This deadly novel pandemic has brought whole world to its knees. I think this is the most unfortunate time in world's history. It is rolling with equal ferocity across every community including smart cities and rural ones. It does no discrimination. On the other hand, there are unending efforts to mitigate the spread of this novel covid 19 pandemic. Under such terrible and scary circumstances health care workers including lab professionals and medical researchers are always on the front to combat this pandemic. But this is so unfortunate that our society has been taking their role as for granted. Laboratory professionals are always on the front lines 24/7 ensuring that testing is done according to standard operating procedures. They are handling the blood specimen of covid 19 patients and analyze them with selfless determination putting their lives at risk just to save humanity. They are the unsung heroes in this effort as they are actually the backbone of health care system. From sample collection (oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs) from suspected patients to sample processing where they are at higher risk to get infected from this deadly virus they are silently working behind the scenes. Then the administration and common people came to know the current status of the pandemics. While people across India and around the globe are largely confined to their homes these lab professionals are putting their lives at risk with selfless determination for the sake of saving our lives. These warriors are truly the real heroes in such challenging and unprecedented times. Sometimes they are being ostracized from communities as they are working in labs dealing and exposed with this novel virus. Need of the hour for them was to remain isolated and contract this contagious infection. They are doing the same and giving sacrifice of their loved ones and cutted themselves from their families since this novel infection appeared. The only source for them to contact with their family was through phones that also remain suspended here as we are living in a discriminatory land called Kashmir. So it is really a nightmare for all healthcare personals as well. This sacrifice is priceless and deserves lifelong gratitude. Meanwhile, this pandemic teaches us the lesson to reassess the value of medical researchers in our society. Right now we are craving for the covid 19 vaccine so that we get rid of this deadly infection. Alas our Government is so lenient regarding the research in our valley and we don't get any much funding and resources for the research projects as far as the Kashmir is concerned. So unfortunate, we are desperately waiting for the western countries to get vaccine prepared. This is really pathetic. From the meager resources and funding, medical researchers are working day and night, against all odds, hoping to find the antidote to the disease.
We should also express our gratitude to lab professional and medical researchers for every late night, every extra shift. Every missed Sehri and Iftari at home. We should thank them not only for the sacrifice they continue to make for us all, but the sacrifices their families and loved ones are making in kind.
Gowhar Rashid is a PhD Researcher, SKIMS Srinagar