From South Asia to Africa to Latin America, the pandemic is confronting developing countries with a public health emergency combined with an economic crisis, each exacerbating the other. (Representational Image)
For Rajendra Jodhpurkar, who was discharged after 14 days' treatment on Thursday, the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) was like a “boxing match” which he knew he would win.
When the 44-year-old IT professional returned home on Thursday, his two children, an 18-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter, and his parents, were emotional. “I will be under home quarantine for 14 more days. So they welcomed me by keeping their distance. I couldn't hug them physically. But I did give them a mental hug,” Jodhpurkar told The Indian Express, over the phone.
He said, “It was like a bout of boxing. I knew I was going to win because I have faith in the message of the Bhagavad Gita that one's duty is fight with evil.”
During his 14-day stay at Indira Gandhi Medical College, the only way for him to communicate with his family was over the mobile phone. “Even the CEO of my company made video calls to me daily. It felt nice,” Jodhpurkar said.
He reserves special thanks for the doctors and paramedics. “I cooperated fully. It was a government hospital and not a three-star hotel. I am proud of them,” he said.
Asked how his 14-day stay was, Jodhpurkar said, “I don't think much about the past or future. I believe in living in the moment, which is what I did.”
Jodhpurkar mused philosophical about his illness and recovery. “The body needs food. But it is mental energy that gives power to the body. Intellect gives you mental energy. I have faith in the Almighty, who has helped me so many times. I had that at the back of my head. It helped a lot,” he says.
The Jodhpurkar family faced a hard time when a newspaper published his identity in its report. The locality where they reside had “virtually ostracised” his children and parents.
Asked what he plans to do first after 14 days of home quarantine, Jodhpurkar said, “I haven't thought about it as yet. But over the next 14 days, I will do a lot of sketching. One would be about the clash between collective fear versus collective wisdom. Through it, I wish to convey the importance of the latter over the former, something which is so necessary to underscore during these trying times.”