Jessinda Mathew, one of our program team members in India, still remembers the afternoon of 26 February 2020 when her 75-year-old mother-in-law called her to say she had difficulty breathing. She immediately rushed to be with her in a small costal town 1,370 kilometres from Mumbai, where Jessinda was working.
“The week that followed was one of the most exhausting I had experienced,” says Jessinda, Senior Program Associate, WASH, UNICEF India.
“We ran between hospitals, tests, medicines, ventilators, which woke me up to the hard reality of what the disease is all about. At that time, wearing masks was still very new; people were not quite serious about it.”
"There are lots of such compassionate
and kind actions that make me believe
in humanity once again."
Fast forward to 2021 and Jessinda is watching as her friends look for ICU beds and her colleagues are desperate for oxygen cylinders. But what keeps her going is seeing everyone come together to support each other.
“There are stories of friends driving miles to give an oxygen cylinder to a friend in need; an elderly man giving up his bed and people cooking food for patients who are at home.”
“There are lots of such compassionate and kind actions that make me believe in humanity once again and that ‘we will overcome this, and we will overcome this together’.”