In the middle of an earth-shattering pandemic, there is this consistent belief about how this might be the apocalypse or the end of human rule. A part of my brain was always convinced that only one thing had the ability to truly wipe out the human race, and it was unadulterated hate. On a daily […]
In the middle of an earth-shattering pandemic, there is this consistent belief about how this might be the apocalypse or the end of human rule. A part of my brain was always convinced that only one thing had the ability to truly wipe out the human race, and it was unadulterated hate. On a daily basis, the news terrifies me. What startles me is not just the statistics associsted with the pandemic but also the hate crimes and genocide. This truly seemed and felt like the end. It was at this point that I discovered volunteering.
Volunteering presented itself as a reality check.
If I were to tell you that volunteering is a cheerful journey, I would be kidding.
It is consuming, to say the least. You start hearing your loved ones among the people crying for help. It kills you to wake up everyday knowing that you narrowly missed helping someone the day before. The uncertainty of the entire situation, the crippling anxiety associated with it, and the futility of life is harrowing.
Initially, the escalating numbers were the reason that had me signing up. A few days later, they ceased to be just numbers. Every time I entered ‘deceased’ on the data sheet, it felt like a personal loss. It hurt to move on. Strangers separated by distance were now everything to me. In a lot of ways, I connected with them.
But amidst all this, there was a glimmer of hope that we all held on to. It was about how strangers truly cared about helping other strangers. I virtually met people who were constantly sacrificing their day to save someone else’s. Their investment in the work, the dedication and the concern they demonstrated gave me faith and hope in humanity like never before.
Now I know that if I don’t make it through the pandemic, my loved ones will never truly be alone.
The things I witnessed reassured me that there would be someone checking in on them, getting them breakfast or helping them move on.
That there would be someone helping them breathe.
That a human who never quite knew me would pause and observe a minute of silence for me.
The solidarity that comes with this realisation is EVERYTHING.
So, to all the frontline warriors, healthcare professionals, donors, volunteers and all the others trying to help, there is only one thing I have to say. It is that as long as people like you exist, granted that an unfaltering love of this kind exists, nothing can truly wipe us out.
You helped save me and hence I’ll help save you. And together, we will save the world or at least try to.
Writer: Annie Iniya J