THE REAL FIGHTERS

Mr. Prakash Singh, a 72-year-old man is fighting for his life since the past 15 days. It was 25th of March 2020, Mr Singh returned from the market in the morning as usual. After a few hours, he started feeling tired and had an acute headache. Thinking it to be a normal headache, he took medicines for the same and went to sleep. He woke up having a high fever and persistent cough which are the most common symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). He told his son and took paracetamol for the time being. His son Rahul said that they will get him checked by the doctor the following day. Well, situations worsened, when the next day he started having difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Mr Singh is already a heart patient so his family got worried and took him to the nearby hospital for getting tested for COVID-19.  He got his tests done and the doctor said the virus has attacked him., he was admitted to the hospital then and there.

Fifteen days have passed since then and his condition is deteriorating day by day, his immune system is weak. But the doctors and the nurses and the other hospital staffs are trying their best to take care of him. Reena, a 25-year-old nurse is looking after him day and night. Its not only his fight, she too is working really hard for him so that there is no compromise with taking care of her patients. After the doctors go, she stays back whole night in the hospital to take care of him. Earlier she used to do day shifts but during these testing times, she even has to do night shifts.

Reena is a 25-year-old girl. She comes from a very simple family who live in a small district of West Bengal. Reena is a very caring girl; she wanted to become a nurse and serve the suffering people right from her childhood. She completed her studies and took nursing training for four years and made her way to Mumbai. She got job as a nurse in a reputed hospital in Mumbai. She has an elder brother who is a professor. Her family’s financial condition is not that good. But both the brothers and sisters got educated and made their parents proud. She came all the way to Mumbai and took a small rented apartment which is 2km away from the hospital where she is presently working. She stays there alone, does all her household chores herself, starting from preparing breakfast to cooking dinner. Sometimes she even has to fall asleep empty stomach as she gets tired a lot and there is no energy left to cook dinner. Everything changed since March 2020 when COVID started spreading its legs in our nation. Since then, she has to take extra shifts and stay most of the time in the hospital. It is not an easy task to manage work and home specially when you are all alone in a city which is ne for you. But she is very dedicated towards her work and never fails to meet her commitments. For her, her job is her first priority and for that taking care of her patients before anything else is the most important thing.

It was day 17th for Mr Singh in the hospital, and he was feeling a little better now. Reena was doing her part really well and was receiving a lot of appreciation from the patient’s family as well as others. She promised the family that Mr Singh will get back home soon. Finally, its 14th of April, Mr Singh was to be released from the hospital and was all ready to go back home after 19 long days. His family members had arrived to take him. They all were very happy and a ray of gratitude could be seen shining through their eyes. They were looking for Reena to thank her for her constant dedication, love and care right from the day Mr Singh was admitted. One of the hospital staffs informed them that Reena had called and told them that she was not feeling well that morning and had taken leave. Hearing this, they left the hospital with mixed feelings. They were happy as Mr Singh recovered but at the same time saddened because they could not thank Reena enough while leaving.

Everything was going fine in Reena’s life when one day, the day Mr Singh returned home, Reena had acute headache and excruciating pain in her muscles earlier that morning. Which is why she could not go to the hospital that day. She took medicines but her condition worsened by evening. She somehow managed to spend the right and decided to for a check-up in the morning. The next morning, she went to the same hospital where she was working for check-up and to her utter shock, she was tested positive for COVID. As her condition was not that crucial, she was advised to stay in home isolation for a few days. She went back home. Naturally she was a bit worried and upset that in spite of taking all the necessary precautions she somehow got caught by the virus. This shows how much power a tiny virus has. Well, she was taking care of herself and one of her friends was helping her with food and other stuffs so that she doesn’t have to move out of the house. But then to worsen the situation further, her renter suddenly called her one day and said that she won’t be allowed to stay there any more as there are children and other family members and children living in that apartment. They told her to get admitted to the hospital and once she gets well find a new place for her. According to them, as she was working in a hospital day and night, she is exposed to the virus and if she herself could get affected any body else could easily get affected. This news came to her as a bolt from the blue. The people in her apartment started discriminating against her and even stopped allowing her friends to meet her. She was totally shattered and helpless. She called her brother who got her admitted to the hospital. He took utmost care of her. To find a home amidst the lockdown was not easy at all. His brother along with the help of others tried hard but could find one. Somehow, Mr Singh’s son came to know about all these and told his father about Reena. His son rushed to the hospital immediately and came to know that Reena is finding a new place to stay. His brother told everything about her renter refused to give her place to stay

Its been two weeks of Reena in the hospital and she was about to be released today. To her surprise she got a call from Mr Singh that she could stay at their place until she finds a new home for herself. They added that they own a very bug house and it would not be a problem from them. Initially Reena hesitated but then after constant requests she agreed to stay with them. She moved to their place and also continued looking for a new place to live. Mr Singh’s family took good care of her and soon she started feeling like a family. Soon she managed to get a new rented apartment for herself and it was the time to say goodbye to her new family. The family was very happy serving and taking care of her during her tough times as she did the same to them.

Everything started getting normal in her life now. She started working again and serving the patients daily. Again, from dawn till dusk she managed everything all herself. She was bold and strong and as mentioned earlier her work comes first after anything else.

From this story we come to know about the struggle of a young girl. How coming from a small town, she manages everything all by herself. Her dedication and commitment towards her work is praiseworthy. Even in her toughest times she handles everything with a calm mind and at the end shines through the difficult phases of her life.

This story throws light on the struggle of the doctors, nurses, medical staff, policemen and many others who are risking their own life to keep us safe. The nurses are always on the frontline. Even during times like these, they have not failed to fulfil their duties. They work hard day and night in the hospitals taking care of the suffering ones where they themselves end up having sleepless nights. We must stand beside them, support them. And also, should not discriminate with the ones who are tested positive for this virus. We must maintain social distancing and take necessary precautions but never make the one’s suffering feel lonely owe left alone. We must give them courage, take care of them and not misbehave with them. One should remember that our fight is with the disease and not with the one’s suffering from it. The contribution of nurses is beyond any appreciation. They handle thousands of patients each day and risk their own lives in order to save the patients’ lives.