I keep seeing the surge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID in the second wave , and the high number of fatalities and like every other person , locked up in my house keep praying for this to end . Like many other people , i am part of various Whatsaapp Groups where we keep trying to connect people looking for oxygen and medicines to those who post about having them. I spend more than 16 hours a day scanning through all posts on Whatsapp , Twitter , Koo , Linkedin, Facebook , filtering posts where people need things and finding posts about people posting about having oxygen , medicines and connecting them. It has not been the very sucessful , but I feel good about making an effort and doing whatever I can , under the circumstances to help people.
The second wave hit India , out of the blue , we had almost conquered COVID , with one of the lowest fatality rate in the world . India had been a sucess story .Doctors , Scientists all over the world had been shocked at the low death count and high recovery rate in India . Journalist , all over the world , even in India were writing articles about it .
Mr. Shekhar Gupta even made a video saying that India managed well because we are a poor country . (Well , as always never leaving an opportunity to demean India and attack Modi .)
Even Al Zareera could not understand the low death rate in India and the excellent handling .
CNN too , could not take it without adding a pinch of conspiracy to it .
Yes , we had been successful , despite a population of 1.3 Billion (Europe with 47 nations has a population of 750 Million ) .
My doctor brother , who works in COVID ward accredited India’s early use of HydroxyChroloquine(HQC) (and Azithromycin AZM) as the reason for good recovery and less fatality . India being a malaria prone country has always had good stock of HCQ and have always used to often. India is also the leading manufacturer of HQC , with over 90% of the world’s HQC being manufactured here (which irked a certain country) .
To get a little scientific here , COVID 19 is a new virus , something that no one had seen before , no patients existed and no recorded treatment, prescribed medicines existed . No one knew the nature of the Virus , how it behaved or which organs it affected or how it affected the human body .
So in such cases doctors treat the symptoms and body organs affected . So if they see you have fever , they give medicine to bring down body temperature. So if they see you have rashes , they will give you any anti allergic , if they see you have high BP , they will give you medicines to lower your Blood Pressure . That is how doctors work when they see a new disease and have no prescribed treatment, they treat each symptom and body organ affected independently.
So Indian doctors started using HQC , which is easily found in India and saw useful results which were posted on all research sites. All doctors in India started following this and saw great results and patients recovering. My own doctor brother and sister in law both contracted COVID and self medicated on HCQ and recovered with ease .
Not to forget , this treatment was called controversial, all foreign doctors rubbished it and it was even denied as a treatment for COVID , even by WHO (on the behest of a certain country , who we all know ) .
Infact India was attacked for stating that HQC is an effective medicine for COVID , calling it controversial .
Donald Trump was attacked by all , when he advocated use of HQC for COVID
WHO was even forcing India to STOP using HQC as a medicine for COVID .
WHO even wrote an article in their official website calling HQC treatment for COVID as a myth (on the orders of we know which country ).
Needless to say Indian Doctors stuck by their obeservation and knowledge and India WON the war in the first wave.
The symptoms that were experienced world over were lost of smell and taste , dry cough , body ache. (I remember emptying my favourite perfume which I would use to test my smell daily ). The loss of taste was what made my doctor Sister in law get tested (who later turned out positive ) . I remember seeing this video of a famous tiktoker in US who accidentally found out that she has COVID when she could not taste the drink she had bought in a live TikTok video .
Then fed up by all misinformation by WHO , and seeing the success story of India , all doctors in every country started asking their government for HCQ from India . We all saw how India ramped up it’s production of HQC to supply to the whole world.
We regularly saw tweets from all countries thanking India for life saving HCQ .
Many countries saw devastating First wave , Italy was hardest hit. UK , France , Spain , US , Iran were equally bad.
Infact Italy was SO badly hit that they ran out graveyards and had to deploy army to transport coffins to other cities.
Europe was BADLY HIT , So was UK , USA , Brazil and Iran .
We all sympathized and we did not see ANY journalist post photos of the dead to blame government and shame politicians. This is a pandemic , no one knows from where the virus came (in this case we know) or how badly it would hit, or what the treatment was . The whole world was in suffering and any human with half a gram of humanity was trying to help , unlike opposition and journos of India who saw this as an opportunity to attack the government. Well, vultures will always feed on the dead, they don’t even leave their own.
I remember sitting in my room in February , celebrating my one year anniversary of lockdown planning a holiday to Goa in May . We all were so happy with the availability of vaccines . GOD that is what a vaccine is in times of pandemic.
I have many doctor friends in US, UK , who all would write shocking and disturbing tales of what was happening in their hospitals , their daily trauma of seeing people die . It was FAR WORSE than the second wave of India . But like every other human , I prayed for everyone .
Luckily by February we all saw the cases drop , people getting vaccinated, positivity rate plummet, we all heaved a sigh of relief.
Modi Govt had realized that PPE were in demand and would be for a long time , so PPE production was ramped up. HQC production was increased at an exponential rate to meet any future demand . We had learn from past , from trial and error about things and medicines needed to combat COVID . From virtually not producing any PPE , India became the second largest manufacturer of PPE .
So now we had become vigilant, checking for signs of COVID , loss of taste , smell , body ache . Early medication of HQC , AZM. We had a protocol , runbook to follow .
Then all of us a sudden, we saw cases rising suddenly and exponentially staring March . It was sudden rise , that too of a new kind . People did not show any symptoms, would suddenly get serious and would need oxygen support and die . My own mother accidently tested herself and found herself positive despite showing NO symptom. She had severe diarrhea, even though she had not eaten any outside food for a long and had met someone who had come home. Being a doctor , she did find this odd and got herself tested only to find that she was COVID Positive . Lucky for her, she had been fully vaccinated so , being a doctor she knew that she could recover with basic medicines. She realized that the symptoms this time were not the same as last time , her taste and smell were intact . NO body ache , she started developing fever and lung congestion. She knew that this new infection was coming from a variant (a virus from the same COVID 19 Family but every different properties , and would attack different organs in different ways).
So she self medicated herself (perks of being a doctor ) based in her symptoms.She did not consume HQC or AZM (as was the norm in the first wave ) , she took Ivermycitin and few other medicines. She recovered in 2 weeks. with minimal damage. Later on she told me that had she NOT taken Ivermycitin or even delayed it , the damage could have been much severe. Godo for her , she is an experienced doctor .
What about the rest of the doctors and hospitals ? Well they would be following the COVID protocol which had been set by now . HQC, AZM etc. As always big fights break out between doctors about treatments , which medicines to prescribe, the dosage (egos fly high everywhere).
My parents , brother , SIL started prescribing Ivermycitin to anyone who contacted them , my brother even started prescribing it to his patients in the COVID wards , even though that had NOT been approved by any Medical body , WHO etc.
Even till today , I keep seeing all negative stories about Ivermycetin (dejavu HQC ?) all over the world as to how it is not a COVID medicine and cures nothing ? International Medical bodies denying the effectiveness in COVID recovery .
Needless to say , not one person whom My parents , Brother treated and advised Ivermycitin dies or even became serious.
But we saw new trends , demands for Remdisivir , which was unheard of in the first wave. Demand , posts , tweets for people urgently looking for Remdisivir , Tocilizumab, medicines which were never heard of in the first wave . Remdesivir, which is not even very effective or prescribed drug in the actual disease it is suppossed to treat (but is very expensive never the less ) was suddenly the most in demand medicine in the second wave . People were ready to pay ANY amount to get them , rates in black market went upto lakhs .I inquired with my doctor family who expressed their shock and disapproval for remdisivir . My father even went on to say that this hype could have been created by Pharma companies as they get to sell HUGE amounts of money and profit it is labelled as a COVID life saving drug .Such hypes have happened in the past . Well , we may never know how Remdisivir came to be knows as the life saving drug for COVID and how and WHY the hype was created . Needless to say , it was not needed. As we saw in news as to how patients who were injected with saline water by fake Remdisivir injections , all recovered .
In the second wave , we heard NO demands , cries , posts for people wanting HQC, AZM which were the most in demand drug in the first wave . Needless to say , the new mutant which has gripped India since March is a different virus belonging to the same family . It affects differently . People affected by it display different symptoms , it affects different organs and at a different speed.
We had prepared ourselves after learning from the first wave only to realize that it was not needed in the second wave .
We hardly saw posts about need for Oxygen , ventilators in the first wave , but in the second wave , every person affected needed urgent oxygen support , ventilator . We never saw SO MANY demands and requests for oxygen and ventilator in the first wave .
Shark and Whale maybe both fish but they attack and kill humans in very different forms.If we go to a new beach and get attacked by sharks , we will buy harpoons to defend ourselves. So we venture out again in the sea , with our harpoons assuming that now we are safe from impending danger , only to see no sharks but Blue whales trying to eat us whole . Will the harpoons work now ? NO . Whom shoudl we blame now ? NO ONE .
The behavior of a mutant or even a new virus can not be predicted . If a new virus affects brain , the second variant may affect lungs . A new third variant may affect heart . The fourth variant may cause paralysis .
So after the first wave of a new variant people learn that it affects brains and get all medicines and equipment related to brain, they are doing their duty to manage future outbreaks after learning from the first wave of a new virus.
So if now the new mutant affects lungs and there are not enough oxygen suppliers , Ventilators available (something which was not predicted or expected) , can you and SHOULD you blame the government?
Now after the horrific second wave , India is ramping up it’s oxygen generating capacity and availability of concentrators and Ventilators (just like we learn from first wave and ramped up production of HQC and PPE Kits ). We are seeing news about Black fungus , it’s horrific effect and deaths . Did we hear about Black fungus in the First Wave ? So how could have we prevented this or been prepared for it ?
God forbid if third mutant comes and affects kidneys where the lakhs of affected patients need dialysis machines on urgent basis , and we do not have SO MANY dialysis machines (we did not expect the need of dialysis machine based on first wave and mutant wave) , should we blame the government?
Yes we could have pointed fingers on government if there was a shortage of HQC, PPE Kits , but how can you store and prepare for something when you don’t know what to store or what you would be dealing with ?
If a town is hit by a massive earthquake , all houses are destroyed and after shocks keeps coming for months , the most apt resposnse would be to move everyone to tents in the open . The learning from that disaster would be to make earthquake proof homes and keep tents in handy . When the aftershocks subside and houses are starting to get rebuilt , and tsunami comes and washes out tents and humans with it and flood the entire area , can you and should you blame the government ? Government , Modi are not GOD to predict such natural disasters and their outcome .
Let’s not shake off blame from ourselves. I personally know SO MANY people who did not get vaccinated even when they had a chance to , that too free . Every person whom I know had contracted COVID after getting the jabs has survived . Not one died. Every person I know who dies had NOT been vaccinated. We saw the large gatherings, poll rallies, Kumbh Mela , Ramzan crowd. NO masks , no social distancing . WHY BLAME MODI ?
Also EVERY state has it’s own government. We saw how people rejoiced when they defeated BJP and elected Kejriwal in Delhi .
So WHY BLAME MODI NOW ? You have a government you voted for, ask them.
EVERY state was given money to set up Oxygen plants , it was their responsibility . So why were the NOT set up ? Where did the money go ? Why were the suppliers and traders selling concentrators , ventilators, oxygen cylinders in black market ? It is the duty of state police to ensure such things do not happen . State is the responsibility of State Government . If Punjab Government can reject Farmers’ Law , then they should provide for their state subjects and ensure no black marketing happens.
Well as always , it has become to fashion (and many times a paid job) to blame Modi , BJP, RSS . A toolkit .
Now Let’s talk vaccination .
Why do we forget that India has a population of 1.3 billion when we talk of anything? India has vaccinated more people than ANY country till date . Infact i keep seeing post from Indians in many countries with populations less than Delhi or Mumbai, crying as to how they have NOT been vaccinated or have any clue when that will happen.
Let me make it very clear , India has managed Second wave far better than most countries could manage the first wave . Statistics cannot be bought .
Please see the population vaccinated in these countries as compared to India :
All journalists and many liberals are asking why the Central Vista project is going on in this lockdown . Well, to begin with , the money was already transferred long back . The money is now with the contractors , so why let them make interest from the HUGE amount and do nothing? Also any construction of this magnitude will help economy . Cement , iron, steel etc would need to be bought helping businessmen. Thousands of daily wager /construction workers will get employment . Also roads are empty , so why not take advantage of minial traffic to complete construction , rather than wait for FULL traffic to be disrupted . Makes sense right ? I had already paid money for paint , brush to my local shop . So in the lockdown , I got the material and completed painting of my house. WIN WIN .
So please think rationally . Stop falling into the trap of planned hoarding , social media panic creating , blaming Modi toolkit , which is not even a secret now .
Get vaccinated and maintain social distancing.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.