Families deal with devastation as India’s surge weakens

Lucknow, India (AP) — Two months ago, Radha Gobindo Pramanik and his wife had a party to celebrate their daughter’s pregnancy and the birth of her long-awaited grandson. They were so happy that they paid little attention to their wife’s cough.

It’s an oversight that may bother him forever. Within days, his wife, daughter, and his unborn grandson were killed by the coronavirus in April and May, killing tens of thousands.

The 71-year-old said, “Everyone I loved most was me” when a Hindu priest was chanting a mantra and performing a ritual for the dead at his home in the northern city of Lucknow last night. I’m away from you. ” “I am now left alone in this world.”

As India emerges from the darkest days of the pandemic, families across the country are mourning everything they have lost and wondering if there was more they could do to avoid this tragedy.

Despite the decline in new infections, thousands of people die each day and the virus is believed to spread undetected in untested areas, causing the virus to spread in India. There are also signs that it has not been devastating to the family.

Ruby Srivastava lost her family in the week of April. First her mother and father were infected with the virus. After that, my brother has a motorcycle accident. And finally my grandmother is shocked.

Now 21 years old, she is forced to deal with insurmountable pain and questions asking herself.

She suspects that the situation would have changed if her father, a Lucknow government employee, had not been called in to hold local elections in a state with a population of over 200 million.

Health experts warned against conducting polls. Many of the hundreds of thousands of government officials ordered to help for fear of the virus begged not to go. However, the ruling Bharatiya Janata government in Uttar Pradesh claimed that the vote would take place as planned.

Over 1.3 million candidates competed for nearly 800,000 seats in four days. Tens of millions of people voted because the virus spread unchecked.

In the next few days, a number of government officials engaged in polls died. One teachers union said that 1,600 educators alone died, many of whom complained of fever and shortness of breath.

Srivastava wonders what would have happened if his father’s boss believed him and didn’t refuse to apply for sick leave until he fainted in the office and returned home.

She wondered if she could have been saved if she had been better treated at the government-run hospital that took him before she decided to take care of herself at home. I will.

During the surge, Indian hospitals were overwhelmed and deficient in life-saving drugs and oxygen. People died out of breath on their way to the health center. The family panicked.

Upon returning home, Srivastava’s family paid an exorbitant price for an oxygen cylinder for his father. They were relieved because they barely noticed that their mother was coughing.

“Our attention was directed to our father,” Srivastava said. “So we didn’t realize she was also facing a problem.”

Her mother’s condition deteriorated rapidly and she died on April 22nd. A day later, so did her father.

After the cremation, Sri Bastava’s younger brother attended a ceremony to put ashes on a motorcycle and sink them into the Ganges when he died in an accident. Three days later, her sorrowful grandmother died of cardiac arrest.

The entire Srivastava family was wiped out in a few devastating days.

Pramanik also regrets the last days of his family.

Best of all, I pay attention to my wife’s cough and intermittent fever and hope she never held a party for her daughter Navanita. They were so excited that their daughter was finally pregnant after nine years of trials and was happy with the health protocol when she thought she was safe from the virus.

A friend suggested that his wife be tested for COVID-19, but she refused.

To make matters worse, the day after the party, he and his wife headed to Navanita’s house on the outskirts of the capital. The two women talked there all night to prepare for the June birth.

Pramanic’s wife returned to fever within 24 hours and was hospitalized for shortness of breath. Three days later she died.

The distraught father and daughter returned to Lucknow by train. A promise was made that Navanita would take care of him.

She told me: “You are not alone. I am with you,” he remembered.

When they returned home, Navanita began to show symptoms.

In the next five days, the virus hijacked her body. She was hospitalized and eventually transferred to the intensive care unit and connected to a ventilator.

On the night of April 17, Pramanic and his son-in-law sat outside the ICU and tried to comfort each other. They cried together.

The next morning, doctors told them they needed to find a more well-equipped medical facility for Navanita. Desperate calls in the city were rejected. Beds were full almost everywhere.

After hours of trying, they finally found a space for her. It was too late. Navanita died on her way to the new hospital and had a foetation in her.

Two months later, Pramanic is still guilty. If he had made another decision, he would tell himself, his wife and daughter would still be alive. He would be his grandfather.

“Sometimes I think I killed my wife and daughter,” he said. “This idea awakens me all night.”