The ongoing health crisis due to the COVID-19 has finally made us realize who ‘real-life’ heroes are. They’re definitely not the ones on magazine covers, rather they’re the ones hustling behind ICU and hospital ward doors. Working strenuous shifts and skipping meals, they continue to perform their duty even as the fear of coronavirus lurks right behind them.
One such hero is Dr. Avi Sharma, who’s working day in and day out at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai, the city with the maximum number of COVID-19 infections. Curly Tales is proud to present his story and share his expertise with you. His story is loaded with grit, reality and the right amount of positivity, which is honestly the need of the hour. Avi shares his knowledge about the treatment of COVID-19, his everyday struggles, but also talks about the ultimate satisfaction he gets of being a doctor and servicing the country in its hour of need.
COVID-19 Duty At Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital
As the number of cases in Mumbai continued to rise, Avi who was a resident doctor at KEM, was shifted to Kasturba Hospital for his COVID-19 duties. And like all parents, his sudden COVID-19 posting worried his parents too, who are extremely stressed about their son’s safety. Avi says, he can see the ‘worry and stress on their faces’ as he leaves for his duty each day. But being the parents of a doctor, they understand his commitment to his work. And feel proud whenever relatives or society members praise their son for his efforts and bravery.
While most of us at home are scared and consumed by all the COVID-19 news around us, we don’t try to look at the pandemic with objectivity. In his effort to clear the air and reduce panic among people, Avi shares his expertise about the medical procedures involved. According to him, treatment of a COVID-19 patient depends on the symptoms he/she shows. So for example: If someone tests positive for COVID-19 but does not show any symptoms, he is only given hydroxychloroquine for 5 days. However, if a patient is showing mild symptoms like cough and cold, then the person is given hydroxychloroquine along with an antibiotic for 5 days. But as the severity of the symptoms increases, the treatment differs and ranges from injectible antibiotics to ICU hospitalizations.
Talking about work hours, Avi says his work hours are hectic but he manages to pull through with his determination and love for his duty. While the environment in the hospital is always tense and serious, everything is very much under control as per Avi. He is confident in the efforts of the BMC and Maharashtra Govt, who are creating additional facilities and containment areas in various parts of Mumbai. He feels through the joints efforts of all frontline workers, it will be possible to overcome the virus.
What Are The Biggest Challenges Doctors Face During COVID-19 Duty?
The biggest challenge for all doctors including Avi is wearing the PPE and working for long hours in the summer heat of Mumbai. Not only does it drain them but also exhausts them too fast.
However, a bigger challenge for Avi is the mentally challenging nature of the job. Waking up with conviction everyday is difficult. Sometimes when he wakes up with a throat thrush, it almost gives him a panic attack. But the superhuman that he, he puts all of it aside, and makes it to his duty each day.
Avi also talks about how his colleagues are facing harassment and eviction from their respective building societies during such times. He says that such incidents demoralize doctors who are putting every inch of their lives at risk. Such incidents cause more harm than good.
Being A Doctor During The COVID-19 Pandemic
As a doctor, Avi is proud of himself that he can stand up in service and help his fellow countrymen during such tough times. All the medical knowledge that he gained through the past 10 years, is being used to treat patients in a historic pandemic, and this feeling overwhelms him at times.
While most of his colleagues are facing problems, Avi considers himself lucky to be surrounded by friends and neighbors, who do not fail to encourage and support him each day. In fact, members of Avi’s residential society are so proud of him that they keep sending notes of encouragement on the Society’s Whatsapp Group. Immense support like this, is very important for frontline workers like him to keep going.
Last but not the least, Avi has a message for all those panicking at home. Calling COVID-19 ‘just an virus’, he says we can and will fight it. All we need to do is stay united, not play blame games, not panic and hope that one day we will come out of it, stronger than ever.
We at Curly Tales salute the efforts of frontline workers like Avi who show up every night and day in service of saving lives. Heroes like them continue to reaffirm our faith in humanity!