It is close to a week and I feel stifled and trapped, gasping for breath in a tunnel with gradually depleting air supply.
This is a situation which the whole nation is undergoing, and not in figurative or symbolic ways. It is called a catastrophe and in no uncertain terms.
This is not politics, not sensationalisation but a sheer cry for help by the medical fraternity. Oxygen. Beds. Ventilators. Tocilizumab. Remdesivir. In that order. At least give us what’s on top of the list.
“Your” narrative has somewhat moved from “we have it all” to “we are working on it”.
The nature of the problem cannot be overestimated. It is colossal and all-pervasive. This cannot resolve overnight but where is the choice as scores of lives hang by a thread? If one is choked for O2 today, we can’t wait till tomorrow for survival.
Forget, for once, “your” political image, “your” anger. Forget sedition and anti-national rants. Shed the baggage and “you” can move faster. Each time I converse, “you” seem more indifferent, critical and chafed. But my plea remains unbroken, constant and ceaseless – until India’s hospitals acquire uninterrupted oxygen supply.
Our day-on-day survival has become precarious. Healthcare workers are fatigued, working round the clock, their morale is low. Admissions for sick patients have to be stopped due to lack of oxygen. We watch them helplessly depart.
We spend the day lowering the oxygen levels on our ventilators and other devices as our tanks show alarmingly dipping levels. We make hundreds of calls and send messages every day to get our daily quota of oxygen.
“You” feel content sending me a consignment of a few litres that only lasts for a couple of hours and say the problem is solved. Why is there such a disconnect?
It’s our country. Give me a plan and a timeline for uninterrupted supply. Then let’s work on an interim solution till the supply gets reinstated. Let’s talk as equals and work shoulder to shoulder.
We know we can win.
Dr Devlina Chakravarty is MD of Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon.