NEW DELHI: Work without leave, no promotions and even pending salaries, some haven’t visited their family for over a year. The virus and the stress have taken a toll, but the healthcare workers are fighting on. They have been talking to their close ones on video calls, cooking, watching television with family, playing indoor games and disseminating information on social media as ways to bust the stress.
The deadlier second coronavirus wave, which is raging like wildfire, are testing the emotional and physical strength of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff, who have been working tirelessly since the pandemic began. Manjulata, a nursing officer in Delhi, admitted that she had never seen a phase tougher than this in her 30-year career. The employee at a North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run hospital had an itchy throat, so she went to sleep with her mask on Monday night.
“I’m worried that if I catch coronavirus, my son will get infected too,” the 50-year-old woman said. The nursing staff at Kasturba Hospital has been working without salary for the last two months. There has been no promotion that could boost their morale in these tough times, according to Manjulata. “There are many nurses who are the only working members in their family.
They keep calling us about their salaries. Still, they come to work to serve the people,” Manjulata, who is also the general secretary of the Delhi Nurses Union, said. Out of the 150 nurses, around 30 are coronavirus positive and 20 are on leave. The remaining have been working for longer hours, sometimes in two shifts, one after another, she said. “We cannot describe our mental status. At times, we break down,” she said, adding that talking to their loved ones, cooking and helping the needy gives her strength to keep fighting.