The second wave of pandemic broke our already inadequate health infrastructure, and we were not prepared to handle the impact of the new virus strain. Social distancing and self-isolation are not a luxury available to the majority in case of virus infection.
While some scientists predicted the second wave and its severe impact, we did not reinforce our healthcare. We saw deaths due to a lack of COVID oxygen beds. People were running pillar to post trying to buy/steal/bargain for oxygen cylinders, medications, and other medical supplies.
The country's hinterlands were hit hard, and many children are now orphans as they have lost both parents due to the virus infection. While the infection rate will plateau and fall as vaccinations are ongoing, the impact of the death toll, loss of loved ones, loss of earning members in the family is enormous.
When I walk the market now, I see too many needy people asking for basics like the food at every street and market area. I have never seen so many people waiting outside grocery stores and vegetable markets begging for food. While many good samaritans and NGOs are trying their best to make sure no one sleeps hungry, it is not enough and many have an empty stomach.
Unemployment, pay cuts, job losses, and small industries being shut add to the pain already caused by the first wave. I do see people still being resilient and wanting to get back to normalcy. People are ready to work and take care of their situation. We can bounce back with the help of good governance. Effective economic strategies to revive jobs will be of great help.
Pandemic Life in India
There is now adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour from people. We are used to doing our household chores early in the morning and shopping for food in advance. We have also created a pandemic grocery inventory, stocking up with basic grains, pulses, dry groceries, medicines, oxygen canisters and increased medical coverage through insurance. Our food habits have changed as due to inactivity, our body's metabolic rate has slowed down.
We now understand the value of being alive and safe alongside our family members and loved ones more than ever before. Health and wellbeing have now taken priority. Some lifestyle changes occurred due to work from home, being confined to a chair, and wearing headsets. This shift has resulted in back pain, neck pain, posture-related issues, and indigestion.
There can be many reasons to complain, but we are thankful to be alive, together, and safe.