*Trigger Warning: COVID Deaths*
The COVID pandemic has been a prolonged nightmare for people around the globe. It has affected the masses in the worst way possible and no one is untouched by its ill effects. From the long queue of ambulances outside hospitals to the pile of dead bodies, from rendering people jobless to mass migration and suffering, it has scarred us all.
A huge number of people have lost their dear ones to this globe sweeping monster. And like everyone, I was not untouched by this.
Being a public servant comes with a lot of perks and added responsibilities. As the nation is grappling with the pandemic, my responsibility grows manifold. I am a banker and banks play a vital role in delivering the monetary help related to welfare schemes from the government to every household.
Banking has changed drastically under the present government. From being a privilege limited to the elite’s, it has turned into a tool for the social upliftment of underprivileged and marginalised sections of society.
But tackling the huge crowds amid a pandemic is scary and takes a toll on my mental health. We hear a lot about how maintaining social distance is necessary to win the fight against Corona. To my horror, there is an ocean of people waiting in line outside, paying no heed to the social distancing norms.
The place where I work is a village near the border of India and Bangladesh. It’s still underdeveloped and lacks many basic amenities, and access to better education is one of them. Though there are both government and private schools, the private ones are still a distant dream for the masses and the quality of education at government schools is highly questionable.
Being uneducated causes ignorance towards self and harm to others because of one’s actions. And a huge crowd of ignorant customers put us at grave risk.
Being in public service means you can’t avoid the people, Even when your mind is grappling with, “What if I get infected?” This helplessness often grip’s my mind. I start feeling numb and often wonder, “Will I survive this?”
Staying 1,500 miles away from home into the wilderness of border is in itself a mental agony and when the times are tough like this, it gives way to the worst of nightmares. Staying alone and with almost no one to talk to makes the going tougher altogether. Though the advancement of technology, i.e. video calls, has compensated a bit, it’s still not enough. The lack of a loved one besides me makes me feel vulnerable.
It’s almost been a year since I have met my family. The continued pandemic and extended lockdowns have only prolonged that wait. I don’t know how to handle this. The news of colleagues losing their lives is so frequent that I feel like I am staring into death. At the end of every day, I thank god for letting me live another day and ask him to give me the strength to survive another.
I felt scared for my life and gasped for breath as the news of recently found a COVID patient in our locality. I try to find solace in entertainment. But while changing through channels with my remote, I come across a news channel showing piles of dead bodies and patients dying as there is not enough oxygen, and it sends a chill down my spines.
What if something happens to me? Will my body be lying amongst the pile of other dead bodies with no one to cremate me properly? These horrible and scary thoughts haunt me and make my eyes wet for a moment.
Death is inevitable and I can’t run from it. It’s the biggest truth of our life. But even the worst human being wants to die with dignity. Nobody wants their dead body piled up like garbage, unattended. But when I see those reports of dead bodies buried haphazardly, a deep ocean of hopelessness and fear engulf me.
Will I meet the same fate? Negativity like this surrounds me. But I try my best to shake it off and keep living. The hope that it will soon be over keeps me going, but the fear takes control every now and then, throwing me in a frenzy.