Thu. May 28th, 2020

An Impassioned Appeal from Abroad


By Syed Shamsuddin

Apropos the passionate appeal contained in, and emerging from a video that came into circulation on social media the other day. The video was posted by Noor Pamiri – a New York-based GBian and the co-founder of Pamir Times – the pioneering community news and views portal of Gilgit-Baltistan, Kohistan, Chitral and the surrounding mountain areas – a voluntary, not-for-profit, non-partisan and independent venture initiated by the youth which  hectically engaged in portraying and highlighting issues related to these mountain communities.

Put in a nutshell, it unveils the pandemic-related travails Pamiri faced for the preceding 19 days on having been taken ill with Covid-19 symptoms so abruptly when says:‘By the Grace of God Almighty, was on the path of gradual recovery and has by now, recuperated to greater extent but nevertheless, am still forced to remain in isolation from my children until I finally go for an ‘Anti-body test essentially required for ascertaining complete restoration of the immune  system.’

The videoed cri de coeur is aimed at sharing the horrific experience with his countrymen here in Pakistan to beware them of the fatality of the pandemic requiring everyone of us to take it very seriously and take all the precautionary measures indispensably needed to prevent the spread. It underlines the great significance of abiding by and strict adherence the  crucial ‘guidelines’put in place and being implemented by each nation to break the spread in pursuance of the guidelines being enforced by each nation in stemming the tide of the virulence i.e. Covid-19. It gets unfolded that while in New York, he came face to face with the life and death struggle 3 about weeks ago when he sadly felt the symptoms of the pandemic which has literally ripped though that city of the United States with death and destruction looming overhead.

It appears from the video how the ominously tends to sap the sufferers energy and renders emaciated and how overpowering its horrendous impact could be especially to those people who are already subject to emaciated health and how it leaves one so enfeebled and whining and writhing under its baneful impact by literally shattering nerves as if one were faced with palsy making the sufferer the very ramshackle of a figure, piteous and pitiable.

Precisely, the video starts with: “ I am Noor Pamiri and am in Ney York city at the moment. I want to disseminate awareness in regard toConid-19 in keeping with my own experience. About two weeks ago, some intense symptoms appeared in me which included problem in breathing, high fever accompanied by diarrhea. During the initial four days, I experienced excruciating bodily pains that left me whining and writhing while alongside, the condition was generative of great fear as well, in seeing that numerous dwellers of Ney York suffered mortality and the second distressing situation was my the concomitant fear lest I should cause its spread to my children and wife. Both these fears tormentingly gripped me.

Generally when one comes face to face with a situation like this and gets into the claws of fear, it concomitantly gives rise to a spiritual pain and anguish as well, because you are on one hand, suffering bodily pain yourself while on the other, you do not want to become instrumental in causing it to others especially those who are endeared to you so much, those who are very near to your heart.

Preliminarily for  5-6 days, I suffered from high fever, ceaseless cough with throat inflammation and unbearable chest pain left me tossing. I faced great problem in having sleep let alone soundtly, as a slight movement of my body would cause inexplicable pangs especially the chest pain that it wrought about. I felt I could not move at all. For 2 days, I had to recline with my back on to the bed. As the severity kept further compounding, we had to call for the ambulance-911 who arrived and carried out preliminary check-up. They were in the protective gear appearing like astronauts. After checking, they said: ‘You have the symptoms but nonetheless, these are not so severe and life-threatening. You therefore, need not be taken to the hospital.’ They however, gave an ordinary medicine and advised for maximal use of citruses and citrus-based fruits like oranges, lemon etc. in liquid forms. As I was required to give a paper to my office, I was constrained to go out on the seventh day and get to what is called here ‘Urgent Clinic’ which is rather different from ordinary hospitals. They however, checked and carried out tests like chest –Ray etc. and came out with the diagnosis of pneumonia explaining further that there symptoms of Covid-19 too but not that the gravity of the problem is not that worrisome. They advised me to go home and keep taking the medicines but to remain in isolation which I did compliantly and gradually, witnessed recovery. Now, I seldom cough but it is not of that intensity anyway. Fever is gone and difficulty in breathing diminished while I can sleep soundly now. It is now 18-19 days of this ordeal. After 02 weeks’ leave from my work, I have now started working by the Grace of God Almighty. The nature of my work is such that it can be done online. It includes dealing with emails, documents and meetings – all that I can do via internet at home. Thanks God I am relieved of the greatest agony but nonetheless, I still cannot dare meet my children. I feel I can’t at present until such time I go for an ‘anti-body’s test’ which is now said to have begun here. It is the test alone, it is said, makes it well discernible whether one having suffered from the disease and recovered has regained immunity i.e become immune or not.

I, however, am not very much clear whether or not I shall be in a position to get that. But since I am a social worker associated with a social work agency, it is learnt that they preferentially treat the social workers in this regard. But nonetheless, I do not know how to go about it because it is a very big city of 8-9 million inhabitants. You may have learnt that the city has been rocked by the pandemic with about ten thousand Coronavirus-related deaths recently. Thousands are still hospitalized, a large number have luckily recovered among whom I happen to be one Alhamdolillah, he says. In further, he entreats all of us here in Pakistan, to be very much cautious, strictly adhere to and abide by the guidelines and be cooperative to the government. ‘I exercised very much caution too. I would unfailingly wear gloves as well as mask while commuting but despite this all, the virus got me and I do not know how, he explains. Reiterating his entreaty, he advised us all to take all the preventive measures in seeing that if God forbid, the virus gets hold of you, it caused untold bodily pain and literally shatters one’s health, you get immensely perspired at one time you are virtually in an oven while on another, you feel cold that chills. You are simultaneously in ‘Tandor’ and Shandur’ at the same time he put it metaphorically.

Of the chest pain it wreaks, he says, it is like a heavy weight placed on your chest rendering you incapable of breathing. Since there is no cure for it, care and preventive measures alone are the way out. So be advised that you wash your hands again and again daily and abide by the imperative of social distancing and remaining subject to lockdowns as per governmental instructions.’

Indeed, the broad spectrum of possibility of its spread looms large while the degree of its being serious remains quite unpredictable. It is to be recalled that there was the 1918 flu the previous century which was a public health catastrophe with 50 million plus people worldwide died. The there was the 1968 flu which was relatively mild, not significantly greater than the seasonal flu. There is therefore, the potential of there being a very serious public health catastrophe as they way the current pandemic surge and consequent scare it has caused so far points to.

There is a flurry of activity in seeing the current incapacity of the cumulative healthcare system to meet the unprecedented challenges in the absence of any cure to the current pandemic. This is because the nations and even the world powers, did not pay the lest attention in a futuristic manner, to build up a robust healthcare system and instead, spent more on bringing out deadly/lethal arsenal, reckless spending on conflict generation and conflict continuation around the planet that has resulted into the current apocalyptic situation worldover instead of putting in place a healthcare system for being able to come to grips with the worst case scenario. Let us vow to fight the pandemic by simply being observant of the guidelines under reference. It is by way of this simple methodology, the virus can be prevented from spreading and passing from one person to other.

The writer is a Gilgit-based freelance contributor, blogger. He can be reached at Email: shamskazmi.syed@gmail.com . Read more at: www.windowtogb.blogspot.com

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