By Dr Oscar Rebelo
Now darlings, I’m truly freaking out.
Two senior political figures, Dr. Suresh Amonkar and Pascoal D’Souza, have bid us adieu, courtesy Covid.
Granted, both had co-morbid conditions, but they were fine, genuinely nice guys who were snatched away before their time.
As predicted, this little viper is getting too close for comfort now, and we had better be prepared for war.
And dancing like a bunch of BJP idiots at a lockdown party, presided over by the ever-dapper Glen Ticlo, is simply no way to wage the war.
So again a few thoughts, like straws trying to stand straight in a gale-storm.
1 GET THE REMDESIVIR / TOCILIZUMAB
This is not 100%, but many colleagues in Delhi and Bombay are using this extensively, and they are swearing by it.
No designer studies, no concrete scientific proof yet, but in many cases it’s been the thin red line between life and death.
I know for a fact, it’s still not been used in Goa (for whatever bureaucratic reasons).
But public pressure must mount to make these drugs (though expensive) available.
The wily Americans have already amassed 90% of the global stock.
Remember this one simple fact.
Rich, poor, famous, notorious or VIP, in Goa, you get Covid and you are at the ESI hospital.
No where else.
Hence these drugs, if the crap hits the fan, must be available there.
So my dear Pramod and Vishwajeet, after the two of you have finished gouging one another’s political eyes out and sharpening knives to thrust into God knows who’s back, please, please get us these bloody drugs.
If anyone of us gets truly serious, the kitchen sink has to be flung at this virus.
Nothing else will do.
- LES TOURISTES EST ARRIVEE
Whatever be our hare-brained economic reasons, for getting tourists in from the hot zones, be prepared for an Almighty Spike.
I fully comprehend the desperate plight of the tourism industry that is truly bleeding.
But one MUST be very, very careful.
You drag this pandemic into the peak winter months, because of this short-sightedness, and Goa would comprehensively be out of sight and out of mind.
You will kill the goose that kills the golden eggs.
But then haven’t you done that already??
3 . ASYMPTOMATICA
This is the mild silver-lining.
Most cases in Goa are still asymptomatic contacts.
That gives us some hope.
And as Dr Edwin, sadly maskless, makes a relevant point.
The mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic patients should be put up in local schools and community centres, monitoring one another, rather than flood the Covid hospital.
4 DOCTORS, NURSES , PARAMEDICS
This will be the July to remember.
This is the month that many of us will get exposed, without a doubt, as we go about our regular routines.
Mask, shield, Weekly HCQS, gloves, prayers (for those who know how to).
And simply keep away from family and friends for at least this month.
One mile away.
We willy-nilly are ticking time-bombs.
But there is factual good news.
A VIP patient was in two private hospitals for around two weeks, unknowingly.
Discovered to be Covid a week later.
Not one, not a single contact, doctor, nurse, housekeeping or otherwise, turned out positive after two weeks of contact.
Have we front-line, petal-infested, terribly frightened warriors acquired some level of immunity?
Let’s grant that to some mysterious miracle.
- BOND TOGETHER
I won’t tire of saying this.
We need, absolutely freaking need, to row in unison on this.
Or else this boat will sink.
So discipline, reaching out, keeping our nerve, being generous of mind, body and spirit and following the rules.
There can be no compromise on this.
This is our crucial month.
That we remain at this: 80 to 100 cases daily, and don’t suddenly spike.
Or we are submerged by the quicksand.
As a medical professional, this has easily been the most fascinating and exhausting period of our lives.
It is not the fear of contracting the virus which rattles us, as much as the terror of exporting it to our loved ones.
Never ever thought that practising medicine was akin to walking on hot-coals daily.
But somehow one gets that gut feeling that, post-July or early August, there is going to be a light at the end of a dark, gloomy and terrifying tunnel.
Maybe wishful thinking, of course.
But then sunshine has this magical quality of peeping out of the darkness when you least expect it.
So keep your fingers crossed and don’t touch the fingers to your face.
It’s been a long dreary climb, but the Valley of Flowers may well be beckoning.
GUIDELINES FOR HOUSING SOCIETIES!
By Surabhi Shaurya
Ahead of the commencement of unlock 1, the Pramod Sawant-led Goa government has compiled a comprehensive list of dos and dont’s, which spell out precautions that need to be taken in various aspects of life, including in public places, dealing with house-help or using public transport. The Goa Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development and the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine of the state’s top medical facility, the Goa Medical College has prepared list, mentioning precautionary guidelines for housing societies, educational institutions and government offices. -Domestic help should use hand sanitisers before entering and leaving homes.
-Refreshments or meals should be served to them in a tiffin or appropriate container. They would consume it at their home.
-Watchmen and security guards should not touch ID cards, letters, licenses, etc, while allowing people to enter the housing compounds.
-Banks should relocate their cheque drop boxes outside the bank’s interior.
-Guards manning the ATMs should be provided with sanitisers and they should ask every customer to sanitise their hands every time they enter to make a transaction
-Public transport vehicles should be sanitised or disinfected preferably after each trip, and certainly at the end of the day.
-Besides, the drivers and conductors should always wear masks and compel passengers to wear masks too.
For private and government employees, the handbook advised, that standard precautionary measures like social distancing and basic hygiene should be maintained.
-Apart from that a task force or a vigilance team should be created inside officer premises to supervise social distancing, cleanliness.
Goa currently has 28 active cases. Of the total 70 positive patients found in the state so far, 42 have recovered.