Take 10 minutes.

That’s what our Delhi government is asking us all to do, starting from today – to take 10 minutes, once a week, to check that there is no stagnant water in our homes, as we enter the dreaded dengue season.

At the risk of angering the trolls who attack me every time I open my mouth to speak out about the country I have chosen to live in, this year’s dengue season is set to be even more worrisome than it usually is.

Because, dear reader, as though we were not already overwhelmed with Covid-19, we now have this to contend with:

“…the double disease may be deadlier…”

Dear God, don’t we have enough on our plates already?

In our household, despite being ever-vigilant about stagnant water, we have had episodes of both dengue and chikungunya, most terrifyingly one year when my husband and 2 of our staff had it. All at the same time.

And don’t get me started on the pitiful, overwhelmed state of AIIMS where I admitted Rajkumari – and that was THEN.

Pre-Covid times.

Trolls, do your worst, but the fact is, that AIIMS was so overwhelmed they were putting people 2 to a bed, and sometimes even 3 to a bed.

They had no clean bed-linen.

The kind sisters and the doctors were at breaking point, overwhelmed with dengue & chikungunya cases. They took pity on Rajkumari, and gave her one of their precious reserve sets of paper bed-linen they kept for emergencies, because I refused to let her get into a bed with unwashed linen.

And I repeat, that was THEN.

Pre-Covid times.

Realistically & sadly, there’s not much we can do to control the wider environment in which we live – surrounded by building sites and informal settlements – but within our own 4 walls, we are now going to check for standing water every day.

Not once a week.

Every day.

Stay safe and vigilant, everyone. We are not out of the woods yet, not by a long chalk.

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