Many in my extended family have COVID. One of my school teachers died today, one of mom's friends died last week as did one of my friends' dad.

A good acquaintance is in ICU with 80% of his lungs damaged. My closest friend from college is positive and hasn't replied in 3 days.
My dad's a doctor but he's a private GP, not a lung specialist, so every weekend I ask him to at least reduce his hours. He says his patients need him. He practices in a very working class area so they don't have tons of doctors to go to anyway.
I feel both proud and terrified.
He says at least 30-40 of the people who come to him have COVID symptoms.

According to him West Bengal — my home state — produces 3-4x the volume of oxygen needed in emergencies. But much of it got shipped off to other states in the last few weeks so now there is a shortage.
Vaccination rates and testing have also slowed down due to shortages caused by the sudden surge. Emergency steroids are hard to come by.

People are spending thousands to obtain steroids and oxygen on the black market for their ill family-members or relatives.
In the last 10 days, 1,200+ hospital beds have been added in my home city, Calcutta. There is still a shortage.

Calcutta is not an epicenter like Delhi and I hope it won't become one. In Delhi pet cemeteries have been opened up for funeral rites because there is no space left.
Things are expected to get pretty bad in Calcutta soon. After weeks of election rallies, cases in West Bengal have already surged by 1500%

Yes, you read that right. It is not a typo.

Medical staff at all levels are already exhausted and burned out.
Even if a patient manages to get a bed, they might have to deal with another nightmarish ordeal: Watching fellow patients in the beds around them die because the oxygen supply or steroids have run out.
Hitting peak is still some way off. The most optimistic estimate says cases will hit peak in early-May and deaths in mid- to late-May.

India's likely to record 12-15k deaths daily during that period.

These are official numbers and likely undercounts.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, one in three people have COVID. My friends and cousins say they are basically sitting around waiting to test positive.

If they go up to their terrace or balconies in the evenings, they can see parts of the sky glow orange from scores of cremation pyres.
We share stupid jokes about random things because what else can you even do.

"Yeah, death is now pretty common," one of them texted today.

Delhi is my most favorite city in the world. Many of my fondest memories revolve around that city. It's heartbreaking to see it this way.
Internationally, India is known for its doctors and engineers. It is the 5th largest economy, makes 60% of the world's vaccines and can undertake such drives at scale. It's ridiculous that all of this is happening.

Why? Unheeded warnings, zero planning and breathtaking hubris.
Indians have an overbearing sense of "duty" with little idea of what it means. We have no conception of rights and label those who demand them as unpatriotic. We tend to stoically absorb tremendous losses, shrug and move on. We really shouldn't. People should be held accountable.

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