Is there something I can do?

The terrible relentless march of the COVID pandemic in the country is marked by the countless deeds of help and support offered by people to each other. Whether it is through the social media or through organizations or individual offers of help, the second surge in our country has brought out the hidden hero in the common person. This is the silver lining that we will all remember when the clouds disappear.

It is a blessing if one and the family around are well; but there is a sense of dread and helplessness that plagues the healthy too. Somewhere we are chased by the question ‘is there something I can do to help?’ It becomes important to realize that all of us, wherever we are can help and contribute to make things better.

The first and foremost contribution we can make is taking care of ourselves and following COVID appropriate behavior. It is easier said than done. There is fatigue from the curfews and lockdowns that have been following us since last year. We all want to simply step out and live life, again. But unless it is essential please do not step out. And if you have to, please double mask and distance yourself. These are not merely posters or messages out there to be simply ignored. The most important contribution we can make to the fight against COVID in these distressing times is to try as far as possible not to fall ill.

A large part of taking care of oneself and those around us entails following science. Do not try everything that comes along in social media as an antidote or prevention measure. Let us heed what the doctors tell us. It is amazing that prominent doctors of the country make it a point to come on television frequently to dispel myths, rumors and give sane advice. They do this apart from looking after patients and clinical work. We need to heed and follow their advice.

Give — that is the only word that has any resonance in today’s times. Wherever you can, however you can — give — time, money, blood, food, clothes, knowledge and compassion. There are bound to be people around who are less fortunate and struggling more. Reach out to those who are in your vicinity, there will be many who can do with some help. Even calling people you know are alone and suffering and checking in on them is a way. Guide people around you in accessing a vaccine appointment online. There are endless ways to give — just do it.

Gloom and despair are swirling before our eyes in our palms through our phones. Being responsible in sharing news and images is something that all of us need to do at an individual level. Try not to become a medium of spreading fake news; if you doubt the veracity of a post desist from sharing it in your groups. It is not a matter to be dealt with lightly — for people who are ill and their struggling caregivers — incorrect information can be a matter of life and death.

Globally we all have to brace for yet another wave and building resilience within ourselves is imperative. The individual capacity to navigate adversity has to expand and solidify amongst all of us. Exercise, eat well, practice a routine, do yoga, immerse in something that interests, and most of all connect with people. If anything this wave has taught us, it is that our support net are other people — those you know or even don’t. When each of us tries, the path to resilience will be somewhat easier.

Published in Hindi in Dainik Bhaskar on 26–5–2021

Originally published at on May 26, 2021.



Sadhna Shanker is a Delhi based author & civil servant. ‘Ascendance’ & ‘Never a disconnect’ novels. She writes for newspapers, blogs & is a PhD in Economics,

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Sadhna Shanker

Sadhna Shanker

Sadhna Shanker is a Delhi based author & civil servant. ‘Ascendance’ & ‘Never a disconnect’ novels. She writes for newspapers, blogs & is a PhD in Economics,