A month or so ago, when the numbers had begun their climb upwards but not to the extent we see now, one of the minions in the office of MMM’s good lady began coughing. Alarm bells were rung at once and the man was packed off to undergo a test. Sure enough he was infected and everyone in MMM’s good lady’s office was faced with the question of what was to be done with the patient. The problem was that the man was from up north and his wife and children had remained there. He lived all by himself in the city and now that he was ill, there was no way that he could manage by himself. And so it was decided that he had to get admitted, at one of the Government-run facilities. Those were days when the city was not yet hard up for beds or oxygen at hospitals and so securing admission was a simple matter. He had to just present himself at the Omandurar Government Estate and all would be well. 

Now you can take a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink. And that is exactly what was faced. The man just refused to go to the hospital. He was not ill he declared and so it seemed, for his cough had vanished overnight and there was no other symptom. And yet, there was the certificate declaring him to be as sick as mud. MMM’s good lady turned to MMM, he being an adept in the mother tongue of the patient and he convinced the man that he had to go. And so off he went. At the Omandurar Estate they directed him to another facility, also Government run and bade him get admitted there. This was not to the liking of the patient and he managed to sweet talk one of the doctors into letting him off for being asymptomatic. The news having reached MMM’s good lady, panic buttons were once again pressed, MMM got on to the phone and convinced the man he had to get admitted at the second facility. 

The next morning, the man was back on the phone. The place was not okay he declared. And when MMM enquired as to what exactly His Lordship found fault with, he said that he had to share a toilet with three Covid patients and so he lived in fear of his life. MMM then once again told the man that his medical certificate clearly said he was ill and since there was no way he could isolate at his rented accommodation, he had been sent to the hospital for his own safety, and those of others. To this the man replied that he had no Covid and that the certificate was false and so could he go home. MMM hung up, leaving fate to decide on future course of action. 

He need not have worried. The head nurse, no doubt used to such people, threatened the patient with summary arrest if he so much as even dreamt of leaving the place. He had better stay back for 14 days she warned, or else. The man resigned himself to his fate but next morning was back on the phone. He wanted MMM to send him gloves, masks and hand sanitiser. Why, did not the hospital provide these, asked MMM. Yes, they did came the reply, but those were all meant for Covid patients, while he, MMM’s good lady’s minion, was not ill in the first place and so how could he share them with those infected? MMM once again rewound the whole story, beginning with the test certificate but to very little effect. 

Thereafter, there was silence for ten days. And then one day the man returned, all hale and hearty. He had developed some symptoms later he said but that was no doubt owing to his having had to stay with Covid patients. But now he was all right and he looked forward to getting back to normal times. And what did he mean by that MMM asked. Oh, nothing much, just wandering around without masks. Now that he had recovered from Covid the man said, he ran no risk and so did not need any protective gear. 

So much for this country’s awareness reflected MMM. We are full of people who either deny they are ill, or think they cannot be infected or imagine that if ill they can infect nobody else.