Covid 19 Dr Kotnis Remembered

Renu Kotwal
Few weeks back one of my teachers told me about “Dr. Kotnis ki amar kahani”. A movie based on real life of an Indian doctor who arrived in Wuhan, China to help in medical healthcare of China. In 1938 China was struggling with Japanese invasions, Dr.Kotnis was part of a team of doctors from India who arrived in China to help the wounded soldiers of China. Dr. Kotnis chose staying in China to cure people in an epidemic over returning safely to India. He successfully cured people from a virulent disease. Dr.Kotnis did surgeries for 72 hours without rest and deteriorated his own health and died young.
Corona a novel virus has hit the world hard. We are under lockdown to save ourselves. This is the only solution. This virulent disease, made us sit at our homes and wait till we find a cure. Even rich countries like USA, UK, Italy and China which have high class healthcare systems failed to control the spread of Corona. What makes me think again and again about Dr. Kotnis is the news about doctors and medical staff all over the world who are working day and night to save lives from corona. Some Indian doctors are serving in Wuhan, they remind me of Dr. Kotnis’s story. He used to write happy letters to his family and never told them about his struggle of working day and night to cure patients.
News channels are showig that families and landlords are not allowing doctors and medical related staff to enter their homes. They think it would bring corona to their homes. So these overworked, overstressed and tired doctors and nurses are being mistreated. If we look back at history, we could find so many incidents where good people were discarded by societies. Why history rhymes?
On 22nd of March, whole India showed their gratitude towards doctors and all those working for our safety and after one day news about evicting doctors and nurses was flashing everywhere. This is so confusing. How superficial is the gratitude? Also doctors in India are working with very limited safety suits and masks. Social media is flooded with messages from doctors appealing people to stay at home. Still we see news of lock down violations.
Dr.Li Wenliang who was whistleblower of the dangers of corona virus died too. This pandemic of corona made this earth look like something like a Marvel movie. Dr. Wenliang death is mysterious too. He was locked by police for spreading rumours of virus spread. But his rumour is now the most visible truth. A doctor who worked with Dr. Wenliang died because of continuous exposure to infected patients.
Those doctors and nurses who are still working selflessly restore our faith in humanity.
Real life story of Dr.Kotnis was titled ” And one did never come back” by its writer Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. I wonder what if doctors give up on us? what would happen then? Some retired doctors are again rushing to hospitals to help in curing this pandemic. They never return back once they start practicing this profession. And all they want from us is “Stay at home” and maybe let them enter into their homes after they return back curing some patients.