How many lives (of parents/elderly) are being lost during this COVID-19 pandemic?

A person’s true colors become visible during a crisis. And especially during crises like the current COVID-19 one, these colors are being exhibited as if the whole spectrum of light wants to exhibit all its colors in one go. Everyone loves life. Who doesn’t love it? Also, everyone loves money, right? There is a saying in Kannada language — ‘Hana nodidre hena eddi koodtade!’ meaning if a dead body sees money, even it will get up and sit! Jokes apart, life and money are inextricably linked in this world of ours.

People behave one way until someone is alive and totally differently once the person passes away. But that is not the point of this article. I am wondering how many people are letting their elderly pass away due to several reasons. Like ill-perceived shame, fear of being taken away en masse to hospitals, etc.. In many countries, people are more worried about others and what others think about them than anything else. Is this really worth thinking about? But still people pay more attention to this.

And in this process, act as ‘passive’ euthanasia agents. Everyone in today’s world are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. On the one hand, not every cold, cough, and fever result in COVID-19. But medical attention is an absolute sine qua non especially when dealing with the lives of the elderly among us. And some of the elderly might even require hospitalization. Which unfortunately is not being resorted to due to the reasons mentioned above and several others too.

What everyone has to never forget is an old story which I read during my childhood. I don’t remember the exact story so I have used it with a bit of liberty (incorporating my own changes) here. An elderly person is not looked after by his son when the former becomes sick and bed-ridden. The son is about to throw his father outside and actually digs a grave when the small grandson of the elderly person steps in and confronts his dad.

“You cannot throw away my grandpa like this?” says the young child to his father.

“Why?” asks the father.

“Well, don’t forget one thing if you throw grandpa outside our home. Tomorrow when you become old and sick, I will do the same with you. So prepare another grave right now.” says the child.

“How dare you talk to me like that?” growls the child’s father.

“Well, how dare you treat my grandpa like this?” asks the child.

The child’s father though angry for a moment suddenly realizes the enormity of his act and becomes very ashamed of himself. He silently starts crying and respectfully carries his old father back inside his home. He kisses reverently upon the old man’s forehead.

We should never forget for a moment that our younger generation is always watching our every step. And trust me, history certainly repeats.

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Jameel Shaik

I have a Bachelor's degree in Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) from India and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University, USA.