The pandemic has been more of a victory of service than of science, at least in India. Yes, it is the service of the medical fraternity that proved to be the best example of this spirit of selflessness, dedication and humanity. If the covid-19 pandemic has exposed the worst of inequalities, suffering, pain and prejudice because of our collapsing health system, it has also showcased selfless love — doctors, nurses and healthcare workers were seen dancing in their PPEs or their hospital uniforms in the many videos that went viral on social media.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been dealt with relentlessly by our doctors, who have gone out of their way and risked their everything — be it their health, family or even sleep, only to save the lives of everyone other than their own. They saw death and helplessness as we ran out of significant drugs and oxygen. They experienced grief, loneliness and dismay in isolation wards as they tended to the affected for weeks together.
Despite everything, they turned up every day, tired, lonely, sleep-deprived and completely burnt out in their PPEs and double masks, to perform their duty without any excuse. According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), more than 1,500 doctors have lost their lives because of the pathogen. Due to high stress at work, they are dealing with critical mental health problems as well.
Apart from this, they also had to deal with acute underfunding from the government, rage of patients’ families, non-payment of their salaries and violence, in many cases. We, the citizens as well as the State have also failed our doctors in many ways. Yet, no problem, inconvenience or suffering held them back from performing their duties with the best of their capabilities.
Just as we brag on social media about how “Every day is Mothers’ Day” or “Every day is Valentine’s Day”, let us also believe and remember that it is not just one day, but every day that is a ‘Doctors’ Day’. Let us acknowledge the sacrifices and selfless service of our doctors to society every day and treat them with the respect, honour and dignity that their profession deserves, every single day.