From the ongoing tide of lovely, caring, worried messages and calls from friends and family around the world, you are all clearly up to speed with the horrific situation here in Delhi.
To everyone who has called, emailed, WhatsApped, Instagram-messaged me, I have nothing but thanks and gratitude for your love and concern. And quite a few tears.
Last year, I found myself crying (almost irrationally) whenever I saw those visuals of Italians on their balconies, singing together. Every time I’d see a zoom choir or concert, the tears would start.
A year on, and so many of you overseas are cautiously emerging, able to meet people and travel a little, and I am thrilled for you all, and relieved that your ordeal is almost over.
For us here in India, the nightmare is even worse than last year, because it is compounded with the knowledge that our government had a year in which to act.
They had the time.
They had the money.
And they didn’t prepare.
Now my tears are not at emotional music or singing, but at the brutal horrors we see on our screens and in our morning papers.
Dozens of funeral pyres, people cremated in tightly packed rows.
Doctors begging for oxygen for their hospitals.
There is such a feeling of helplessness and anger – if that makes any sense as a combo.
I start my day by checking in on everyone I know who has tested positive, and every day the list gets longer.
Every single day.
Yesterday we found out that 4 members of Himmat’s family (over 3 different households) are positive.
And since we are locked down (lockdown has just been extended for another week) there is nothing one can do.
Just call people, and message them to see how they are.
And send positive thoughts.
And hunker down even more.
We seem to be living in a country out of control and rudderless.
Our esteemed PM says nothing to ease the fear and worry of the 1.3 billion people he professes to serve:
The Chief Minister of India’s most populous state, Yogi Adityanath, however, has plenty to say:
“Amid reports of patients and hospitals struggling to find and maintain oxygen supply, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to take action under the National Security Act and seize the property of individuals who spread “rumours” and propaganda on social media and try to “spoil the atmosphere”.
On the subject of the apparent 100% availability of oxygen, the Solicitor General of India also had this to say yesterday:
So what oxygen crisis, you might well ask?
Who are all these families begging for oxygen?
What is my local RWA thinking of, suggesting the setting up an oxygen cylinder tank sharing system?
Who are all these hospital administrators pleading on Twitter for supplies?
And what on earth was this Tweet that I saw just now, whilst writing this?
Apparently it will be 2 more weeks till we hit the peak of this current wave.
God help us all.
Let me state here, for the record, that I am sending love and positive thoughts and prayers to everyone who is sick, to everyone who is trying to save their sick family members, and to every one who is just plain, damned scared.
Oh, before I sign off…just before pushing the “Publish” button that will send this into cyberspace, I checked Twitter.