The magical ambulance
Anjali S
May , 2021 No Comments

Among the countless families devastated by the First wave of Coronavirus was also the small family of Prasad. They only managed to keep themselves afloat by the skin of their teeth. However, their bad luck was far from over. The second wave was a harbinger of doom.


As a laborer, Prasad was far from wealthy, but still, he saved as much money as he could and tried to keep his family safe. But his savings could only coast them over the first wave. They like millions of others were not prepared for another wave of the pandemic. And try as he might with odd jobs and such after the end of the first wave, Prasad simply could not amass much into his savings.


It was at this point that things got worse. Prasad, the breadwinner of the family of caught Covid.  Prasad’s condition only got worse. Soon he had to be hospitalized. Prasad got admitted to a government hospital. It was pure luck that he got a bed. But the worst was still not over. Prasad’s condition got worse. He soon required the ICU and Oxygen. Neither of which were available in the government hospital. The family was in a panic. They had to shift him to a private hospital with the necessary facilities.


At the height of the second wave in India, where the scarcity of resources in combating the Coronavirus was at the highest, acquiring a bed was almost impossible. Still, Prasad’s extended family banded together to find a bed. The HRhelpdesk Trust, which was involved in Covid relief activities, soon found out about Prasad and helped them find the necessary facilities. With the help of the organization, the family was able to acquire a bed in a private hospital. Things were still not better.


The complete breakdown of the system due to the overburden caused by the coronavirus meant that all existing facilities were left to their whims. And as a bid to make a profit, many hospitals and other emergency facilities were now charging exorbitant amounts for each facility. The family had to pay several lakhs of money upfront for admission into the hospital. Somehow they acquired the required amount of money with the help of their extended family.


The hospital where they acquired the room was 4 hours away. A trip that can be cut short by 2 hours if taken by an ambulance. And in this situation a regular ambulance won’t do either, given the severity of Prasad’s condition, they needed a special with the oxygen facility. Not only were these were a rarity, but also were they expensive. The exorbitant charging of money extended even to ambulances which charged double the amount which was charged pre-covid. The family along with the trust fulfilled all the demands. Prasad was admitted to the hospital successfully and after struggling for 20 days, he made a full recovery.


Prasad’s case is among the lucky few, who outlived the Covid especially when in the helpless stage that he was in. He managed to get proper treatment. Many common people perished due to Covid not because of the virus itself, but because of a severe lack of medical facilities.  For every Prasad who survived Covid, there may be a Shantha who perished because she couldn’t find access to oxygen, a Karim who perished outside a hospital due to lack of availability of beds, or a John who could not find life-sustaining medication to survive the Coronavirus.

Prasad’s case turned out the way it did because of timely attention. And only because it was brought to the attention of the right people. Many people found urgent facilities with the help of the internet by using many social media platforms to locate medication and other facilities. But even here only a fraction of the population was able to find help. Only those who had access to the internet were able to do so, which leaves many many others behind.


India witnessed a harrowing breakdown of the healthcare system during the Coronavirus, which peaked during the Second Wave of the virus. During this time a terrible scarcity of proper medical facilities like medicine, oxygen cylinders, and even beds caused widespread panic and chaos where many resources were being hoarded or being sold at several times their price. In a situation where people had to deal with blatant exploitation as well as severe scarcity, It was the common people who had to bear the costs. Those who could take care of themselves did so themselves. The wealthy and the resourceful found ways to survive the pandemic and even make a profit off of the pandemic while the commoners bared the cost of it all. Many people including us at HRhelpdesk tried our best to help by arranging the resources and making them available to those who required it, we were only able to do so much and only help out a fraction of people.


With the third wave of Coronavirus right on the horizon, we hope that it will be managed properly. We hope the situation will not be the way it was during the first and second waves and that people do not find themselves in distress. But if it is so, and people need help, we will be there to do our best to help out as many as we can. For this, we request you to support us to support them. Together let us aim to get through these tough times.