AS this 31-year-old PGI nursing officer was leaving home for his night duty in COVID ward at PGI on April 22, little did he know that he won’t be able to come back soon and bring the chocolate demanded by his two-year-old daughter. It’s 16 days now, and Bhagwan Meena has not been able to see his family.
“When I was leaving for night duty on April 22, my daughter asked me to get a chocolate for her the next day. The next day didn’t come. In fact, my wife knew that there is no date when I will come. So for 10 minutes before I had to leave, she just went in the room with our daughter and I left,” Meena said.
The nursing officer did continuous duty in the COVID ward till April 28 and then he was advised to go in quarantine and not meet his family. Bhagwan has been in quarantine at Hotel Parkview. Only after he tests negative will he be allowed to go home at Nayagaon. Meena still remembers his daughter’s words: “Bring me a chocolate when you come.”
“Since then she has been asking her mother where I am because she has never been without me for so many days,” he said. The only way Meena remained connected to his family was while speaking to the COVID patients and lifting up their morale. “I have seen those patients cry and miss their family. It is during that time that they need emotional support. I remember there was a patient who kept crying at night but I told them that look at me. I am away from family even when I am not infected,” he said.
The nursing officer added, “COVID ward has become scary for people. I feel, just lifting their morale can make them all right, at least 50 per cent. It is depression that is disturbing them.”
Meena remembers how he would share his good memories with the patients and sometimes cry when they cried missing their families. “In fact, when they would tell me how much they miss their family, I would put up a strong face but would cry from inside because I too would miss my wife and kid. Just on April 15, we three celebrated my birthday at home. I don’t know when I will get to see them now,” he said while crying.
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