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A few months ago, it seemed as if India was well on its way to a post-coronavirus recovery. Daily cases were quickly decreasing, and the numbers were even down 90% from their peak in 2020. In early March, Union health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said they were “in the endgame of the pandemic in India.” With a statement like this, and a decline in cases in recent months, it is understandable why the general population of India felt as if they could slowly lower their guards. However, at the exact same time of Dr. Vardhan’s speech, the number of cases were slowly creeping back up throughout the country. If the nation’s leaders were already boasting about recovery and reopening, how were residents expected to anticipate the second wave that would soon hit the country? They weren’t, and it is this unpreparedness that led India to face a second deadly wave of the coronavirus.
As they hit record high numbers of daily cases, India’s health system continues to struggle against the virus, as an increasing number of hospitals reach maximum capacity and a decreasing number of life-saving medical equipment remain available to use. The early celebrations from the Indian government highlighted their failure to take into consideration the fact that a new wave could re-arise, and this grave mistake is now casting a shadow of misery over the country’s residents.
As most of us watch India’s battle against the virus from across oceans, it is crucial to realize that, not only are these individuals our neighbors’ friends, our friend’s family members, but they very much are real humans; they are people, struggling to protect their loved ones, struggling to get to the next day, struggling to remain optimistic about the future when the present seems so bleak. And furthermore, while not often addressed, they are part of us, they are part of the AAPI community. Oftentimes, some of us fail to account for Indian people when we speak of Asian struggles, but they are just as much part of our community as Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean people. As such, it becomes our duty to rally together and help in any way we can. Please, consider these options.
Here are direct ways to help:
CARE India offers a way to donate money to provide PPE to healthcare professionals in India.
Project HOPE’s donation pool is aimed at sending urgently-needed medical equipment to areas of greatest need in India.
Oxygen for India is rallying to provide medical oxygen to those who need it most.
PATH is working to provide oxygen supplies and to quicken India’s COVID testing speed and surveillance ability.
The New York Times – How to Help India Amid the Covid Crisis