Gandharv Roy
COO
Medica Superspeciality Hospital, Kolkata

Coronavirus–Separating the wheat from the chaff

The coronavirus has undoubtedly caused immense chaos, and disrupted our lives in mammoth ways. In fact, the latest addition to our lexicon the new normal has quickly become the anthem and an expectation of a specific way of life after Corona.

Both public and superspecialty private healthcare facilities have been prompt in arming their COVID warriors with PPE to fight the spread of the illness and ensure the safety of their staff. However, there is another threat, which has taken a backseat. That threat is everything else. So far, we have focused so intently on fighting the coronavirus, our gaze has shifted from the huge clinical load that these hospitals have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Patients have been suffering for months and attempting to ride out this wave, often delaying their treatment out of fear, which only induces worse complications due to untimely delays.

As the lockdown approaches its two-month mark, patients who cannot delay their treatment any further are finally seeking assistance. And that is great news. However, a new villain has entered the mix. Not only are former COVID-positive patients being tormented by others in their community and being treated as pariahs, helpful albeit ignorant relatives are often warning those seeking care from approaching corona hospitals.

Their chants are as follows: “That hospital has corona patients. Everyone is in PPE. They all have corona. If you get corona, you will die.”

Nothing is further from the truth. The hospitals that are treating COVID patients are the best equipped to prevent its spread and protect their patients, especially those patients that are coming in for simple procedures. The fact of the matter is that the virus is everywhere. The virus has been found in all sorts of patients; from random snake-bite victims to a one-week-old child, who was born in a non-corona hospital (the mother tested negative).

The only hospital that is safe is one that is prepared to deal with anything. The honest truth is that if your hospital is ill prepared to deal with the virus and your doctor is telling you a hospital/nursing home is COVID free, either they are uninformed, unaware, or untruthful.

The new normal of healthcare is simply this: Don’t be an ostrich. Please be aware of the condition of the world and seek medical attention from those who have accepted how the world will change. Seek out facilities that have equipped themselves for this new normal, for that is there where you will be the safest. Get the care you need and do not delay medical treatment any further that you already have.

Take your medicines. See your doctor. Get medical assistance. Wear your mask. Don’t be stupid. Be safe.

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