It was last year in December that the novel coronavirus first impacted China and had the world wondering about this new kind of virus that spread like wildfire. More than half a year has passed since then, and the virus is not just very much present but has also altered our very lives as we continue to confine ourselves at homes, hoping for the announcement of a cure. And while continuing with social-distancing, we definitely need to give it to our COVID-19 frontline workers for holding the fort for us all this while.
Reshma Mohandas, a 32-year-old nurse at Kottayam Medical College in Kerala is one such frontline warrior who has set up a great example of professional commitment. It has been some 20 days since the nurse returned to the COVID-19 ward after fighting the virus herself and completing her quarantine period.
As per media reports, Reshma contracted the virus while attending to an elderly couple that was COVID-19 positive. "Thomas, 93, and his wife Mariyamma, 88 got infected from their grandson who returned from Italy. Thomas had cardiac problems, was often ill-tempered, probably because of his age and his illness. Mariyamma also has age-related hearing loss that made me go close to her for her to hear what I was saying. Also, due to their age, they needed someone to help them closely in their daily needs such as feeding, bathing and toilet needs. Hence social distancing was not possible" she shared in a media statement.
"I had developed minor flu-like symptoms. But, I was a part of the team treating COVID-19 patients, the protocol required me to inform the head nurse immediately. I did so, I was tested the same day and isolated in the hospital. I wasn't scared, but my husband still mentally prepared me and completely supported me for any situation," added Reshma.
While Reshma shares that she never panicked and had only mild COVID-19 symptoms, it was her husband who stayed gravely worried all that time. "It was extremely difficult for me the day she was tested positive. We both have elderly parents. She was not with us. We didn't tell our mothers when she tested positive. Even from our family, just two of us would regularly call her, humour her and keep her spirits high", said Unnikrishnan KS, Reshma's husband in a media statement.
However, both Reshma as well as the elderly couple recovered from the coronavirus and were discharged after testing negative. Undeterred and extremely motivated even after contracting the virus, Reshma resumed her duty in the very same COVID-19 ward soon after getting discharged. As she shares, "After three swab tests being negative, I was discharged and sent into home quarantine for 14 days. After my quarantine ended, and post four days of casual leave, I reported to duty."
While Kerala was the first state to report a COVID-19 positive in India, the state not only successfully managed to flatten the curve but also established by example that it is very well equipped to handle pressing healthcare crises and situations. And while the excellent healthcare infrastructure of the state needs to be duly appreciated, the credit also goes to healthcare workers like Reshma who have been zealously and selflessly taking on the frontline battle.
Featured Image: Twitter