How much oxygen do we take a minute, no one bothered to do the account. It is just a normal act that we do from birth to death. What we do, or get, normally – without any effort – looks like an ordinary thing. We seldom value it. But when the same is snatched from us, or there is a disruption in the routine, we get to know the worth of the thing.
In the second surge of covid pandemic we have seen people dying for a breath of oxygen. The shortage of oxygen cylinders in various hospitals across the country resulted in many deaths that could have been avoided otherwise. The crisis over the short supply of oxygen has brought the entire health system to its knees. The topmost leadership of the country had to attend to this problem with an extra ordinary dose of urgency.
The way everything has now been pushed into service from special railway coaches to aircrafts gives us a sense of the emergency on this count. One can only wish that the efforts to make oxygen available in all the hospitals across India succeed, but it is time to introspect as well.
This introspection, however, should not be with a sense of playing blame-game. Here the human lives are at stake, and all segments of the society need to do everything to ensure that the systems get better, and deliver efficiently.
In J&K this is time to take stock of the situation in terms of the availability of oxygen and other paraphernalia. It is also time to make people understand how to behave in these trying times so that the doctors and other staff do their job the way they deem it professionally fit.
Apart from the government services, the civil society groups who have been helping people all this year need to chip in. These groups also need to bolster up the supplies of oxygen and add to the overall facilities. We all need to do whatever can help in this situation. It is an extraordinary situation, and it needs an extraordinary response.