Our doctor does not make house calls but visits us virtually, but he still moves from clinic to clinic that he had leased before the pandemic.
“Mondays to Wednesdays I am at the clinic on the New Airport Road,” he said, and that was confusing because I could call him on his mobile phone, wherever he was.
Then I understood why he moves around, when we had to get a flu shot and had to go to his physical brick and mortar clinic. The shot was not for the SARS-CoV-2, but for our regular flu virus that mutates every year and visits us, floating around in sneeze bubbles of air, whenever the season changes.
Incidentally, there are a few fundamental things that are different between the regular flu and the deadly Coronavirus flu. Both sometimes give you the runny nose and the sniffles, and both will give you high fever, but the onset of the symptoms in the latter will be gradual (between 2 to 14 days) while the flu will hit you within three days.
By the way, nobody now really cares when the coronavirus vaccine will be ready and distributed around the vast country or about the logistics on how millions of people will be vaccinated.
Visiting the doctor’s clinic was surreal, like from a sci-fi movie. The screenplay writers and actors in doomsday movies have fortunately given us an idea what to expect when a Pandemic strikes.
Usually, the evil scientists (who were responsible for the outbreak in the movie) seal off your home and soldiers dressed in Hazmat suits take away your stuff, most probably to bury it in somewhere deep in an underground depositary.
Sounding like Darth Vader
The woman at the front-desk at the doctor’s office cleaned our chairs with a disinfectant wipe. The doctor was seated behind a plastic screen and he spoke to us in a voice that sounded like Darth Vader, from behind a face mask and face shield.
Just for your information, nobody, neither the patients nor the staff wears a mask in many hospitals in India. The mask just hangs near their necks like a appendage. This is the result of what is known as the Virus Fatigue.
The chief minister of one state got so wild with people not wearing masks on the streets that he fixed a fine for people flaunting their noses, but the sum is huge and people started being upset with policemen and medical workers who were issuing the fines.
Then, people quarantined in their homes seemed to be getting lonely and desperate for some company.
One newspaper reported that when health workers visit homes to check on them, it was found that one man had gone to work and was happily doing what he usually does, at his desk, and happily and unknowingly spreading the virus.
A visit to another home, and the wife of the man who was under home quarantine said he had gone out to distribute wedding invitations of his daughter, to his family members and friends.
Another man had just disappeared and found only weeks later, in another state. Apparently, he had taken a train ride there.
Man (or woman) they say, is a social person, so there must be a better way of isolating people in this deadly pandemic.
Luckily, there are several social media platforms where you can spend plenty of your time without stepping out of your home.
We plan another visit to the doctor for our annual blood test. The doctor said it was not necessary to visit him and that he will send someone on a mobike who will take our blood samples.
Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi