In the early stages of the pandemic, we sat safely and comfortably at home. COVID was a matter for the news shows and dinner discussions. This was a good time to catch up with friends and family and countless Ludo King sessions. Disruptions to our businesses and careers, not to mention our lifestyles, were annoyances that occupied our minds - but since we were all in the same boat it seemed okay. Little did we know that that boat was the Titanic!
In May, COVID became real for us – the bubble we were in suddenly burst.
A loved one got infected and we experienced first hand the trauma not just on the patients but also on the family - the search for a hospital bed, the lack of information on what to expect, the treatments being used, the hunt for a plasma donor – it couldn’t not have been any foggier. It all turned out fine but in those four days we felt all the grades of helplessness and desperation that there are. We also realised that millions are going through the same thing.
Our healthcare professionals and governments have been fighting the brave fight for us - We sleep safely in our homes only because they stay risk themselves on the frontlines. But we realized they need help – it was time for the common citizen to join the battle.
A few of us rallied together and decided to do just that. Our first war front - the plasma availability problem. Dhoondh.com was born - A technology platform to connect Plasma donors with patients. Even though the jury is out on whether the therapy works or not (and we sincerely wish that the authorities would help us analyse our data to aid their conclusions), we continue to persevere - even a glimmer of hope is enough for us to keep trying.
As we continued to engage with patients, we also realized that the struggle doesn’t end at the hospital discharge. Many of us have gone through COVID and countless more will go through it. The recovery process is slow and arduous. The disease takes a toll on the body and the mind, not only for the patient but also their loved ones. And most of us are clueless about what to expect in this stage.
Even while we persevere on the plasma front we also believe that the internet is a great medium to address the recovery phases of the disease. Our next priority – to aid the recovered patients through their recovery process and get them back on their feet as fast as possible.
In our journey we met countless likeminded people who were tired of sitting helplessly on the side-lines and wanted to join the fight against COVID. We are all from different walks of life from different parts of the world - some of us are doctors in training, some are technologists and some are entrepreneurs (though in hindsight the technologists and entrepreneurs wish they had listened to their parents when they said “scientist ya doctor bann ja”).
What is common to all however is that we are a group of young 21st century individuals who have decided to enlist themselves in this war of Humanity vs. COVID.