Editorial: India's hour of pandemic devastation

  • People wait to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India, Thursday. India is setting global records in new virus cases.

    People wait to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India, Thursday. India is setting global records in new virus cases. Associated Press Photo

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 5/2/2021 5:43 PM

When you look at the images and the stories coming out of India, you are not human if you are not moved to tears. Such suffering and hardship and hopelessness.

So many COVID-19 victims there die in their homes and in the streets that no one knows what the full extent of the death toll is.

 

The surge in India is infecting more than 300,000 people a day, claiming in the official statistics more than 3,000 lives a day.

Hospital beds and oxygen supplies are far short of the need. Relatives, friends, neighbors, with only limited protective gear, are desperately assisting the sick, putting themselves at risk as they do.

This is what happens when the pandemic outstrips the capacity of the health care system to respond.

It is beyond tragic. It is devastating.

Our hearts go out to the victims and to their families and to the brave humanitarians who are struggling to save them.

Our hearts go out also to the hundreds of Indian-Americans and Indian immigrants living here in the suburbs, worrying and grieving for family, friends and acquaintances back in their native land.

"You feel so helpless," Namrata Khare of Palatine told our Madhu Krishnamurthy last week. Khare has lost three extended family members to the surge.

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There are things we all can do to help.

One of them is to contribute to the BAPS Charities relief effort through BAPS Shri Swaminararyan Mandir, the temple in Bartlett. You can do so online at bapscharities.org/usa/.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin based in Oak Brook is raising funds to provide oxygen. You can donate to its campaign online at https://events.aapiusa.org/donation-oxygen.

Among other relief efforts: the American India Foundation, AmeriCares, Care India, Oxygen for India, Project Hope, and UNICEF USA. Google their names online or find the links on the digital version of this editorial at dailyherald.com.

Not long ago, many in India believed that the country largely had been spared in this pandemic, that it had survived the first wave and that the pandemic was over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

There's a lesson in that for all of us. Some here in the U.S. promote the notion that the pandemic has been exaggerated. Some here believe the pandemic is over.

It wasn't. And it isn't.

There is light ahead, along with better days. But let's not allow ourselves to waste all the trials and sacrifice we have been through by letting up too soon.

There is light ahead. Let's all get to it by embracing common sense safeguards. There are better days to come. Let's love each other enough to reach them.

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