Aarati – a twelve-year-old confronts the corona virus
It is June in Dubichaur, a small village in the province of Chitwan, when Aarati suddenly has a fever and the sore throat is getting worse. In these times of closed schools, shops and institutions, the Back to Life teams are regularly out and about in the villages of the project areas and provide the sponsored child families with aid packages, the children with books and monitor the state of health. It quickly becomes clear that Aarati should go to the hospital for a proper examination; she is taken to Narayanu Community Hospital. Since the family is very poor, Back to Life naturally covers all costs.
WHERE DOES THE VIRUS COME FROM? | After a while in the hospital, Aarati is tested for Corona and is positive. The family tests (both RDT and PCR), however, are negative. So did she have the virus before she was admitted to the hospital or did she only “catch” it there? A question that will never be answered, but which has far-reaching consequences for the family. The symptoms of the disease subside, Aarati feels better, but is still transferred to the Corona clinic in Bharatpur. One can hardly imagine the worries of the parents during the two weeks that the child is alone in the hospital. Aarati also feels very alone. She is finally released as recovered and can go home again. Healthy, but not lively, because a lot has happened.
THE INFECTION CHANGES LIFE | The corona infection has done a lot in that time. No sooner was the word Corona present in the village than the family was avoided. It was assumed that the parents also had to carry “the germ” in themselves and spread it in the village and ruined everyone. How should people know better? After all, there were numerous reports initially on the government broadcaster that even suggested transmissions through vegetables, bananas, chickens, and other foods. People threw the food, which was barren anyway, on the compost and products could no longer be sold. Then everything was revised. There was a lot of misinformation, and accordingly there was great uncertainty due to ignorance. The family was stigmatized, the parents were depressed. It wasn’t until their negative test results became known that a few were nice to them again.
AARATI WANTS TO ENLIGHTEN | In the hospital, nothing was explained to Aarati or her parents about Corona and COVID-19, the connections were only explained in more detail by Back to Life. The brave girl now wants to use her knowledge and what she has experienced to enlighten people. It is also important to us to convey the difference between an infection and a disease. People with the infection should not be “labeled”. The fear that prevails everywhere can best be alleviated with knowledge. The solution lies in education in order to be able to act responsibly and correctly for oneself. Anytime.
After two weeks in a corona clinic, Aarati is happy to be home with her family again.
“ We have been stigmatized ”,say Aarati’s parents.