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The Coronavirus has taken India by surprise.

It has made us realize how little we are in control of the world around us, and called into question how safe we actually are.

India wasn’t prepped to deal with a new type of virus, when it arrived. And it was unimaginable how big of a social challenge it would present.

The unfamiliarity of the situation has made most of us feel strangely confused, senseless, and in many cases has left us not knowing what to do with ourselves.

The Situation

The challenges brought about before the global community are unparalleled. One of the most severe pandemics of the century, COVID-19 has already affected over 200 countries around the world, including our homeland, India.

One of the communities hardest hit, is the student body.
We, the medical students of India, studying in our 2nd year of MBBS have looked into the research on the psychological impact of COVID- 19 on medical students of China, and have reflected upon our experiences during these unusual times.
Much akin like every other medical student, We were extremely anxious and feared what would happen next.
Having just arrived home in time for the celebration of Holi, the festival of colors; the closing of universities, schools, public places and barring of any forms of social interaction beginning from 13th March was quite a surprise for us.
Little did we know it was just the silence before the storm.
Starting from March 24ththe entire nation was placed in complete lock-down. University Exams were cancelled, undergraduate competitive exams like NEET and JEE, and board examinations were postponed indefinitely. In view of the rapidly increasing number of cases and fearing for the safety of our country, as of now, the lock-down has been extended to 17th of May, with no end in sight.

The Impact

Admittedly, before COVID-19 had become widespread in India, we had not thought much about how it would affect us. It was not particularly clear as to what degree, an Indian medical student needed to be concerned about COVID-19. While some sources claimed it was being blown out of proportion, a few others were not oblivious to the serious nature of the disease.

Healthcare workers putting their life on the line for the general population

Now, it is disrupting routines in hospitals, medical colleges and beyond.

The health consequences and mortality are already catastrophic and medical education is being adapted due to this worldwide threat.

 

The paradoxical dual role of medical students is that, as the future health-care workforce, we potentially form part of a health-care system’s response to public health emergencies but, conversely, are considered non-essential in clinical delivery and might be restricted from clinical practice.

With the government’s advisory on immediate closing of institutions, the student and education bodies both were faced with the challenge of provision of quality education via online platforms. Medical institutes called for broad cancelling of in-person medical classes, with most being replaced by recorded lectures or live-streams.

Our experience with online classes was… to put it simply, not the best.

An online class session of Microbiology

Problems ranging from poor internet connectivity to excessive background noise made these online sessions quite troublesome. Combined with the fact that most of our professors were not quite tech-savvy, which led to audio-video disruption and difficulty in learning, we were vexed. Moreover, several of our classmates hailing from remote villages, did not have access to proper internet connection, and were unable to attend the classes, much to our despair.

The experience made us reminisce about the days before the pandemic, and as much as we hated it back then, we can’t help but miss those times.

“Normal classes may have been difficult, but having friends makes it so much more manageable and less stressful. Online classes take out the benefits of having friends to socialize with and being stuck alone with nothing but assignments.”

As students of Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, a premier medical college of India, we’re glad to say that our institute and associated Sir Sunderlal Hospital has been actively combating the tremendous workload of screening and treating an ever-increasing number of COVID-19 suspects with the help of its healthcare professionals, while also doing their best to provide quality education to us.

Amidst the darkness, still there is hope

Despite all of the disease and death ravaging the country, we as medical students have faith in our healthcare workers as they continue in this war against Corona. Looking at the positive aspects, the lock-down has brought about a much needed break from the rigorous routine of medical school and its deadlines.

Recreational activities like cooking and drawing have become quite popular during the lock-down

The pandemic has ushered in loads of free time for recreational things. We can proudly say that we have impressed our mother by picking up the pieces of our co-curricular activities where they were left off before we got busy with the punishing schedule of classes! Most of all, there has been a lot of family time which the entire world had run out of, and the bonds once lost are strengthening day by day. These were the trivial aspects of life that had been lost in our daily hectic routine.

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while we’re waiting”
                                                                                                                                   – Joyce Meyer

The Earth, burdened by the enterprising humans, is recovering in all forms- pollution, wildlife, climate…

A flock of peacocks spotted in BHU

We don’t know what the future holds but aren’t we all waiting with excitement of what we shall do when this phase ends? And definitely hoping to come out as stronger and better individuals.

For now, let’s all hang in there, and have some faith!

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An Article By
                                                                              Prajwal Rai
Sai Tejaswi
Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University
Pictures: Courtesy of Google and Date with Charcoal

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59 thoughts on “COVID-19 – A Glimpse through the Eyes of a Medical Student”

    1. Great Articulation Prajwal and Tej. As you included, this COVID would help us to introspect ourselves and stop being selfish towards Mother Nature and will come out as much more better and stronger individuals . Congratulations and keep it up guys !!!!!!

  1. Accurate assessment of what we can do, what we should do, and what we are doing. Great work guys!!👌👌

  2. This is what we medicos are going on our daily basis now a days…….
    I’m sure after 20-30 years this page will help to memorize these days…..like “wo din bhi kya din the”

  3. Very well articulated and your stressing point is crystal clear. I agree with one of your point that we already witnessing and will see more changes across all platforms all over world after covid-19 as it involves social distance every public gathering event.So definitely we will experience our lives before corona ( BC), After Corona(AC) in every aspect of our life.

  4. Very well written Sai Tejaswi and Prajwal. Kudos to both of you.

    The way we work and interact may change in post covid world. More changes may come in work places, education, e-commerce, shopping, retail, hospitality industries. We can expect to see low touch economy and contactless transactions.

  5. Great job Tej and Prajwal! Your thoughts and views were very well put together in this blog.It is easy to understand and relate to even for a non-medical student.We are thankful for all the people working on the front line during these unprecedented times.I really like how you ended it on positive note. We are all in this together and hope we continue to maintain the spirit of unity even when the pandemic is over.

  6. I can truly correlate with every aspect of a medico’s life which this article has touched. The point which really needs to be discussed asap is the conduction of Online Classes.Moreover, we have lost the opportunity to witness our first ever ELIXIR but as said, there are two sides of coin. This pandemic has made me realise that why this profession is held in such a high esteem and what are our responsibilities as medicos. Yes, its a tough time for humanity but we will surely overcome this darkness with our perseverance 🙂🙂🙂

  7. Wow! That was so relatable!! Amazingly written covering every aspect we as students can think of!!

  8. This article aptly covers every aspect of the present scenario.
    Every medico who comes across this, would definitely realte to every single point mentioned here in no minute.However,the best part being , it ends on an optimistic note ; sending out a strong message to the readers as how important it is to maintain a sense of normality in these difficult times!

  9. The topic of Online classes was covered excellently, the experience is definitely true in my case!😂😂

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