Officials say the United States is trying to help India deal with the coronavirus wave, which has strained the country̵
India is currently struggling with the relentless jump of COVID-19. People died in record numbers, with 3,998 deaths registered on Thursday alone, according to data from John Hopkins University. Hospitals are understaffed and overcrowded, and doctors are turning to social media to ask for oxygen boxes while patients die in crowds.
India now holds the world’s second-largest number of COVID-19 cases – more than 18 million since the start of the pandemic – and experts say that number is probably insufficient.
When Nisha Sharma, an influencer in Australia, heard the “unimaginable” descriptions of the Indian scene from her family and friends, she was horrified.
“It’s a really terrible situation,” said Sharma, who grew up in India. “There are no places to burn dead bodies, and the crematoria are full. You can imagine how bad this situation is. I think Indians living abroad or in India know someone who has been infected, or at least one person who has lost his life. “
Although the crisis is hitting 8,000 miles, it is hitting home for many people outside India, and experts say we need to be more aware of the casualties the tragedy could take for those around us.
With ambulances lined up as far as the eye can see as COVID-19 ravages India, some crematoria have focused on building funeral pyres outside.
“If you work with Indian teams, they or their families / friends / relatives are probably struggling when dealing with COVID,” Rohit Narula wrote on LinkedIn. Narula is EY’s tax partner in Hong Kong. “The small request is to show them a little empathy and reduce them to small delays as they perform these difficult personal times.”
Sharon Steed, founder of the Communilogue, an empathy training program, said it could be difficult for Americans to connect with news abroad because some people experience coronavirus fatigue 14 months after the pandemic.
“It’s hard to worry about what another person is going through when we feel the way we have suffered, but we are all connected here on this planet,” she said. “It’s a very strange time in this century, when we all experience the same thing, no matter where we are, and we do it together.”
Original story: India is running out of oxygen hospital beds amid the relentless tide of COVID-19
“We as a global community need to take care”
Everyday life in India is in stark contrast to what is happening in America. In the United States, millions of people have been vaccinated, and the CDC announced Wednesday that vaccinated Americans should not wear masks outdoors.
“India is my home and India is bleeding. And we as a global community need to take care,” Priyanka Chopra said in a video on Instagram on Thursday. “Because if everyone is not safe, no one is safe.”
“No matter where you are from, what is happening in the world’s largest democracy is a humanitarian crisis – India needs us. This is real and devastating,” Mindy Kaling wrote, along with an infographic about the second wave in India.
Sharma said the crisis affected more people than we think.
“Everyone will know someone at work or in their neighborhood or anywhere (this feels the impact of the crisis in India). And every Indian knows someone who has a family that is infected or someone who has lost their life,” she said. “Every Indian is just going through a stressful time right now.”
Dr. Judith Orlov, a psychiatrist and author of the Empath Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, said her Indo-American patients were going through “unimaginably difficult times.”
“It’s so hard because they want to go back (to India), but they can’t right now. It’s a struggle,” Orloff said.On Thursday, the CDC advised travelers to “avoid any travel to India.”
The state of the pandemic must “wake everyone up to the fact that we are connected.”
“Just because India is so far away from us does not mean we are not connected to it, and empathy allows us to feel that connection and get out of the egocentric attitude that we are the only ones who have suffered,” she said.
How can we show empathy and express your support?
Steed says people may find it difficult to show support from afar. Some suggestions for including empathy include:
I’m listening to: Dr. Coulter Ray, coach of Empathy Bootcamp and a professor at San Diego State University, said it was important to really listen to those affected.Although it may be tempting to reflect on our own experience with the virus, he explained that it is important to avoid bringing it back to ourselves.
“We need to allow people to express their reality as it is for them,” he said.
Stay calm and collected: Although the crisis in India is devastating, Orloff said it is crucial to be calm and collected when talking to those affected.
“Avoid talking about it all the time and don’t say things like, ‘Oh, it’s so awful.’ I don’t know how you can handle it. “
She added: “If you panic or worry, it won’t do anything for them or for you.”
Pay attention to the news: The least we can do is pay attention and be aware of what is happening in India, Steed said.
“I know people don’t have much time to do a lot of research on the severity of the pandemic in India, but I think we need to take the time to get involved in their feelings and pay attention to the suffering and pain that is happening there.” she said.
Accommodation: Ray offered to contact the affected colleagues or friends, asking them, “How are you doing today?”
“But wait three seconds before answering to give him time to talk about it,” he added.
Touch your own experiences: Steed said many Americans will understand how it feels to be in a situation where tens of thousands of people are dying from a disease that is difficult to control. This shared experience is what can allow us to “truly empathize with what people in India and their families are experiencing in the current state and time.”
“We’ve seen this before, like in early 2020, when the virus was in China, France and Italy. We all thought of it as, ‘Oh, it’s happening there, it’s not coming here.’ And then he came here, “she said, adding that” when a person suffers, somehow we all are. “
Empathy: We all respond first among the coronavirus, armed with kindness, compassion and empathy
How to help India
Supplies of oxygen tanks and oxygen generators are due to travel to India next week, White House officials said Tuesday.
Drugs such as remdezivir, which help patients with COVID-19 recover faster, will soon be shipped, and the administration has promised to send 60 million doses of the vaccine produced by AstraZeneca.
“We are immediately sending a whole series of aid that (India) needs,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.
If you want to get involved, in the meantime we have put together a few ways to support India.
- Hemkunt Foundation: This NGO aims to provide free oxygen cylinders to patients with COVID-19.
- Khalsa Aid: This international platform provides humanitarian assistance, including oxygen concentrators and medical supplies, to disaster areas, including India.
- Two: It is a collective funding platform in India committed to raising awareness and funding for India.
- Sewa International: This non-profit organization launched its “Help India Defeat COVID-19” campaign to supply oxygen concentrators and provide food and medicine to families across the country.
Contributions: Karen Weintraub from USA TODAY, Aniruda Gosal and Neha Mehrotra from the Associated Press
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