This Is What It Feels like to Live in India Right Now

The reality of living in a health crisis.

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

As I type this, everybody except my mother and I are down with COVID-19. I have been in room isolation for 12 days. The last week has been the lowest I’ve felt mentally. Nothing feels good. My body feels weak and I feel much sadder. For a person who’s always uplifted, feeling this way feels like a side of me I hadn’t met (yet).

My grandmother showed me the day before yesterday that she is coughing out blood. We panicked and had to get her tested. My uncle told my mom to step back, so at least she could stay healthy. She, right now, is the primary caregiver between two houses.

She’s taking care of my grandmother in our house and is taking care of her brother and his family by supplying them with essentials and dropping by home food.

I don’t read the news. First, much of it feels untrue and under-reported. Second, with the negativity I am experiencing, I don’t feel I need more of it around me.

They told us the young won’t suffer. But my 16-year-old cousin brother was the worse hit. It’s been 17 days now, and he’s still fatigued. His fever was so high that he had to stand in the cold shower in a state that he was too weak to even use the washroom to relieve himself otherwise. His throat was too sore to soothe with gargling and the infection spread to his ears.

I live in a gated colony, but my room faces a hospital. It’s hardly 15 metres away and is across the road.

During the evenings when my mind cuts off from work and realizes its surroundings, the frequent ambulance sirens become more noticeable. Three times in the last week I’ve heard people screaming and crying outside the hospital after losing their loved ones. One time, the police and media came in and I was watching the scene from my window.

I have received WhatsApp forwards about the state of cremation grounds and the worse things which are yet to come, but I can’t be bothered to pay an eye to it. The last thing I want amidst this is fake or hyped news.

But is it really inaccurate?

Today my mother’s friend’s father passed away because of the virus. Last week, another friend’s father…