LAHAN, May 19: A 38-year-old youth of Janakpurdham Metropolitan City-11 suffered from cold and fever. His RT PCR test turned out to be positive. He was taking medicine at home as per the advice of a doctor, but he collapsed at home on Monday. His panicked parents rushed to Rakesh Bikram Shah of the Janakpur-based Covid Quick Response Team.
Shah along with his team took an ambulance to his house. After the parents said that they could not carry their son to the ambulance, the team carried the patient and took him to the Provincial Hospital, Janakpurdham.
The youth died while undergoing treatment at the Janakpur-based Provincial Hospital. The hospital administration directed the family to remove the body of the deceased. There is no one in the deceased's family except the elderly couple. They again appealed to a youth group including Mohan Rauniyar of Janakpur to manage the body.
They immediately rushed to the provincial hospital and requested the hospital to bring the body out in a plastic bag. However, the hospital said that the body should be taken away by themselves. These young men had no previous experience in corpse management but they were aware of how to do it.
Mohan requested Lal Kishor Shah, chief of the Provincial Hospital for PPE sets. Chief Shah provided five PPE sets. Rauniyar in a phone conversation with Nagarik said that he had the wish to manage the body by keeping it in a safe bag. “It was our first time so there was hesitation, but in the face of willingness, other things faded.”
Rauniyar said that the father of the deceased completed the rituals following all the security measures by transporting the body to the crematorium in Janakpurdham. That moment was very emotional for Rauniyar and his team. “No one should see such a day,” Rauniyar said in a heavy voice, "Even if we can't bring back the family member killed by COVID, we can stand together in their grief."
People living close to each other in every society have started to move away after COVID-19 invaded. The distance between people has increased. Coronavirus has reversed the trend of a cohesive society. Not only physical but also emotional distance has increased. There is a growing tendency of disregarding the infected instead of maintaining emotional support.
But in the meantime, the dedication of youths like Rakesh and Mohan toward the infected is exemplary not only for Madhes but also for the entire country, says social activist Raj Kumar Mahato. He said that the victims of the disease should be made to feel closer and not emotionally distanced.
He also said that the behavior of people toward people with major illnesses becomes different. "The message of maintaining social distance is unique," says Chakrapani Dahal, a professor at Lahan. "The message of maintaining social distance has widened the distance between societies. People who used to be empathetic have started to stay away from each other." There is a different attitude in society.
How does one get infected with COVID-19? How does it transmit from one person to another? Accurate information about this has not been spread in society. That is why there is confusion in society. Even though the local governments have spent millions on controlling the COVID infection, there is not enough public awareness at the grassroots.
Navin Kumar Yadav, a social worker from Siraha, said, "It seems that public awareness has not been spread in a way that is easy for the general public to understand." That is why the fear in the minds of the people has increased. "There are very few people in this society who are ready to help all the time," he added.
Activist Rajkumar Mahato said, "I salute the youth who work for the treatment of the infected and who carry out death rites, regardless of the risks to their lives."