Covid heroes, I salute you. I want to be you!

Can Man Dan or Dan Johnson, handing out much needed emergency supplies to the city homeless. Photo credit: Greg Southam

Today, India sees the world’s highest ever Daily Covid cases. 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. Deaths rose by 2,104.

Every second tweet in my feed reads:

“Urgently need an ambulance with Oxygen for 15 year old in North Delhi…”

or

“Need a ICU Bed urgently IN BANGALORE. Oxygen level at 44. Please  help!!!!”

The news is filled with video clips of long lines at Hospital patients begging for admission into hospitals.  Or heart-wrenching queues of beloved at funeral pyres waiting to transition to the next realm.

“People are dying on the street, in their houses, before they can see a doctor or even have a test.”

We saw how New York, Spain, UK and others suffer through the crises. But we didn’t pay heed. We didn’t book enough vaccinations even though we were the one’s producing them. We didn’t prepare for sufficient Oxygen cylinders though we have the capacity for it.  

The second wave has grown to a tsunami, and we are paying the price for our carelessness.

In spite of repeated warnings, our Prime Minister paid no heed and held massive election rallies in 5 states. Praising the big crowds that he is pulling. 

It seems we’ve got the worst of both worlds. We endured the strictest lockdown and are now going through the worst of the Covid crises.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. 

Yet, in moments of these crises, heroes rise.  

While my Twitter feed is filled with gloom. There are such encouraging moments of humanity. Where individuals quit complaining about the government or anyone else and take it upon themselves to go out to make a difference. Doing the absolute best that they can. With the broadest of smiles on their faces.

Damini Mishra, put out a message that she’s volunteering to cook for Covid Positive patients in her area. And to reach out to her if anyone knows someone who needs it.

Rikit Shashi, is out there running errands for patients in isolation. Taking pride in that he has regular patrons that he’s servicing now.

Shahnawaz Shaikh “Oxygen Man” of Mumbai, after losing his cousin sister to Covid, sold his SUV and bought 160 Oxygen cylinders to provide a free oxygen supply scheme.

Let’s take inspiration from these selfless acts of courage and kindness. And do what we can. Let’s Join an NGO that are assisting COVID patients. If that’s too much then let’s look within our apartment complexes and our neighbourhoods. Let’s volunteer to cook a meal. Help run an errand. No act is too small.

Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity you give is small, because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame. -Imam Ali (AS)

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