Senior citizens at ECR brave the Coronavirus
The climbing positive cases in the city have invoked a sense of trepidation among many, especially the elderly and people with comorbidities. However, the inmates from an Old age home in ECR didn’t yield to these fears and uncertainties when they were tested positive for COVID 19. Their recovery story promises us hope during these testing times.
The Home houses 42 inmates, most of them are retired state and central government employees. The first positive case was a 72-year-old person with heart disease following which the other members and staff were screened out of which nine members tested positive including 7 inmates, 1 nurse, and 1 cook. The inmates and the staff stayed isolated in the home and completed the quarantine period with sheer determination.
“When our team was informed about the situation, we were totally petrified. Out of the 7 inmates, two are in their nineties, one is above 80, five in their seventies, and one below sixty. We also couldn’t rule out the possibilities of virus transmission among other inmates. A single slip may snowball into a huge catastrophe,” shared Gomathy, Health Officer of Zone 15.
“We became increasingly worried with each passing day but we gained strength from the inmates who were always optimistic. They never showed any signs of depression or anxiety and they followed our instructions carefully without any complaints,” she added.
With their cook being tested positive, their meals were arranged from outside. The home premise was disinfected regularly and regular health check-ups were conducted by the Health Department Staff from Zone 15.
“The members didn’t step out of their rooms unnecessarily and they always maintained social distance and wore masks when they came out for their checkup,” shared Gomathi. Their discipline played a huge part in preventing the transmission of the virus to the other inmates.
She added that the family members of the inmates called them regularly, enquiring about their condition. Many were willing to admit them in private hospitals for treatment but luckily, their condition didn’t require hospitalisation.
Gomathy fondly added that the Zone-15 health team and the inmates bonded like a family with each passing day. She complimented the dedication shown by R. Balamurugan, Sanitary Inspector, Zone 15, who looked after the senior citizens with utmost care. “He is the favorite son among the housemates,” she laughs.
Gomathy concluded, “When I enquired an inmate on how she coped up with everything during this recovery period, she told me that she looked after herself by eating good food, sleeping well and importantly, without fearing anything. Every day was a new experience for me and thanks to them I am able to view things differently. Their positive attitude during this difficult time prompted us to do our best. We were also supported by other staff from each level from the staff who disinfect the premises every day, nurse and Dr.Sindhuja.”