Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Producer: Zijah Sherwani
I never thought I’d have to address something like this in my wildest dream. It all started when my father tested positive for COVID-19 when we least expected it. We took every precaution possible to prevent ourselves from falling prey to the coronavirus.
While we were already trying to absorb what had happened, we had another problem that was waiting to be dealt with. We were constantly being blamed and humiliated for something that in no way happened to be our fault.
After my father tested positive, we immediately got him admitted to a private hospital and called for the sanitisation team to get the house disinfected. Until now, only a few relatives and one of the families in our neighbourhood knew about this.
The sanitisation team had come, and a couple of days later, everyone in the locality found out – courtesy the viral videos – made by people standing outside our house.
The video was doing the rounds on social media for days, reaching even some of my childhood friends. My parents’ friends staying in other states started calling us after receiving the video on various WhatsApp groups.
The man who had shot the video of our house revealed my father's name and our address, putting our safety at risk. He also went on to claim that the MCD had to force us out of our home, when on the contrary, the men present in the video had come to disinfect the house on our request.
The incident took place when my sister had gone to the terrace and one of our neighbours saw her.
He started recording a video of her where he said, “Look at this girl, she has coronavirus and she lives in this house.”
We felt like criminals in our own house. A few days later, we were also denied essential commodities. Our milkman stopped delivering the milk even refused to keep it outside our main gate, which is far away from the entrance of our house.
These were only a few of the many problems we had to face because of people who started vilifying us. Here on, things only got difficult for us. The past few days have been extremely draining for our family, both mentally and emotionally.
Family Had to Fend COVID-19 Rumours
I knew that the spread of misinformation and fake news would be an important issue that would need our attention in these grim times, but I had never thought it would become so severe. All of this happened when no one in my family, except my father, had tested positive and we were still waiting for our test results.
Anxiety had taken a toll on me and I had to go through a counselling session to be able to look past what happened and prepare myself for what could happen.
When we got back our test results, my mother, sister and I, all three of us had contracted the coronavirus too. The darkness had loomed over us again, but this time, I was able to tell myself that I was stronger, better and a lot more positive, thanks to my counsellors and all those who chose to stand by me and my family.
We are still waiting for my grandparents results, but I am sure we will be faring fine in no time and recover from this. The only thing I can never be sure about is whether I'll ever be able to forget or overcome the humiliation we had to go through while we were fighting a bigger battle.
I have learnt so much in this little time and I am a lot more grateful for all the things I once took for granted, maybe because I had help every time I needed.
Now, I can only request you all to imagine walking a mile in the shoes of those going through this, without any help at all, before treating them like criminals. Instead of shaming COVID-19 infected people for what does not happen to be their fault, show some compassion and empathy towards them. Let's make a promise to fight the virus, not the people infected with it.
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)