Ajit JohnThe country celebrated National Doctors Day thanking the doctors for all the great work they have been doing at the front line. The virus has taken a heavy toll on patients and even on those treating them. Doctors were thankful for all the attention but were also quite vocal about what they would like the general public to do in these strange times in order to make their lives easier.Dr Narayan Saviokar felt the waves of infections that were being reported were due to the variants. He said the only way to fight it was the vaccine. Dr Saviokar said “The problem was that during the first wave, people were reluctant to take the vaccine and some politicians made statements against the vaccine. This resulted in the dangerous second wave. The vaccine will help even against the variants. More people take it will make our life easier. Now I believe people are serious and I hope the third wave does not come and hit us with the same brutality. But I shall end again by saying appropriate covid behaviour is important.” Dr Lloyd Sousa who practices in Calangute said, I see a lot of people going back to old habits. I go for a run in the morning and it is not unusual to see people having breakfast at roadside stalls. I feel this is the calm before the storm. There was vaccine hesitancy before the second wave. Now people are much more open but I would like the state to do more and ensure people are vaccinated. One has to only look at the promptness shown by the administration to conduct an election. It should be shown in ensuring everyone is vaccinated. That will make our lives better.” Dr Ashay Karpe a cancer specialist felt it was important for people to realise that doctors were human beings and not gods. He said, “Say no to violence against doctors. Don’t worship Doctors but respect them. Doctors and health care workers are pillars of our healthcare systems”. He went on to say that it would be important for people to maintain social distance, eat healthy and build up a good immunity which would help fight covid as well as cancer. Sagar Utagi, Director of Mothercare Hospital said people had to display responsible behaviour and ensure hygiene which should be a way of life. He said “Vaccination has been seen as a key to control the spread of Covid, therefore all should take it at the earliest. Most importantly trust your doctor, they update themselves with the latest techniques through their Continuous Medical Education groups, reading and webinars that they attend”. He went on to say that when a Covid patent is isolated, paramedical staff, nurses and doctors treat them by putting their own lives in danger. The general public had to remember that. Dr Kedar Padte noted infertility specialist said everyone had to realise that everyone was in the pandemic together and no one could remain aloof. He said “ The figures of infected and those who lost their lives are statistics to some, but for those who were affected it’s 100 per cent!. Every treatment he said was an experiment and it was important to bear with them and treat them with respect. Many medical staff had lost their lives and it was important to support their efforts. Dr Abhijit Shanbagh, Neonatal Paediatrician, SMRC’s V. M. Salgaocar Hospital, Chicalim felt that neonatal care should be the topmost priority, especially if the mother had tested COVID positive. He said their job would get easier if the mother did not panic. He said “Many mothers have difficulty dealing with their emotions and fear of transmitting the virus to their newborns. The truth is there is nothing to panic just take extra precautions while you’re around your child.”.
The general tone was that responsibility lay in the hands of the general public to make the lives of the medical community safer. One can only hope that dream comes true.