April 23, 2021 1:20:17 pm
As the country battles the surge in COVID-19 cases, health professionals are also struggling to cure patients — often feeling helpless in the wake of the crisis — and some even succumbing to the disease themselves.
As a doctor who has been on COVID duty since last year, Dr Agni Kumar Bose recently talked about how the past few weeks have been ‘scary’.
The 26-year-old, who works at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, shared how being in the PPE for hours leaves them “dizzy and feeling faint”. In an Instagram post shared by India Cultural Hub, Bose was quoted as saying, “Once we wear our PPE, we do not remove it for the entire shift – be it food, water or going to relieve ourselves. As such, we stop drinking water an hour before our shift, which does not help with the dehydration for when we perspire (courtesy Mumbai’s humidity) owing to the ACs being shut as we need to provide ventilation with the windows. This leaves us dizzy and feeling faint.”
Drinking water is the first thing that health professionals do after taking off their PPE kits. Calling it a “sweet luxury”, the doctor added, “Wearing a mask with a proper seal makes breathing difficult – adding to our light-headedness. When our shift is over, the first thing that we do is run for the water bottle and drink like a camel.”
Bose revealed the hospital wards have been “overflowing”. “The past two weeks have been to say the least -Scary! it is disheartening to see how terrible things are! Our wards are overflowing. It has been a tough time for everybody.”
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Recalling his first-ever COVID duty, he said, “My very first Covid duty last year is etched in my memory as rock-bottom. From 2 in the night to 8 in the morning, we lost 15 patients who had come in too late. One of these patients was a 37-year old male; it was devastating to see the loss of a life gone too soon. It was truly the most eye-opening experience of this pandemic for me – realising the gravity of the situation and the battle that lay ahead.”
Bose is currently also preparing for his final MD exams, which has only added to the pressure. “…once I’m done with duty, I come back home, sleep and then spend the rest of my time studying for my exams. The stress is so much that these days I don’t get sleep, despite being how tired I am, unless I take sleeping pills,” he expressed.
Back home, Bose’s family has been really supportive. “My family is foremost in my mind as I step out to work every day. My partner has been my unwavering rock – we both had contracted Covid last year through the course of my duty, and the risk of contracting it again through this is high – but she has never once complained. We WILL get through this. We WILL come out on the other side. We’ve got your back,” he said.
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