Once you have got COVID, you are bound to get calls from Chennai Corporation. The Man from Madras Musings too received them and overall he must admit that he looked forward to the daily calls. There was something very reassuring about the manner in which the concerned person consistently made the call each day and asked about your wellbeing. And when you reflect that you are just one person in a long line they need to call each day you need to admire their tenacity. But the process did not begin that harmoniously. The person who called first was not so well trained and this is how the conversation went –
‘Sir we have your COVID results with us and would like you to give your name and address.’
MMM – ‘Since you already have my details why do you want me to list them again?’
‘That is the procedure.’
MMM then went on to give all details, coughing in percussive interludes.
‘What is your phone number?’
MMM – ‘But you are calling me on it!’
‘Sorry sir, that is the procedure.’
MMM then listed the number.
‘Do you know if your residence falls in division X or Y or Z of the Corporation?’
MMM said he did not.
‘Why not sir?’
MMM – ‘I think it is the procedure for you to know.’
The voice then hung up; no doubt flummoxed with this response. But thereafter the other and more bedside-manner-blessed voice took to calling and all has since been well.
The Man from Madras Musings has nothing but praise for the way Chennai Corporation handles COVID patients, but he wishes there was a financial yardstick for determining who needs to receive free medication and who does not. MMM surely did not need to get a plastic cover with tablets, free of cost. He tried saying as much to the Corporation officials but was sternly informed that this was procedure.