Risking their lives everyday, doctors are the real heros fighting at the frontlines. Read how this mother leaves her infant at home everyday to help fight away this deadly virus.
Since the beginning of this outbreak, we have been hearing one side of the story – of the people who either are extremely panic-ridden or the ones who don’t even care at all. While going through this ourselves, we often forget about the ones fighting at the frontlines – the doctors. They are risking their lives every day, leaving behind their families on a daily basis to go fight the enemy which we know is as dangerous as it can be. For this very purpose, we interviewed a doctor who is going through the said circumstances.
Zara Iftikhar is an ammi to an 8-month-old and an ICU doctor currently working in PIMS. Working in the ICU all day means she has to deal with the sickest patients in the hospitals so, amid this situation, she really is a soldier fighting at the frontline.
“It feels like we’re in a war zone fighting unarmed against an enemy that’s invisible and about whom we know very little,” she stated when we asked about her experience up till now.
It is always human to second guess your career choices when problems arise and there must be plenty of doctors going through the same struggle at the moment. Zara is just another human being having similar doubts about her career path.
“During tough situations, you’re constantly reminded of your oath to help humanity but when you become a mother it becomes tougher to cope and you constantly second guess your decisions and choices. With the daycare where we drop our baby off being closed, my husband and I are facing a lot difficulty every day,” she said, but she is extremely grateful for the kind of support her husband has been through it all.
Some of the countries – most of them – have it worse than us. Take Italy for example, they have had over 1000+ deaths due to the virus even with a medical system better than ours. Even after knowing these facts, people are not taking the situation seriously. This (God forbid) can lead to a larger number of patients and in turn, can multiply the burden on the doctors. “It’s the same situation everywhere. A lot of people are not taking this seriously enough, what we need to tell them is even if the virus presents in them as being asymptotic or even very mild, they are still a threat to those around them who may not have a strong immune system,” she said on the aforementioned concern.
Zara advised people to be more mindful and to keep an eye out for any symptoms.
“And even though WHO recommends mass testing, we are currently not equipped to do so, so if you feel you have symptoms, call the helpline and follow instructions, do not go to hospitals for the sake of being tested, because by doing so you’re at risk of getting infected if you previously were not or putting the sicker patients at risk by spreading it to them.”
She recommends to self isolate yourself at home and only visit the hospital if you feel you are not recovering and have started having breathing problems.
We asked for her point of view on the actions taken by the government for the given matter on which she said that the precautions were either inadequate or taken too late at this point. “It is at times like this where strong leadership at all levels is needed, you cannot have everything right on paper and hope that everything will be okay and that this will blow over, it needed to be ensured that these measures were implemented properly,” she said. But with the latest update of the complete lockdown in two provinces, things may (God willingly) get better.
“I would like to quote an example of two countries currently fighting the pandemic, Italy and South Korea,” she started when we asked how should we as a nation play our part. “South Korea started off with more cases than Italy, both governments implemented strategies like social distancing and started massive campaigns over hand washing, the only difference was how seriously these measures were taken by the public and how it was ensured by the government that these measures were actually taken seriously or not.”
Zara states how amazing it is to see South Korea currently on its way to stabilisation but the situation in Italy has spiralled out of control. “It is now up to us whether we turn into Wuhan or Italy or if we take it into our own hands and turn this situation around We as a nation need to be a lot more aggressive and proactive to try and “flatten the curve” because we cannot afford to overwhelm our current health system in any way!“
In the end, we just need to chase away the virus and we are all in this together. We are supporting our doctors through whatever it takes. Let’s fight with all that we have.