The Covid 19 pandemic brought about by the Coronavirus is showing us a different facet of life. The reactions of human beings to the pandemic and to the people around them are case studies for the faculty of psychology and sociology in general. I am about to narrate an incident of a man and his reckless behavior.
The man’s wife was a patient of mine in the past. The man previously had some gastric issues in the past and he was profusely vomiting. He had consulted me and complained that he had ulcer. Upon examination, I had found that he had partial gastric outlet obstruction which requires surgical intervention. I explained him diligently that the obstruction could be caused by many reasons and ulcer may be a reason. But since his vomiting resolved in few days, he chose not to follow-up.
The couple had a daughter and a son, and the daughter was married. The son who was staying with them had symptoms of Covid19 and it had resolved by itself owing to his young age. Apparently, the infection had spread to the man and he complained of loss of appetite, fever and fatigue. I suspected the illness to be Covid19 and I asked him to take a Covid19 test with the health authorities immediately when they consulted over phone. Since it was early days of the pandemic and we had just opened the clinic after the shut down, we were adhering to the Health Department’s advice of directing the patient to the Government facilities.
When the wife insisted that he got tested, he feared a social taboo. He carried on with his routine without isolating himself. His wife who would listen to my advice was pushing for him to get tested as his condition was deteriorating slowly but steadily. He quarreled with his wife and son to not get tested and had abused them. Fearing him, they both left to their native.
With no one at home, he tended to himself. His condition severely deteriorated. He then called his married daughter and asked her to take him for a visit to my clinic. He did not inform his daughter about his condition and my suspicion that he might have Covid19. His pregnant daughter not knowing all these facts came with her husband and immediately rushed him to my clinic.
Upon arrival, I immediately recognized he was severely affected by the Coronavirus and had to literally shout at him for not following my advice on testing, isolating and getting treatment. I was outraged by the fact that he did not inform my previous consultation details to his pregnant daughter. Fearing that he might pass on the coronavirus to his pregnant daughter, I literally had to order his daughter to stay away from him and isolate herself.
What kind of man would put his pregnant daughter’s life at risk? Can fear of social taboo be so strong that they can overlook the wellbeing of their loved ones? Or is it simple callousness? The world we live is indeed a strange place. The human mind is indeed stranger.