On May 2, the Animation content writer had just finished his routine animation work for the day. Balram suddenly experienced severe body pain followed by vomiting, sweat, red-eye, cough, and high temperature.
He decided to get his testing done from a nearby lab. To his shock, he tested positive for COVID-19. Balaram then went to the allocated COVID quarantine centre at Laxmi Industrial Estate. Meanwhile, things quickly changed in his home surroundings. Following the quarantine rule, his family was not allowed to get out of their house, As the tension piled up at both the sides, Balaram’s journey to recovery was just like any other young individual. Fear, thoughts of uncertainty, stress and the dilemma. “It takes a heavy mental toll on your family and your mental health,” adds Balram.
Even after spending 5 days at the quarantine centre, his situation deteriorated. He was then shifted to Cooper hospital and finally, Balram recovered from the novel coronavirus infection. But his journey from a fearful patient to a champion started, post his recovery. One day, Balram got a call from Dr. Kusum Gupta, Head of CCC2 facility at Laxmi Industrial Estate. “She said they found it difficult to counsel some of their patients since no one wants to come to the ward. She asked if I could help them to clear their paranoia,” he said. Balram immediately agreed to assist the doctor.
“I was handling six patients at a time. I went to the wards and introduced myself and made them comfortable to talk, eventually trying to make them feel safe. I reassured the whole treatment procedure and would ask them to keep hope. While I was speaking with patients, I realised that they were in a state of panic due to WhatsApp forwards which claimed that there is an order from the higher authority to kill COVID-19 patients by injecting a drug in their body! In the time of the pandemic, WhatsApp forwards has done more harm than helping people.”
He nearly spoke to 110 patients and aimed to encourage willpower in them. “It is upon us to decide whether we want to have a feeling of guilt or pride when we look back at our role during this pandemic. People who discriminate against COVID-19 positives will have a terrible time. Be an example to future generations,” Balram says.
Balaram continued to counsel people who test positive for corona. He made sure they don’t get scared when they were asked to get shifted into a hospital. There are rare citizens like Balaram, who voluntarily go out of their way to help others with their learnings and experiences and motivate them to cope up with the testing time. Balram has truly been a Corona Champion who continues to spread hope in the time of fear.