absence but it is not okay to hold your day longing for something before it’s time comes.
Maybe, maybe not. Everyone has a process to deal with the anxiety and uncertainty. Some avoid it, some joke about it, some vent out.
And me, such an escapist — haven’t even mentioned the name of the virus that has brought me to such a situation. So here I am, taking its name and losing my fear and what it could do to me and my loved ones — COVID 19.
It’s no preachy article to tell you how to fight your fear — it is to share that this quarantine time has served a platform to see our fears closely.
As partners of the people who are on the frontline, it is okay to feel the pressure. And feel it so, because your pain and anxieties are, let’s face it, at a low priority to be addressed. And rightly so, because there are bigger battles that are being fought.
But, that does not mean your silent battle is not important — it is as much as any other.
Women have fought many silent battles when men have gone to wars, many active battles as health workers during wars and health crisis like this one. They have taken care of economies when there were no men left to do work in the cities.
And while we are at it, there is another silent battle that women are fighting — unpaid and exhaustive labour at home. Can we imagine the amount of load that women must be facing, in most cases, alone?
They have risen up to the occasion as the partners and mental strength of the people in action. Let’s acknowledge the daily mental battles they fight and overcome.
Let’s feel more, let’s cry more, let’s laugh more and let’s heal more this time.