By Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh – INC MLA, East Shillong Constituency
I feel that I must share with you all a few things which I have seen and encountered in these months that have passed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. It will continue to affect our lives in the months to come, and we need to work together. COVID-19 is a real challenge, there is no point to disregard this truth. We have seen the loss of precious lives not only in my constituency but in the whole state and this loss has made me believe that this virus is real. I encourage all the citizens to work together with regard do a few things in order for us defeat the difficulties.
To citizens who have contracted the virus and have tested positive, do not be afraid, disheartened, stressed or be discouraged. Trust the science and doctors. In order to combat severe complications and further spread, you must come forward to get tested and receive the right treatment, whether in the Corona Care Centres if you are asymptomatic, or in hospital if you are experiencing any symptoms.
To neighbours and family members of COVID-19, do not be afraid, disheartened or angry. You must believe that the neighbourhood and your household will help you get through this. Those who need to be tested should come forward, do not wait nor make excuses. The right decision is to come forward as soon as possible in order to stop the spread of this virus.
To the citizens and the community, do not stigmatise patients, hate or speak ill of those who have tested positive. Those who have tested positive are already undergoing enough stress, and with your harsh words they are even more disheartened, which could affect their recovery from the COVID-19 virus. This hurt may not have been inflicted on purpose, but stems from the fear that we are all feeling with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. However if everyone shames them, it will not help their recovery, especially if no one comes froward to help take care of them.
As a legislator, I wanted to share my thoughts based on my experience these past few months. It motivated me to sit down and pen these thoughts to those who are willing to listen to come issues that have really affected me.