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I’m exhausted. Since last Thursday, I’ve been working during the day, spending about 40% of my time taking care of my grandparents and spending my nights scrambling for resources. Tracking down oxygen, ventilators, hospital beds, home ICUs and god only knows what else.

My experience through covid so far had mainly been very sheltered. Last year, when the lockdowns were about to be announced, I grabbed a monitor from my desk at IIIT Delhi, moved in with my grandparents, and continued to live my life as a shutin. It wasn’t particularly challenging. I bought a desk andset up a small office in their guest bedroom. My grandparents didn’t have their usual part-time help, so my mom and I basically split up the chores. Except for a few hairy moments, nothing was notably different.

This time around, in the last 4 days, 5 people I personally know have died because of covid. My family is reasonably well off; we have many medical connections (garnered chiefly from my amazing grandfather) and a minuscule amount of political pull - so each of these 5 people had access to oxygen, medicine, ventilators and good doctors. It didn’t help. God help the people who aren’t as fortunate as I am because I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who doesn’t have access to the resources I do.

For the first time, I’m scared of this disease. Every time the phone rings, I’m terrified that someone I genuinely care about will be on death’s door, and there will be nothing I or anyone else can do to help. Almost everyone I know is either desperately looking for resources or for someone to blame. Unfortunately, I don’t have the energy to argue about fault or politics - people are dying, and it’s taking all my energy to keep my head above water. I’ve only been doing this for four days. The pressure this situation must be putting on people dealing with this for months must be insane. To anyone reading this, take care of yourselves and stay safe - even if you’ve already been vaccinated.

To those that can afford it, find a way to donate your time/money/energy to help out in whatever way you can; every little bit helps. There’s a lot of people out there trying to save lives, one that’s personally helped my family is the Hemkunt Foundation