[This is a true story. Names changed on request to maintain anonymity]
It was the first week of March and Dr. Saahil had just finished booking his tickets for the annual, family vacation. This time it would be his dream destination. They were going to take a cruise across the Mediterranean and touch many countries. The family was super excited and this time, it was even more special as they were celebrating their thirtieth anniversary. Dr. Saahil saw the picture of his wife, Anurita on the table and smiled. It did not feel that so much time had passed. He loved her immensely.
She walked in with a sombre face and said, “Have you read the news coming in from China? What is this novel virus all about?” Dr. Saahil looked at her and said, “Yes! There are discussions going on that it is extremely contagious and people are dying there.” Within minutes of this conversation, Dr. Saahil got a message from the hospital that an emergency meeting had been called.
He rushed immediately after gulping his breakfast. Never before had such a meeting happened. The briefing was crisp and clear. This was going to spread far and wide and they had to be prepared. Dr. Saahil looked at his boss and understood. The situation had started to look grave and they were not prepared. Even as they were talking, people with flu like symptoms started coming in. They were coughing badly.
Within days, it became clear that these patients were not responding to any treatment. The hospital was also struggling and did not have enough gloves or masks for the doctors. They had the confirmed news by now that this was highly contagious and mutated fast. All the doctors were called and leaves were cancelled, as the situation worsened within a week. The number of cases started increasing at an unprecedented level.
Another meeting was called and it was rushed. Everyone was told in a few words. ” We are unequipped. We don’t have the required protective gear. Please be prepared that as caregivers, you will contract this for sure. This situation is like spreading like wild fire.” Dr. Saahil was taken aback at this information and went back to treating the patients. They were coming in by the minute now.