Khawaja Saud Masud
Pick your 6 feet — apart or under!
Resistance to change is our Achilles heel in the fight against Coronavirus
As I was walking towards the hospital’s emergency entrance, I saw a mob of men and women, some old, some young, and a couple in wheelchairs. This was yesterday when I took a family relative for a serious health issue, though not coronavirus related.
Not only were there heated debates on the 1+1 policy, i.e. one patient to be accompanied by only one attendant into the hospital, the amount of physical contact among two dozen or so people including security guards was horrifying. With each push and pull, I felt like they were all inadvertently involved in a collective suicide ritual of sorts.
I stood at a distance and shouted out ‘stand apart’ and ‘spread out’ and ‘at least 6 feet’ but frankly no one with the exception of an old lady in the wheelchair looked my way. What I was witnessing was nonexistent control over implementation of the 1+1 policy at one of the top hospitals despite having adequate number of security guards at their disposal. There was no protocol to remind us that we were no longer living in pre-Covid-19 times — no one making cues and no one overseeing social distancing requirements.
Yes there were signs and banners stating only one person to accompany the patient but that assumes our public would be paying attention to such notifications as they were rushing to bring in their loved ones on wheelchairs and some even in their arms — all converging at one narrow doorway manned by four guards. The security personnel were yelling over each other repeating the policy angrily and pointing to the banners as if it was not something they had made up. It was unadulterated mayhem.
I asked a doctor walking past me who was in charge here. He kept walking, face down checking his smartphone and muttered, God! I then walked to the other entrance looking for an administrator when two men from the administration staff and one doctor started walking casually over to the emergency entrance with neither one wearing a mask or gloves. It looked like everyone at the hospital was numb to all stimuli and the only protocol enforced at the hospital was to ‘play it cool.’
I took my relative for his checkup through another door and after registration, as I entered the waiting room, I saw another nearly two dozen people sitting next to each other despite having enough space to accommodate twice their strength. Less than half had masks on. I pulled up a chair and placed into the right corner of the room and had my relative sit at a safe distance way from everyone.
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