By Nazrul Islam
Dhaka – A photograph has gone viral on social media showing youth holding a food-bowl on with his fingers to the lower cliff of the first floor veranda from the below.
His left hand holding to a window to hold on and helpless dog kneeling down with his head stretched as much as possible to reach the bowl containing a relishing meal.
Alone at the home, the dog is helpless as his owner has been hospitalised with novel coronavirus. The youth, a close neighbor, did not forget the dog at the time of such a health crisis. He does it every day, religiously.
The photograph is said to have taken in Spain, one of the European nations where the virus is wreaking havoc. More than 6,500 people died and above 78,000 contacted the virus, first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and spread to 192 countries to date.
Feeding the dog twice daily in absence of his owner is one of thousands of examples of humanitarian response worldwide during this surreal period of survival.
Not very far from Spain, the situation in Italy is grimmer. More than 10,700 people died and 97,000 infected. More than 40 health officials, including doctors, died while working in grueling shifts to battle the fast rising number of infections.
The country is still in the battle against the invisible enemy. Many health officials are still working with no gloves as stocks are limited.
In response to a call from the government, nearly 65,000 retried former nurses and doctors returned to work to join the global fight against novel coronavirus. Also, joined the fresh medical graduates with courage to fight the crisis.
Hospital authorities deployed a 94-year old doctor to look after the outpatient unit despite the courageous physician wanted to treat the Covid-19 patients at London hospital. His vulnerability was taken into consideration while redeploying in the fight against coronavirus, Morium Begum, a Bangladeshi expatriate in Britain said.
Residents in New York, the current epicenter of the Covid-19 disease with deaths climbing every hour, put a big THANK YOU at the park in front of the busy Elmhurst Hospital.
They expressed gratitude to health officials tirelessly serving the patients day and night. The most densely-populated US city has now nearly 60,000 infections with 965 deaths.
The Mayor of New York noticed it a put an emotion chocked message on his microblogging Twitter feed.
“It feels like there aren’t enough words to express how we feel about at the heroes working at NYC Health + Hospitals and all our hospitals to save lives in the crisis.
But the community left a message across the street from Elmhurst hospital with two words (Thank You) we need,” Tweeted Bill de Blasio. All they have extended hands to save lives irrespective of colour, creed, race, religion and origin.
As humanity takes hold in other parts of the world to face the crisis hand in hand, the flip side is at our home is appalling.
It is unacceptable to see that the novel corona virus affected people are stigmatized in Bangladesh, with social castigation. The physicians and medical staffs are seemingly afraid.
Allegations are piling up that patients having primary symptoms of Covid-19 are not generally attended or treated at hospitals whether in Dhaka or elsewhere. Reports are in abundance that people having cough or fever or running nose are denied at almost every hospital in the country.
The latest media report that a valiant freedom fighter of Bangladesh’s 1971 war of liberation died on Sunday after hospitals one after other refused to take him in. Mohammad Almas Uddin died at Mugda Hospital in the capital Dhaka after major health facilities denied his admission in the last couple of days, alleged his son, according to a report published on the web version of Bangladesh Protidin.
A social media outcry was seen in the last week after the city authorities fixed a graveyard in Dhaka for burial in case of deaths related to covid-19. A group of local residents hung a banner at the graveyard’s gate asking the authorities to revise its decision.
Ah! Shame!! As if these people will never die. How shameless can we be? Whom are we mocking at! Should we stand scornful forever?
If we can’t stand by the people at this hard time, what is the meaning of saying we are for others! Why we simply can’t be humane. Is it a failure of our previous generation or the entire system is flawed with the social and political institutions waning? Bangladesh has to look deep into it. Look deep into its social psyche and educate its populace to be humane, kind.
Still, we must not falter and hope humanity wins at this tough time!