How Coronavirus is affecting people in India as well as Indian families living outside.
People living in India are going through an extremely hard time, however Indians living in Canada or anywhere else in the world are also facing the repurcussions of everything that is happening there.
India is having a hard time dealing with the virus, be it because of the bad decisions being made by the government or people not taking restrictions seriously when the first wave hit the country, in May, 2021 India had 27.2 million cases and 311K deaths.
“Whenever I keep my family in that spot, them being that vulnerable I do not feel like I deserve all of this, they get to stay there, be scared not know what is going to happen next and I get to enjoy my life, it’s pointless for me,” said Neha Jhala.
Jhala is an Indian originally from Gujurat who came to Canada in 2019 on a work permit and has been unable to visit her family since then because of the coronavirus. She lost one of her uncles to the virus and her parents were both tested positive at one time, however fortunately they both recovered.
Jhala calls her family back in India every day to make sure her family is okay and only then can she move onto other aspects of her life.
“It is quite hard to focus on your studies or on your assignments when something so disastrous and terrible is happening back in your home country,” said Mudit Bhatia.
Bhatia is an international student in Calgary, Canada, he came here in December, 2020 as soon as he completed high school in India.
Along with all this taking a toll on his mental and academic life, Bhatia being an international student is also facing financial issues with tuition fees for international students being really high and his father’s business being closed for more than a year, his entire family has been experiencing a hard time.
COVID-19 is making all crisis harder to deal with in Canada, but India’s crises is more severe. Jhala’s home town Maharashtra recently was hit by a cyclone which caused a loss of electricity there for two days.
“There is another so called disease Black Fungus which has claimed about 200 lives in the past month, it mostly happens to people recovering from COVID,” said Bhatia.
Bhatia talks about Black Fungus and how it has now been declared as an epidemic in India, and how like most people he is not entirely happy with how the government has handled this situation.
Both Jhala and Bhatia along with every other Indian away from their families right now have to live with the constant stress of not knowing if their family member is going to be alive or not the next time they give them a call.
“I have had to deal with a great number of patients since the pandemic started and many of my patients are students or people who are away from their family here in India,” said Achal Bhagat.
Bhagat is a psychiatrist in one of the best hospitals in India- Apollo, in New Delhi. He has 30 years of experience in this field.
“The advice I give most to especially to students, is that try to keep yourself busy. There is nothing they can do that will make the situation here better.
Being away from friends and family is hard enough but now with the constant fear that something awful might happen to them has been hard for everyone,” said Bhagat
Bhagat says that the number of patients he sees has doubled in the last year because so many people are fighting with anxiety and depression. One of his patients, who is currently a student in Canada lost her father during the pandemic and was unable to say goodbye to her loved one because she was stuck in a different country.
The fact that the recovery rate in 14 states in India is 90% or above provides some comfort to people living in India as well as Indians in Canada.