Meet Dr. Shruti Agrawal, a doctor at KEM hospital, Mumbai which is bearing the brunt of Coronavirus pandemic with everyday piling of cases in its premises. Mums and Stories got in touch with Dr. Shrurti who is one of the front line workers to find out on how is it to work in a Covid environment.
Dr. Shruti Agrawal shares with Mums and Stories, “It’s like you have to be constantly alert during your six hours of work at the ICU. I am staying at the hostel here and my husband who is also a doctor is also posted for Covid duty.”
The young doctor requests citizens in Mumbai and other cities not to take Covid lightly. “You might think it is your regular park, regular road, your known market that you have so frequented so often in life, all of this to be Corona free but it’s the time to be extra safe than sorry. It’s not that once you have Coronavirus you are in deep trouble that you cannot recover. However it is better to conscious in our attitude, behavior, lifestyle changes to be away from this virus to help in building better healthcare in the country.
Please be conscious especially when you are out to use sanitizers, wear masks and go out if it is essential only for work or groceries or medicines.”
Talking about working in an environment where only Covid patients are admitted, she shares, “This pandemic has been an eye-opener where it is beyond text book knowledge. Even the most experienced doctors are saying this is a huge learning curve and we as medical professionals are learning every day to keep ourselves and others safe.”
Talking about family support, Dr. Shruti says, “My parents live elsewhere, outside Mumbai and my mom was nervous, understandably when she got to know that I had been posted for the Covid duty. But my dad was very happy and in fact proud that I have been posted at a space which he calls as the soldier’s role.
It’s been two months and while initially it was beginning to look like a huge struggle right from wearing PPE uniform for six hours, managing patients who are more psychologically affected of being in a ward or in the ICU, but now I am used to the drill and we as doctors are trying our best to keep patients healthy and get them to go back home. The support staff of nursing too are doing a commendable job and it’s not easy for them too.
It’s also enormous emotional moments piling up every day like we see how patients are nervous in such environments with no one from their family around. It becomes our responsibility to ensure they are stress free as much as possible. Sometimes their families are quarantined or they are far away. Some of the patients with us are migrant laborers and they are very anxious on so many issues in life. They don’t even get to see us as we are constantly in the PPE attire and it’s just through voice, they recognize us. We are doing much more than the normal time where we have to feed them food, water and it’s like a bond created. I feel this experience is very humane and it is touching all aspects of humanity of empathy, gratitude and much more.
At the same time, I would like to re-iterate that citizens shouldn’t consciously expose themselves like increasing your risks, like going to crowded spaces, going out unnecessarily, not wearing masks or not washing their hands often and so on. These have become lifestyle changes and one needs to follow them diligently until the world finds a solution for the virus.
Let’s collectively try to help each other in keeping ourselves safe and others too.”