BHOPAL: Nurses posted in the Covid wards of the cityís hospitals have played the role of mothers of Covid-positive children admitted to hospitals. They feed and give them medicines. They play with them and tell them stories. They try their best to keep them happy and comfortable as they would their own children, even as they have to keep away from the latter due to fear of infection.
Unlike most other diseases, Covid patients have to be in isolation. Their family and friends cannot meet them. While it is difficult for even adults to cope with this situation, for children, it is next to impossible.
And it is here that the nurses have a role to play. On the eve of Motherís Day, Free Press spoke to some of them. Excerpts:
False promises to save the day
I'm the mother of two kids-a boy and a girl. We have to look after children, right from newborns to 14-year-olds, who canít live with their mothers for any reason; she may be too sick or may be Covid-positive and so forth. We have to play the role of their mothers. In fact, while taking care of them, sometimes, we don't even feel that they arenít our children. This child needs me and I have to do whatever I can for her, that is the feeling. And I have no words to describe how happy we feel when such children recover and go back home. There's a separate children's section in the Covid ward. Over the past year, I've seen many children of 8-14 years' age group getting cured and going back home. Some naugty kids categorise nurses as 'achhee wali didi' and ëgandi wali didií. Some demand toffees from us. Most of the times, we make false promises that weíll bring toffees the next day.Chandrika Sandeep Patankar
Saving babies from C+ moms
I'm the mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl. My husband works for a pharma company. I've been doing Covid duty for the past year. Saving babies born to Covid-positive mothers from turning positive is a challenge. After the delivery of such children, we take them to their mother only for breastfeeding. The rest of the time, we look after the baby. So far, we've succeeded in protecting all the babies born to Covid-positive mothers from acquiring the disease. In the case of older children suffering from Covid, we have to take complete care of them as their families canít enter the ward. We have to look after them as we would our own children, in fact, more than that, because they're sick, too. Last year, when I went back home after a gap of 20 days, my daughter refused to recognise me.Nilam Pawar
Taking care of their emotions
I have two daughters; one is six and the other 11. Iíve left my younger daughter in the care of my mother to protect her from getting infected. The elder one is living with me. Iíve been working as a nurse for the past 14 years. I stay in a separate room at home when Iím on duty in the Covid ward. As for Covid-positive kids, we have to take complete care of them. We have to take care of their physical, as well as emotional needs. Some children get depressed and even refuse to eat food. We have to tell them motivational stories. Kabhi-kabhi apne hathon se khana khilana padta hai. We have to treat them as we would our own children. In fact, at times, while playing with them, I even forget my own children. Once or twice, it so happened that, when my duty ended, a child was on oxygen support and, after reaching home, I phoned my colleagues to know how he was. We wish and pray for the recovery of every child.Vandana Lokhande
We have to become their friends
I live in a joint family with my husband and two childrenóa daughter,9, and son, 4. Weíd all become Covid-positive. While all others recovered at home, my mother-in-law, husband and I had to get admitted to a hospital. We want to make sure that the children admitted to the ward donít miss their parents. We have to become their friends. We have some board games, such as Ludo and Snakes and Ladders in the ward. We play with the children. We make them feel comfortable and happy. We know itís risky to be in close contact with Covid patients. But this is our duty and we have to do it. If we wonít do the work, who will?Kalpana Soni