Both Sukhpreet and Vaneeta watch their six-year-old son looking at them from the meshed door of their house in Sector 22 while they come for a break. The couple who are in the emergency services have been taking care of the quarantined people. But service comes before everything.
Sukhpreet who is a fireman with the Chandigarh Administration now has been tasked with contact tracing and isolating the suspects. Sukhpreet’s wife is a staff nurse at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.
There are times when people Sukhpreet isolated turned out positive later and since then he has been in jitters for his six years old who waits to seem him after he comes back home.
Their child stays with his grandparents throughout the day asking as to why his parents do not embrace him or express love anymore. But that’s for his safety.
“I am tasked with contact tracing of positive patients and then quarantining them. There have been instances when people I quarantined and stamped turned out to be positive. Before I head home, I call up my parents and tell them that I am coming. They place a tub with detergent water outside and I put all my clothes in it. Then I go straight for a shower. I make sure I confine myself to one room where I am given food. It’s been tough as my son asks me as to why I am not hugging him or expressing love despite looking at him. But what do I tell him?” Sukhpreet said.
The same is the case with Sukhpreet’s wife Vanita who too works in the high-risk zone, GMCH, where people are tested and isolated.
“My son sometimes asks his grandparents when all his friends’ parents are home during this time, spending time, playing with them indoor games, why aren’t we there for him? But he has been told that we are there for emergency services and the nature of our jobs is different,” Sukhpreet said.
The couple when get time for a break, come home for tea but they don’t enter the house. Vanita gets emotional when she sees her son looking at her from the net door.
“It is such a difficult situation. I want to hug him, I want to speak to him, I want to play with him but I can’t just go near him with the fear that I may not be able to forgive myself if I give the virus to him. Children and elderly are the most vulnerable I have read,” Vanita said.
The plates in which the duo eat food are separate. Precautions are being taken by them as they are right in the line of fire.
“For all those doing emergency services, it is a battle every day. When we are going out to fight that battle, we just request people to stay indoors. That’s the only thing we want from them. We are putting our lives at risk and they just need to do this one thing for us — stay at home,” the couple added.
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